MOCRA’s next exhibition, Michael Byron: Cosmic Tears, opens on September 13, 2009. See the end of the post for opening reception particulars.
In the evocative paintings of the Cosmic Tears series, Mr. Byron explores the relationship of the individual to the universal. The works are based on a text by the artist that meditates on the inevitable mix of emotions that accompanies the act of creation; pain and joy together elicit a “cosmic tear” that is the “womb of our psyche.” Yet the paintings themselves attest to the potential of art to “shape that tear into Meaning.” (The full text on which the works are based will be on view along with the paintings.)
The abstract works simultaneously suggest both microcosmic and macrocosmic perspectives, with forms that suggest continents or constellations. In a number of works, the artist introduces trompe l’oeil images of water droplets; this effect recalled for MOCRA Director Terrence Dempsey, S.J., the opening lines of William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence“:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
While several of the Cosmic Tears works have been exhibited previously, this is the first exhibition focusing just on this series, and it includes a number of recently completed works. You can read reviews of Mr. Byron’s work, including the Cosmic Tears series, here (scroll almost to the bottom of the page and look for the heading “The Outlaw Printmakers and Michael Byron”).
Mr. Byron is Professor of Painting at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. In his distinguished career he has exhibited throughout the United States, as well as in the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, and Mexico. He was selected for the 1989 Whitney Biennial. His work is included in many public collections including the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen (Rotterdam), and the Tamayo Museum (Mexico City). See his resume and a sampling of his work from the Philip Slein Gallery.
Michael Byron: Cosmic Tears
September 13 – December 13, 2009
opening reception Sunday, September 13, 2009, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.*
If you’re in the St. Louis region on September 13, please stop by and see the exhibition.
* the artist is unable to be present at this event, but he will be giving a talk on November 15, 2009, followed by a reception.
— David Brinker, Assistant Director