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Second Sight: The Paradox of Vision in Contemporary Art

March 1, 2018 - June 3, 2018

This exhibition explores the experiential, psychological, and metaphorical implications of the nonvisual in American art from the 1960s to today.

Introduction

This exhibition explores the experiential, psychological, and metaphorical implications of the nonvisual in American art from the 1960s to today. It asks why and how numerous visual artists, such as William Anastasi, Robert Morris, Joseph Grigely, and Lorna Simpson, challenge the primacy of vision as a bearer of perceptual authority. Representing a diverse group of sighted and unsighted creators, a range of sculptural, sound-based, and language-based artworks investigate the significance of embodied knowledge by exploring what resides on the other side of the visual field. Engaging senses often suppressed in the gallery and museum environment, they ask audiences to reflect upon the significance of what we cannot see, whether by choice, habit, or physiological limitations, in the world around us.

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Works in the Exhibition

"Blind Time III,  No. 2," 1977, one of a suite of five lithographs, by Robert Morris. Williams College Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Gift of the artist, through the Williams College Artist-in-Residence Program. © 2017 Robert Morris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

"Blind Time III, No. 2," 1977, one of a suite of five lithographs, by Robert Morris. Williams College Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Gift of the artist, through the Williams College Artist-in-Residence Program. © 2017 Robert Morris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New ...

"Off Minor (from Black Beethoven),"  2004, wood, steel, brass by Terry Adkins. Estate of Terry Adkins. Image courtesy Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Photography by Arthur Evans.

"Off Minor (from Black Beethoven)," 2004, wood, steel, brass by Terry Adkins. Estate of Terry Adkins. Image courtesy Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Photography by Arthur Evans.

"Blind #14" by Sophie Calle, as installed in the exhibition "Spies in the House of Art: Photography, Film, and Video" 4, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, February 7–August 26, 2012. © 2017 Sophie Calle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, Image courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

"Blind #14" by Sophie Calle, as installed in the exhibition "Spies in the House of Art: Photography, Film, and Video" 4, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, February 7–August 26, 2012. © 2017 Sophie Calle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, Image courtesy The Metropolitan M ...

"Like it Is: Those Extraordinary Twins,"  2016, graphite pencil by Nyeema Morgan. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine. © Nyeema Morgan, Photography by Luc Demers

"Like it Is: Those Extraordinary Twins," 2016, graphite pencil by Nyeema Morgan. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine. © Nyeema Morgan, Photography by Luc Demers

"untitled (400 A),"  2005, etching by Corban Walker. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, © Corban Walker, Photography by Luc Demers.

"untitled (400 A)," 2005, etching by Corban Walker. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, © Corban Walker, Photography by Luc Demers.

"Champ (Sonny Liston 2),"  2015, charcoal by Shaun Leonardo,  Bowdoin College Museum of Art. © Shaun Leonardo.

"Champ (Sonny Liston 2)," 2015, charcoal by Shaun Leonardo, Bowdoin College Museum of Art. © Shaun Leonardo.

"1841 Book of Proverbs for the Blind #1," 1995, gelatin silver print by  Abelardo Morell. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, © Abelardo Morell. Photography by Luc Demers.

"1841 Book of Proverbs for the Blind #1," 1995, gelatin silver print by Abelardo Morell. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, © Abelardo Morell. Photography by Luc Demers.

"face to face • 2" from the series of 67 pinhole photographs, "face to face," 2001, pigment print by Ann Hamilton. Courtesy of Ann Hamilton Studio. © Ann Hamilton Studio

"face to face • 2" from the series of 67 pinhole photographs, "face to face," 2001, pigment print by Ann Hamilton. Courtesy of Ann Hamilton Studio. © Ann Hamilton Studio

"The Block Head," 1979,  pumice construction block, by Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Fresnel lens system, wood, leather and transistor radio. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, © Edward Kienholz, Nancy Reddin Keinholz. Courtesy of L. A. Louver Gallery. Photography by Luc Demers.

"The Block Head," 1979, pumice construction block, by Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Fresnel lens system, wood, leather and transistor radio. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, © Edward Kienholz, Nancy Reddin Keinholz. Courtesy of L. A. Louver Gallery. Photography by Luc Demers.

"What Did I Say?," 2008, ink and graphite, and pins, by Joseph Grigley.Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, purchased with a gift from the Stenn Family to The Edlis/Neeson Art Acquisition Fund on the occasion of the MCA's 40th Anniversary. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

"What Did I Say?," 2008, ink and graphite, and pins, by Joseph Grigley.Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, purchased with a gift from the Stenn Family to The Edlis/Neeson Art Acquisition Fund on the occasion of the MCA's 40th Anniversary. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Visiting the Exhibition

March 1, 2018 - June 3, 2018

    Center Gallery, Halford Gallery, Media Gallery, Bernard and Barbro Osher Gallery, Focus Gallery