Fine Arts Lecture Series: Josiah McElheny, Thursday February 24th, 6pm

Josiah McElheny is an artist working and living in New York. McElheny creates finely crafted, handmade glass objects that he combines with photographs, text, and museological displays to evoke notions of meaning and memory. Whether recreating miraculous glass objects pictured in Renaissance paintings or modernized versions of nonextant glassware from documentary photographs, or extrapolating stories about the daily lives of ancient peoples through the remnants of their glass household possessions, McElheny’s work takes as its subject the object, idea, and social nexus of glass. McElheny’s work often takes the form of ‘historical fiction’—which he offers to the viewer to believe or not. Part of McElheny’s fascination with storytelling is that glassmaking is part of an oral tradition handed down generation to generation, artisan to artisan. Looking at a reflective object becomes a metaphor for the act of reflecting on an idea. Sculptural models of Modernist ideals, these totally reflective environments are both elegant seductions as well as parables of the vices of utopian aspirations.

McElheny's has exhibited his work at national and international venues including the Museum of Modern Art, Orchard, and Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York, Donald Young Gallery in Chicago, Institut im Glaspavillon in Berlin, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, White Cube in London, and the Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. He has written for Artforum and Cabinet among other publications and is a contributing editor to BOMB. Recently published monographs and artist books include Josiah McElheny: A Prism (Rizzoli, 2010), The Light Club (University of Chicago Press, 2010), A Space for an Island Universe (Turner Publications, 2009), and Island Universe (White Cube, 2008).

To learn more about Josiah McElheny's work, visit http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/mcelheny/

Event Date and Time: Thursday, February 24th, 6:00pm

The Institute of Contemporary Art
Tuttleman Auditorium
118 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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