Conscious Evolution, installations by Denise Philipbar, will be on display from Friday, June 14 through Sunday, July 21 in the Margaret W. and Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery, located on the upper level of the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center at the Alexandria Campus. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, June 14 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and during performances.
Philipbar is a painter and installation artist who blends the power of nature with her understanding of science and technology. Working with topics such as the panopticon as metaphor or how technology and nature collide, her installations asks viewers to question how they interact with their own experiences in our current technological landscape.
Philipbar said, “As an installation artist, my compositions are rooted in the fundamentals of painting while investigating familiar objects on numerous levels. Whether through accumulation or manipulation, the objects in the works in this exhibition are used to provoke a conversation about how we interact with our own technologies. Despite all the timekeeping pieces we use and no matter how accurate we make them, we still experience time uniquely as individuals, and variably throughout our lives, and this is the basis for the water clock/barometers that make up A Game Played Beautifully by Children.
Tsunami, a large mural composed with approximately 6,000 glass test tubes and 300 glass ampules, presents the idea of the collision of nature and human technology such as we continue to watch unfold at Fukushima. For Scrutiny, I tap into contemporary philosophy and social networking to explore how humans spend so much time observing humans. As long as it seems like harmless fun, we allow it to go on and become willing participants in the new panopticon. With my background in mathematics and science, I’m often asked how that differs from art. The only difference I can see is that the goal of science and mathematics is ultimately to draw conclusions whereas art presents questions it asks the viewer to answer.”
Philipbar learned to paint at the Art Students League of Denver after completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Colorado. She completed her M.F.A. in painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2012 and was invited to be an artist in residence at Mecklenburg Inspiriert Kulturverein in Kühlungsborn, Germany, for six weeks in early 2013.
The Fisher Art Gallery is named for local artist Margaret “Peggy” Fisher and her late husband, Joseph Fisher.