Tuesday, February 19, 2013

MAPnificent: Artists Use Maps

Maps do more than tell you where to go. This exhibit explores some of their other functions, as interpreted through art.

Curator: Yulia Tikhonova, Founder of Brooklyn House of Kulture

Dates: February 1–March 31

Location: AIGA Philadelphia SPACE,
72 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106

Paula Scher, Joyce Kozloff, Doug Beube, Carole Kundstadt, Viviane Rombaldi Seppey, Karin Schaefer, Dahlia Elsaed, Alastair Nobel, Aga Oussinov, Paul Fabozzi, Amy Pryor, Irina Danilova, Robert Walden, Adriane Littman, Brooklyn Art Library, Hand Map Drawn Association 

MAPnificent: Artists Use Maps brings together a group of artists who creatively employ the philosophy and technique of mapping to convey information ranging from sociological data to aesthetic stimuli. 

The exhibit features paintings, works on paper and sculpture that reflect the artists’ concerns for the current state of our society, conveyed though charts and diagrams, and their admiration of the map as a symbol of longing and the unknown. The works included either illustrate a scientific research in demographics, or a flow of capital, or distribution of patterns, but also present the artists’ reverence for maps. 

For some of the exhibiting artists, mapping is a tool to create interactive visuals with the help of sophisticated tools for image manipulation that arrange numbers into intricate geometrical forms. 

Maps are primarily received as directional; a subway or bus map is understood as a tool to get somewhere. In fact, the title of this exhibition borrows from a google-map application, MAPNIFICENT, which calculates the time between places via public transportation. For the artists, however, a map is often an end in itself: a work of art, filled with revelation and delight.

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