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an installation view with fences and bright screens in a clean white gallery

Screens: Virtual Materials

3rd Floor Galleries

From iPhones to televisions to electronic billboards, screens saturate our daily lives. We stare at, touch, and communicate through their luminous surfaces. Yet we often overlook the powerful ways they shape our vision, behavior, and beliefs. Beyond their familiar functions, screens can be seductive barriers, conveying confinement and intimacy in equal measure. They mark thresholds between private and public spaces, or divide sacred and profane realms. They also translate the three-dimensional physical world into flattened and fractured picture planes.

This exhibition addresses these and related ideas through the work of six leading contemporary artists: Brian Bress, Marta Chilindron, Liza Lou, Matt Saunders, Josh Tonsfeldt, and Penelope Umbrico. In their sculptures and multi-media installations, the screen is both the primary artistic medium and the conceptual focus. From glittering metal fences to deconstructed television monitors, the various types of screens shown here are unexpected and interactive, and invite new ways of considering this crucial boundary between our virtual and material worlds.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication.

Organized by Sarah Montross, Associate Curator.

Support for this exhibition was generously provided by the Meredyth Hyatt Moses Fund and an anonymous donor. DeCordova also wishes to thank the Board of Trustees and Council of Overseers, who generously provide crucial unrestricted support, without which our exhibitions would not be possible.

Screens: Virtual Material was presented as part of a citywide partnership of arts and educational institutions organized to recognize the outsized role greater Boston has played in the history and development of technology. The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston has initiated this partnership to link concurrent exhibitions and programs related to the themes of the exhibition Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today, on view at the ICA from February 7–May 20, 2018.