To transcend is to go beyond, to surpass, to exceed or rise above in extent or degree. Transcendence can be physical, spiritual, emotional or mental and allows for an encounter that defies expectations. The works that were included in this exhibition transcend everyday experience through the creation of magical worlds and new sensations, the suggestion of alternate modes of being, and explorations of the boundaries of artmaking itself. Comprised of many recent acquisitions and special loans, All Matterings of Mind presented a selection of works that simultaneously challenge the senses and propose surprising, exhilarating and meditative ways of encountering diverse people, places and ideas. The exhibition included art in a variety of mediums primarily from the past 15 years but also encompasses transformative imagery from every decade since the 1960s.
The exhibition title All Matterings of Mind is inspired by a photograph by David Benjamin Sherry titled All Matterings of Mind Equal One Violet. Sherry borrowed the phrase from a poem by e. e. cummings. The phrase addresses both the mystical qualities of Sherry’s large landscape, as well as the infinite ways in which the world may be imagined and experienced. This exhibition offers a small sampling of such ways and investigates how artists move beyond traditional notions of art in order to transport themselves and viewers, using methods such as costume, lighting, abstraction, mirroring and the creative recycling of found objects. With often dreamlike or otherworldly imagery, All Matterings of Mind eclipses the ordinary and presents original means of encountering alternate realities and expanding awareness of our world and beyond.
All Matterings of Mind was organized by Molly Boarati, assistant curator at the Nasher Museum
Ali Assaf, Narciso, 2010.Video (color, silent), 12:50 minute loop. Museum purchase.
Adam Putnam, Untitled, Pinhole 1, 2005.Unique chromogenic print mounted on Sintra, 30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)Frame: 30 7/8 x 40 7/8 x 1 15/16 inches (78.4 x 103.8 x 4.9 cm). Gift from the collection of Dr. Carlos Garcia-Velez and Dr. W. Kent Davis in memory of Dennis Swearengin.
Bill Viola, America: Now and Here, Production still from Ocean Without a Shore from the portfolio America: Now and Here, 2007 (printed 2009).Chromogenic print, Sheet: 24 × 20 inches (61 × 50.8 cm). Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Francesco.
Paul Graham, Man walking with blue bags, Augusta from the series American Night, 2002.Lightjet Endura chromogenic print, Image: 74 5/8 x 93 7/8 inches (189.5 x 238.4 cm)Sheet: Frame:. Gift of Floyd H. Bradley III and Martha Hummer Bradley in honor of Floyd H. Bradley, Jr. (T’45) and Carol Lake Bradley (WC’43).
Pinaree Sanpitak, Cloud Garden, 2008.Acrylic on canvas, 78 x 98 1/2 inches (198.1 x 250.2 cm). Gift of Frances P. Rollins in honor of Kimerly Rorschach (P’11, P’13, founding Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director).
The health and safety of our community is our top priority. In accordance with Duke University, the museum is closed to visitors until further notice. The café and store are closed. Find updates and the latest information on Duke’s Coronavirus Response website.