On June 3, Arcadia Exhibitions celebrated the opening of the exhibition, “Spencer Finch: As Lightning on a Landscape,” with a discussion between panelists Richard Torchia, director of Arcadia Exhibitions; Judith Tannenbaum, artistic director of the Whitman at 200; and Finch, who also showcased at Whitman at 200.
The Arcadia Exhibition takes its title from Emily Dickinson’s poem “The Soul's distinct connection,” and uses the poem’s oblique reference to the camera as a telling analog to Finch’s singular approach to photography, allusions to which can be found in works produced in other mediums.
The limits of both technology and perception, specifically the sensation of color as a product of the eye and the brain, is examined in several works in the exhibition. Back to Kansas (2015)—a grid of 70 colors, each matching a different Technicolor hue selected from the middle section of The Wizard of Oz—is a print based on a large wall painting Finch produced in 2013 for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. When viewed at dusk in natural light, the colors of the aquatint fade to gray at different rates. To facilitate this experience of the work at Arcadia, the Spruance Gallery will be open on Thursday evenings until sunset between May 30 and Dec. 15.
“I think I’d like to be called a colorist,” said Finch. “I consciously make an effort to make things that are more interesting, engaging, and beautiful.”
Whitman at 200 is a Philadelphia area celebration of Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday and the impact of his artistic contributions. Organized by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries Kislak Center, and supported by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, this regional series of events includes four new artistic commissions, as well as innovative exhibitions, performances, and programs in conjunction with organizations. Finch, one of the commissioned artists, created a moving exhibition, “When You Look on the River and Sky,” on the RiverLink ferry that operates between Philadelphia and Camden.