Horton Gallery, Chelsea is pleased to present Science & Exploration, a group show featuring works by Saul Becker, Emilie Halpern, Xylor Jane, Michael Jones McKean and Eric Zimmerman. In the spirit of scientific inquiry and discovery, the artists in this exhibition examine the various forms natural phenomena and systems can take in contemporary culture.
Saul Becker’s recent paintings have taken inspiration from the grandeur and mystery of landscapes encountered on his travels to the Arctic on an ice-class schooner. Like early explorers of the world who could bring back only abstract impressions of their experiences to the masses, Becker does not attempt to deliver precise visual accounts of his travels to viewers, instead creating composite landscapes from both photographic and mental image sources. This examination of the relationship between scientific archive and subjective speculation also factors into Eric Zimmerman’s installation where ephemera ostensibly related to the Apollo 11 landing is presented, challenging viewers to question how veritable one’s perceptions of distant discoveries and visually inaccessible natural phenomena actually are.
The intangible, yet overall accepted, nature of certain natural systems and experiences is what drives the artists in this exhibition to express scientific findings in palpable and intuitive ways. Emilie Halpern’s photographic subject matter ranges from the celestial to the ancient to the immediate. The images are united through visual likeness and together express the artist’s intimate meditations on imperceptible phenomena occurring across infinite time and space. Xylor Jane and Michael Jones McKean bring scientific systems into palpability though physical experimentation. Algorithms derived from infinitesimal nature or from abstract mathematical patterns are used by Jane to create stimulating and intricate paintings while McKean’s manipulation of such pedestrian yet fantastic organic processes as rainbows also demonstrates our innate desire to physically seize and understand the natural world.
In Science & Exploration, the close relationship between accuracy and imagination that is involved in studies of the natural world presents itself at an intrinsic and individual level.