SPECULUM SPECULORUM - MIRROR OF MIRRORS
Curated by MARY DINABURG AND HOWARD RUTKOWSKI
Wednesday, March 3, 2015
6 - 9pm
Location: EFA Center
323 West 39th Street
New York, NY 10018
GABRIEL J. SHULDINER
During the Middle Ages, the mirror was not only an optical instrument reflecting the physical world, but a symbolic reflection of the inner, spiritual one as well. It was believed that mirrors could capture the sacred and were personal possessions to be meditated upon.
That mirrors were indeed part of medieval iconography is demonstrated by their inclusion in numerous manuscript illuminations and culminated in their appearance and use in early Renaissance painting (as famously exemplified by Van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait). Additionally, there was a whole genre of Speculum literature that sought to encapsulate all available knowledge in a single work.
After a hiatus of half a millennium, the aesthetic experience has moved away from cosmographical, heroic aspirations to return to a more personal, contemplative and intuitive pursuit. The eight artists presented here have different approaches and different voices - as well as broad spectrum of materials. Indeed, like the medieval pilgrim mirrors, the resultant works are a condensation of vision and each work is reflective of a particular intellectual and creative process.