Integrated Vision: Science, Nature, and Abstraction in the Art of Len Gittleman and György Kepes 

Len Gittleman, Fresh Crater
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On View May 09, 2015 - Sep 06, 2015
Exhibition Location: Foster Galleries

Integrated Vision is an exhibition of permanent collection work that brings together highly textured, luminously pigmented paintings by György Kepes and bold, graphic screen prints of the moon’s surface by Len Gittleman to create a dialogue about science, nature, and art.

Writing about people’s inability to fully grasp the infinite knowledge available in the world–particularly in light of modern scientific advances–Kepes called for an “integrated vision” that assimilated the rational and the emotional experience. Presented together in Integrated Vision, works by Kepes and Gittleman create a conversation about the artist’s role in examining and interpreting empirical knowledge of science and nature through the lens of art.

Gittleman’s Lunar Transformation is a series of ten vividly colored serigraphs created from black and white photographs taken during the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971. Gittleman uses bright color to transform the craters and crevices of the lunar surface into vibrant abstractions which recall Abstract Expressionist painting. The strong graphic prints reflect the awe-inspiring nature of their source material.

Best known for his photography, design, and writings about the marriage of art and science, Kepes was also a prolific painter. His paintings served as a vehicle for exploration of the relationship between structural and gestural marks, terrestrial and celestial allusions, and physical and metaphysical experiences. While abstract, the earthy texture and biomorphic shapes in Kepes’ paintings hint at landscapes, cosmic bodies, or amoebic forms.

Photographs by each artist will also be included to provide context for the serigraphs and paintings in relationship to the artists’ larger practices. Gittleman’s Polaroid photograms, like his serigraphs, use color and light to render abstract forms. Striking illusions of three-dimensionality appear in these images, which present a strong formal arrangement of shape, color, and shadow. Kepes’ photographs reveal a clear correlation with his paintings: both combine expressive lines and atmospheric lighting effects, reflecting his study of the intersection of science, art, and nature.

Len Gittleman (born 1932) is a photographer, illustrator, and filmmaker living in Watertown, Massachusetts. He attended the Institute of Design in Chicago, originally called The New Bauhaus, and now part of the Illinois Institute of Technology (BS, Photography 1954), and studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. Gittleman taught at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University from 1962–1975. His films have been featured at the Cannes Film Festival and his artwork is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; and the Polaroid Collection, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in photography.

György Kepes (1906–2001) was a designer, photographer, painter, sculptor, educator, writer, and aesthetic theorist. Kepes studied painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest and, after immigrating to the United States, taught briefly at the New Bauhaus (Institute of Design) in Chicago. A professor of Visual Design and the founder of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT (where he taught from 1947–1974), Kepes was arguably the greatest pioneer in the marriage of art and science. He wrote seminal studies on visual theories such as Language of Vision and The New Landscape in Art and Science. His work is in the collection of several institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; and Rose Art Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Members only: Join Curator Samantha Cataldo for a tour of work by Len Gittleman and György Kepes followed by lunch (bring your own or purchase at deCordova | Café). RSVP to or 781.259.3635.

With Curator Samantha Cataldo