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Dean Smith / MATRIX 201b

Minimatrix: Black Hole Sun #3 (X-Ray Vision)

October 20, 2002 - November 17, 2002


Download the exhibition brochure (PDF).

Berkeley artist Dean Smith creates elaborate and meticulous drawings that fuse a romantic notion of science with art. They are obsessive both in the time they take to make and in intensely presenting patterns normally invisible to the human eye. For his miniMATRIX project, Smith is constructing a large-scale drawing out of acetate sheets traditionally used for overhead projectors. Onto these sheets, he will photocopy a spiral image borrowed from a seventeenth-century scientific illustration of the lens of an eye by Anton van Leeuwenhoek.

Much of Smith's work reflects a fascination with scientific material from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. During this period, Smith notes, science, philosophy, and theology were commingled, imbuing scientific material with a quality of wonder. As the subjects of Smith's drawings are not immediately recognizable, the viewer may experience a moment of uncertainty similar to what early scientific experimenters might have felt. Smith is interested in this moment of pause and its potential not only to facilitate a renewed sense of wonder, but also to allow a place of reverie.

Kevin E. Consey