Out of Sight! Art of the Senses

Saturday, November 4, 2017 – Sunday, January 28, 2018

1905 Building

Out of Sight! Art of the Senses brings together contemporary works of art that actively engage with how our bodies meet the wider world through the five basic senses. By inviting us not only to look but also to listen, smell, touch, and even taste, these works challenge the traditional association of art with vision, expanding what it means to experience and interact with a work of art. Emerging in the later twentieth century, new art forms—including performance, sound, and installation art—have brought art “viewing” into closer alignment with the multisensory and participatory nature of everyday life. At the same time, by making the act of sensation strange and unfamiliar, these new forms also prompt us to examine the powerful role of our senses in shaping our world—a topic of particular importance to diverse artists working today.

Throughout the exhibition, major works from the later twentieth century by artists such as  Lucas Samaras, Nam June Paik, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres provide a historical framework for more recent works by international artists including Do Ho Suh, Valeska Soares, and Nari Ward. The intimacy of these artworks appeals to the senses—we feel, taste, smell, or hear each of them on a highly personal level—while it also renegotiates the terms of spectatorship and the relationship between contemporary art and everyday life.  

This exhibition is organized by Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén, Deputy Director Joe Lin-Hill, and Chief Curator Cathleen Chaffee.

This exhibition has been made possible through the generosity of M&T Bank. Additional support has been provided by Aleron. Publication of the gallery guide has been made possible through the generosity of Nixon Peabody LLP. Technical support and video content creation has been provided by Advantage TI.

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