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All Matterings of Mind: Transcendent Imagery From the Contemporary Collection

March 02 – August 27, 2017
David Benjamin Sherry, All Matterings of Mind Equal One Violet (detail), 2011. Chromogenic print mounted on aluminum, edition 1/3, 72 × 91 1/2 inches (182.9 × 232.4 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Gift of Katherine Thorpe Kerr (A.B.’04) and Terrance Kerr, 2016.14.1. © David Benjamin Sherry. Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York.

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

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