Cantor Arts Center
328 Lomita Drive at Museum Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5060
<div class="col-lg-12 col-md-12 col-sm-12"><em>It is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.</em> —-Marshall McLuhan, <em>The Medium Is the Message</em></div> <div class="col-lg-6 col-md-6 col-sm-12">In 1964, Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan published his groundbreaking study, <em>Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man</em>, in which he argues that the way information is transmitted is as important as the content being conveyed—or in his words, “the medium is the message.” The term <em>medium</em> can refer to a number of things: a means of communication, the materials from which an art object is created, or a mediating apparatus between objects and subjects. Using McLuhan’s text as a starting point, the works on display here investigate the relationship between subject, content, and the materials that informed each object’s production.</div> <div class="col-lg-6 col-md-6 col-sm-12">The exhibition is divided into three broad categories: “In the Abstract” explores how paint, metal, and fabric can be used as a means of abstract communication, and how the medium of abstraction has highlighted or obscured particular narratives in the history of art. “The Sum of Its Parts” examines the ways artists have used nontraditional materials for critical and expressive inquiry, and asks what the forgotten objects of yesterday tell us about the present. “The Faces We Present” reconsiders the limits of figural representation, investigating how portraiture can serve as a mediating apparatus between the past and the present—a medium for addressing historical inequities and visual disenfranchisement. The questions prompted by these examinations guide our historical understanding of the objects on view, while interrogating how they are seen in both the museum and world beyond. Viewed collectively, these works suggest that an exploration of medium is one way of challenging dominant discourses around art, culture, and history. <em>Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander, PhD, Assistant Curator of American Art</em> <em><small>This exhibition is organized by the Cantor Arts Center. We gratefully acknowledge support from The Clumeck Endowment Fund.</small></em></div>
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Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "The Medium Is the Message: Art since 1950" and [Object]Artist-Display Name is "Zhou Tiehai".
Last updated: 02/26/2021
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