Parsing the Universe

  • Ongoing: until Thursday, November 28, 2013
  • Monday: 10:00am
  • Tuesday: 10:00am
  • Wednesday: 10:00am
  • Thursday: 10:00am
  • Friday: 10:00am
  • Where: Chandler Gallery, 20 Sacramento Street, cambridge
  • Cost: Free
  • Age limit: All ages

An exhibit on the universe is a tall order, but artist Jane Goldman relishes the challenge. “I love the big universe paintings,” says Goldman. “It’s mind-blowing, really, to think what I’m painting. Can’t complain about how long it takes when I am literally depicting part of the cosmos.” In the show’s title piece, “Parsing the Universe,” a radiant spiral galaxy seems embedded in the thick blue of outer space, and nebular clouds rise in the distance while a Higgs Boson particle and several single-celled algae float to the foreground. The many shades of blue, created by printing layers of watercolor, suggest both the far reaches of space and the depths of the ocean, and the subject matter evokes the largest and smallest physical concepts that the human mind can comprehend.

Stretching to encompass the boundaries of our senses and our knowledge is characteristic of Goldman’s approach to her theme. Her prints and watercolors also explore visual phenomena that are invisible to the naked eye and “technologies that extend human vision.” Her source material includes x-rays, molecules, and the human genome. She even breaks down moments that happen too quickly for our brains to process—a drop of water striking a tranquil pool or a bullet bursting through an apple—and she captures still images of moving wonders, such as tidal pools. “Tidal pools are a good locus from which to ponder the cosmos,” says Goldman. “Created by the moon’s gravitational pull on earth’s waters, tidal pools are revealed or hidden by the tides’ ebb and flow. Now we see them, now we don’t. They remind us of what we know and have yet to discover; of earth’s relation to the moon, position in our solar system, galaxy, and by extension, our place in the universe.”

“Parsing the Universe” is on display at the Chandler Gallery from October 24 through November 28. The opening reception will be held Thursday, November 7, from 6-8 p.m. Maud Morgan Arts is a program under the umbrella of the Agassiz Baldwin Community, a private, nonprofit organization with a forty-year history of quality programs and services in the Cambridge community. Maud Morgan Arts comprises a full arts program of classes and workshops for all ages, the Chandler Gallery, and a collection of original art by noted artist and community resident Maud Morgan (1903-1999). The agency works to reflect the diversity of talents of the community, bringing people together to make art, share art, and support visual arts education.

This event was posted Oct. 7, 2013 and last updated Sept. 20, 2016