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    Surface Tension: Reconsidering Water as Subject

    Presented by at Smith College Museum of Art

    July 22 - September 11, 2011


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    Surface Tension: Reconsidering Water as Subject

    “Surface Tension: Reconsidering Water as Subject” is the culminating exhibition for the 2011 Summer Institute in Art Museum Studies (SIAMS) at Smith College. This student-organized exhibition consists of ten works by 20th-century artists that investigate the physical relationship between water and its surroundings. The focused selection of paintings, prints, and sculpture –mainly by American artists – invites the viewer to carefully explore each work on display.

    Several of the objects deal explicitly with the rhythm and texture of water’s surface, finding new ways to elaborate on modern modes of representation. Some transform common perceptions of the substance in order explore its architectural qualities or its surprisingly solid appearance. Others obscure water’s perceivable characteristics or treat it as an invisible, environmental force. Together, these pieces actively avoid contextualizing and symbolizing water, unsettling one’s impulse to create narrative. Instead they challenge the viewer to look carefully and critically – exploring the uneasy space between naturalism and total abstraction.

    Image credit: Susan Heideman (born 1950). "Sand Channels," 1985 Oil on canvas. Gift of the family and friends of Mimi Norcross Fisher in her memory, class of 1959. SC 1986:1


    Smith College Museum of Art

    Elm Street at Bedford Terrace
    Northampton, MA 01063

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    Admission Info:

    $5 Adults
    $4 Seniors (65+)
    $3 Students (13+ with ID)
    $2 Youth (6–12)
    FREE: Members of the Museum; Smith College students, faculty, and staff; Five College faculty; any college student with ID; and children five and under. Immediate families of Smith faculty and staff are also admitted free. Free passes may be checked out at Forbes Library (20 West Street, next to Smith campus), at Lilly Library (19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA), or at a library with reciprocal borrowing privileges. Free to all on the second Friday of the month, 4–8 PM.


    General Day and Time Info:

    Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM–4 PM; Sundays 12–4 PM; Second Fridays 10 AM–8 PM; Closed Mondays and major holidays.


    Phone: 413.585.2760


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