Rene Lynch "Falling Star" 2014
Really looking forward to the heavenly bodied-sounding group show, "Mysterium Cosmographicum," opening this Thursday night at Stephen Romano Gallery in DUMBO. The variety of styles and artists represented is astounding, and includes some of my very favorites such as Rene Lynch (above) and Martin Wittfooth, as well as historic cosmological engravings, prints, and ephemera. Stellar indeed:
Opening Reception June 5th, 6-9pm
Jun 5 - Aug 31, 2014
Stephen Romano Gallery is pleased to announce the second exhibition in its newly formed gallery space at the heart of one of the world's most vibrant cultural communities in DUMBO Brooklyn. The gallery features international emerging and historical artists, as well as self-taught and visionary masters. This exhibition follows Stephen Romano Gallery's favorably received inaugural exhibition, Welcome To The Dreamtime.
The title of the exhibition Mysterium Cosmographicum (The Cosmographic Mystery or alternately translated Cosmic Mystery, The Secret of the World), derives from a book by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler that had been published in the 1590's. As the title suggests, Kepler believed he had revealed God’s geometric plan for the universe and held firm convictions about the connection between the physical and the spiritual: the universe itself was an image of God.
Johannes Kepler lived in a time when people believed that the heavens and cosmos were one and the same, the laws of the universe governed by the divine. However, Newton soon after quantified the cosmos with his laws of planetary motion and, in doing so, stripped the cosmos of their mystery—the domain of transcendental force became measurable. Divine mystery had thitherto played a central role in Kepler’s times as collective belief that was vital to the bonding and survival of a society. Sharing a worldview of the physical world’s governance by higher powers allowed people to identify each other as equally at the mercy of forces out of their control. The shared recognition thus allowed a collective transcendence.
In contemporary times, images may have replaced the belief in the divine cosmos in playing the role of mystification of the world. The central element of such transcendental mystification, however, is the element of spirituality. Devoid of an identifiably collective spiritual or religious belief, it becomes crucial for artists (image-makers), like shamans or other mediators between higher powers and us, to reinsert the mystery in our world. That may be our way to “believing” again in the post-Newton age of information.
The current exhibition presents a selection of works that demonstrate the variety of responses to the notion of the divine cosmos. Included in the list of internationally active artists are Shonagh Adelman (Brooklyn), Steven Baines (Brooklyn), Dan Barry (Austin TX), Jana Brike (Latvia), Paul Campbell (Brooklyn), Judy Chappus (Windosr, Ontario), El Gato Chimney (Italy), Mahwish Chishty (Pakistan/Chicago), Colin Christian (Tampa), Edward Robin Coronel (Austin), Matthew Dutton (Chattanooga TN), Sonya Fu (Hong Kong), James Gallagher (Brooklyn), Limor Gasko (Brooklyn), Teiji Hayama (Switzerland), Alessia Iannetti (Italy), Jumaadi (Australia), Lu Ke (Brooklyn), Tine Kindermann (New York), Pavel Kraus (Brooklyn), Kris Kuksi (Kansas), So Youn Lee (Los Angeles), Joel Lorand (paris), Rene Lynch (Brooklyn), Abby Martin (Washington), Heiko Müller (Germany), Matt Nolen (Brooklyn), Peca (Barcelona), Eric Richardson (New York), Ray Robinson (LaHavre), Gromyko Semper (Manila), Masae Shimoichi (Tokyo), Martin Wittfooth (Brooklyn), and K.B. Yung (Portland ORE).
The show also includes cosmographic euphemera from throughout history such as plates from Andreas Cellarius' Harmonia Macrocosmica from 1660 and several works by America's earliest visionary artist Charles Dellschau (1830 - 1923). The exhibition features several vintage astronomical vernacular photographs, space pulp paintings from the 1960's, hand-drawn star maps from 1800's, works by visionary artists William Blayney (1918 - 1985), A. Fiorelo (dates unknown), Romeyn De Hooghe (1645 – 1708), Darcilio Lima (1944 - 1991) and William Mortensen (1897–1965).