Spencer Finch: Yellow
In honor of its Centennial and as part of its new contemporary art program, MAM has commissioned the internationally renowned American artist Spencer Finch to create Yellow (2013), a site-specific permanent installation for the Museum’s façade. Consisting of four large-scale compositions, printed on transparencies and displayed on light boxes mounted in four ground-floor windows, Yellow emits a gentle incandescent light that celebrates MAM’s intimate character, calling to mind a candlelit domestic space and animating the building’s façade. Each of the four compositions, which seen up close resembles an abstract painting, consists of red, green, and blue graphic elements that, when seen from a distance, blend to create the optical illusion of yellow light. Finch states, “I am interested in the paradox of perception, where something both is and is not what it looks like.” Continuing the artist’s ongoing investigation of the science of vision, Yellow pays tribute to MAM’s neoclassical architecture and roots in the early 20th century; it also salutes the Museum’s historical collection, particularly its first-rate holdings of the Hudson River School painters, who were fascinated with light. While celebrating MAM’s first century, Yellow points the way toward its second.
Yellow is also part of MAM’s New Directions series, the centerpiece of our contemporary art program. New Directions was founded in 2011 to engage the community with new work that is at once accessible and thought provoking.