Opening: Saturday, May 7th, 2011 7-10pm
On View: May 8th – June 12th, 2011
Hours: Thursdays & Fridays 3-6pm; Saturdays & Sundays 12-6pm
Observatory and Phantasmaphile‘s Pam Grossman are proud to announce ALCHEMICALLY YOURS, a group show of alchemy-themed artwork, on view from May 7th through June 12th.
Alchemy is the art of transmutation. Of taking the rough and raw, and rendering it more precious. Rather than accepting the literal “lead into gold” definition, Carl Jung believed that alchemy is a process of individuation, a symbolic and active language which guides one’s personal journey toward the realization of selfhood. An alchemist is a shape-shifter, a mystic chemist. A patient and meticulous devotee who turns the base into something resplendent.
Like dreams, alchemy speaks in pictures. At first glimpse, alchemical manuscripts from the 16th and 17th centuries look like a panoply of hallucinations. They feature images of fornicating kings and queens. Suns and moons shining in stereo. Lions and serpents and eggs, oh my. Black and white and red all over. Secret codes and effulgent iconographies teeming with meaning, yet ultimately ineffable. These pictures beget picturing. They’re signs that beg to be resignified; to be reinterpreted and refined.
The participants in ALCHEMICALLY YOURS have done just that. Varying in medium and style, each piece in this exhibition pays homage to the alchemic tradition — all the while affirming that the artist fills the role of alchemist in the present-day. For who better can elevate the mundane, turn the sub- into the sublime? From the prima materia of color and canvas comes great and vivid work.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Pam Grossman is the creator and editor of Phantasmaphile, the premiere online destination for art aficionados with a passion for the surreal and the fantastical. An internationally beloved art and culture blog, it features daily spotlights on artists and events, as well as interviews with such visual luminaries as Thomas Woodruff, Nils Karsten, and Richard A. Kirk. Phantasmaphile was written up two years in a row on the Manhattan User’s Guide Top 400 New York Sites list, and Grossman’s previous shows, “Fata Morgana: The New Female Fantasists” and “VISION QUEST” were featured by myriad taste-making outlets including Juxtapoz, Arthur, Upper Playground, Reality Sandwich, Urban Outfitters, Creative Time, and Neil Gaiman’s Twitter page. “ALCHEMICALLY YOURS” is her latest curatorial effort, and she is proud to have it hanging at Observatory, the art and events space she co-founded.