Einstein’s view of the universe focus of Binghamton University Art Museum exhibit


Creative interpretations of Einstein’s model of the space-time universe will be the focus of an exhibition at the Binghamton University Art Museum.

The exhibition, After Einstein: Art and Architecture with a Cosmic Perspective, opens January 24 and runs through February 28 in the Permanent Collection, room 179 of the Fine Arts building. The exhibition comes to Binghamton after a successful two-month stint at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. On view will be works by Hans Arp, Wassily Kandinsky, Max Ernst, Gino Cantarelli, Man Ray and Edward Steichen as well as photographs revealing Bruno Taut’s, Mies van der Rohe’s, and Erich Mendelsohn’s new concepts of architecture. The exhibition also includes a 20-minute video featuring Einstein’s theory of relativity, with animation provided by pioneering animator Max Fleischer, the creator of Betty Boop.

The exhibition, consisting of 12 pieces of original artwork and photographs, is curated by Lynn Gamwell, director of the Art Museum.

“In 1919, Einstein's theory of relatively was confirmed when astronomers recorded the curvature of light by the sun's gravitational field during a dramatic solar eclipse,” said Gamwell. “This event brought to international attention Einstein's powerful vision of cosmic unity, in which matter and energy, space and time, are inextricably bound together in a four-dimensional universe.”

Gamwell noted that in the atmosphere of dread following the devastation of World War I, many artists found comfort in Einstein proclamation of the unity and rational order of the natural world. For example, artists who painted in styles of geometric abstraction, such as Theo Van Doesburg, vowed to create an art in keeping with the new cosmic space-time by adding the fourth dimension of time to their static Euclidian compositions.

“Surrealists such as Man Ray and Max Ernst made an analogy between the surreal space-time universe and the bizarre world of their dreams and fantasies,” she added.

The After Einstein exhibition is free and open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m., and Thursdays until 7 p.m. The Museum is closed Sundays and Mondays. For more information, contact the Binghamton University Art Museum at (607) 777-2634.

Last Updated: 9/17/13