A Certain Slant of Light: Spencer Finch at the Morgan
June 20, 2014 through January 11, 2015
American artist Spencer Finch (b. 1962) will unveil a new, site-specific, large-scale installation at the Morgan inspired by its great collection of medieval Books of Hours—beautiful, hand-painted works that served as personal prayer books for different times of the day and different periods of the year. Taking advantage of the Morgan's four-story, glass-enclosed Gilbert Court, Finch will apply films of color to the windows and hang additional glass panes in the center of the Court to create a kind of calendar based on the movement of the sun.
Finch plans to cover or hang the panes of glass in groupings by month with each having a palette that corresponds to the time of the year. For example, November would be "harvesting" and the colors of the month will be based on the colors of the harvest. The installation also calls for what the artist is identifying as "red-letter days." Marking secular holidays the artist considers significant—such as Sir Isaac Newton's birthday on January 4—red-colored glass would align with the sun's arc across Gilbert Court at noon on these days. The precise measurements required to create the installation at the Morgan are a hallmark of Finch's work. At the same time, his installations emphasize movement and change, capturing fleeting moments of sublime beauty.
This exhibition is made possible in part by a gift from Susanna and Livio Borghese, in honor of Parker Gilbert and in appreciation of his many contributions to the Morgan Library & Museum, with additional generous support from Mickey Cartin; the Charles E. Pierce, Jr. Fund for Exhibitions; James Cohan Gallery; Christopher Scholz and Inés Elskop; Nancy Schwartz; and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.