GALAXY & COSMOS
Jason McCoy Inc. is pleased to present GALAXY & COSMOS a group exhibition loosely inspired by Frederick Kiesler’s Galaxy paintings from the 1950s. Presenting a selection of modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, GALAXY & COSMOS focuses on artists known for consistently pushing traditional boundaries, in search of new spheres. Among those artists are Lee Bontecou, Alexander Calder, Vija Celmins, Bernard Childs, Michael Goldberg, Kevin King, Christiane Löhr, Stephen Mueller, John Newman, Richard Pousette-Dart, Dorothea Rockburne, Frank Stella, Mark di Suvero, and Philip Taaffe.
Frederick Kiesler (1890-1965) envisioned his multi-paneled Galaxy paintings as a metaphor for the unity of all elements. Blurring the conventional divisions of the plastic arts, these works incorporate aspects derived from sculpture, architecture, and painting. In 1954, Kiesler wrote: “If the reassessment of values in these tense times is of necessity for each and all of us, one is convinced that the artist’s work too can no longer be placed in isolation.” By contextualizing his thoughts with a group of related works and ideas, GALAXY & COSMOS pays homage to Kiesler’s confidence in creativity and innovation, as well as to the timelessness this dream entails.
As the title GALAXY & COSMOS suggests, the contemplation this exhibition aims to provoke is two-fold.
On the one hand, it takes inspiration from galaxies as metaphors for elaborate systems that encompass multiple elements. Largely defined as massive, gravitationally bound systems of stars, stellar remnants, and gas dust, galaxies are unified groups. They are categorized according to their overall shape, which can range from elliptical to disk-shaped assemblages. Despite their complex structure, galaxies are not infinite and exist within the cosmos, which is. In that sense, galaxies are microcosms within the cosmic macrocosm, which serves as the ultimate unifier. Slight variations on the concept of the cosmos can be traced in different cultures. Its name, for example, originated from the Greek term κόσμος, which can be translated as "ordered world." In Russian and Bulgarian the word Космос means "outer space" and in Mandarin Chinese, cosmos is translated as 宇宙 yuzhou, which literally means “space-time.” In all cultures however, the cosmos is regarded as an umbrella under which diversity reigns. GALAXY & COSMOS explores the cosmos as the embodiment of a harmonious, albeit immeasurable system. It is the antithesis to chaos, but also as a metaphor for everything mysterious and the infinite possibilities that something this vast and abstract beholds.