Slow Looking/Deep Seeing
2nd Floor: The Bob & Lissa Shelley McDowell Gallery
William Bailey, Still Life with Bottle, Bowl and Eggs, 1970, oil on canvas, 36 x 42 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Museum purchase with funds from North Carolina National Bank and the Smith Richardson Foundation, 1971. © William Bailey.
Research has shown that visitors to art venues spend an average of eight seconds looking at each work on display. Eight seconds! Obviously, that is not enough time to truly engage with and understand a work of art. To counter this fast pace, the Weatherspoon’s curatorial and education departments have organized an exhibition drawn from the museum’s collection that will offer visitors a chance to slow down, make discoveries, and effectively connect with works of art through extended label copy and visual prompts. Slow Looking/Deep Seeing features a variety of objects, both modern and contemporary, and is divided into three sections to facilitate immersed viewing: Reading the Narrative/Image, Noticing as Contemplative Practice, and Interpreting Movement. The crowded, complex composition of Edward Laning’s Coney Island Beach Scene (1938) offers a narrative that takes some time to decipher. The same is true of Tom LaDuke’s painting, loop eternal (2012), built up of several layers including imagery from the movie The Silence of the Lambs and two different types of paint application. Both representational and abstract artworks, such as William Bailey’s Still Life with Bottle, Bowl, and Eggs (1970) and Jo Baer’s Grayed Yellow Vertical Rectangle (1964-65), allow for in depth examination and peaceful contemplation. Visitors to Slow Looking/Deep Seeing will discover that there are a multitude of ways to look at art and that a visit to a museum can be uplifting and enriching.
In addition to offering visitors the chance to slow down and observe, Slow Looking/Deep Seeing will be used by UNCG courses this fall as part of the museum’s Art of Seeing program. The program, now in its tenth year, is designed to help students in health and human science fields hone their visual, diagnostic, interpretative, and communication skills.
This exhibition is organized by Elaine D. Gustafson, Curator of Collections, and Ann Grimaldi, Curator of Education.