Last chance to visit Josiah McElheny’s The Last Scattering Surface

osiah McElheny, “The Last Scattering Surface” (detail), Handblown glass, chrome plated aluminum, rigging, electric lighting. Courtesy of Donald Young Gallery

Through Monday August 27, the Rochester Art Center in Minnesota is featuring The Last Scattering Surface by Season 3 artist Josiah McElheny. In this exhibition, McElheny continues his investigation of the history and implications of twentieth-century modernism through a series of new and past works that revolve around the unusual intersection of theoretical cosmology and industrial design.

Since 2004, McElheny has collaborated with The Ohio State University cosmology professor David Weinberg on the conceptual realization of a series of sculptures that depict the theory of the Big Bang with the language of mid-1960s industrial design. This unexpected pairing of high modernist thought finds its origins in 1965, the year the Big Bang was first confirmed by physical evidence and when the Viennese firm Lobmeyr and Co. was commissioned to design a chandelier with a “galactic appearance” for New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House. The serendipity of these two events inspired McElheny to create his series of scientifically accurate, precisely manufactured sculptures.

Also on view as part of The Last Scattering Surface is McElheny’s first film, Conceptual Drawings for a Chandelier, 1965, shot in part on location at the Metropolitan Opera House, as well as a series of related photographs and digital images.

Read more about the exhibition here.