You Look, But Do You See?

Morgen Kohn
Oct 15, 2014 6:52PM

The link between sight and color is obvious. Often viewers merely see the surface of a work of art rather than examining what lies within the layers. “You Look, But Do You See” is an exhibition based on the links between color, sight, and perception. The exhibition starts by emphasizing abstraction, graphics, and linearity, and then it moves toward more literal representations. This progression encourages the viewer to examine closely at the beginning to decipher meaning and then move towards more representational works to figure out the artist’s purpose behind the piece. It could be easier for one to attach meaning to something less objective. This thought process eases the viewer into deeper examination necessary when confronted with bold, literal, objective pieces. What lies beyond the bold or attractive colors that unite the exhibition as a whole? This exhibition pushes the viewer to look deeper into the images and to question their daily lives. Our daily looking or lack of looking determines our complete or incomplete perception.    

Robert Rauschenberg said that he wanted his work to address “the gap between art and life.” This exhibition does just that. By examining the perception of a piece through sight, one must also examine everyday perception. What do people walk past everyday and not notice, not see? What facial expression does a co-worker make that wasn’t read into? “You Look, But Do You See,” is a comment on a lack of perception and an urge to look past the layers to see true meaning or intent.    

With the SCAD Museum of Art as the place, and a brick wall as the backdrop, these pieces would be well suited for the space. This gallery hall will add even more layers to the pieces. The brick adds a textural, substantial layer and light brought in by the cross-lying windows adds an etherial layer, one subject to change. This ever-changing factor of light adds to the experience of examining a piece, deciphering the meaning. Perhaps one’s perception of a piece would be different in the morning than it would in the late afternoon.    

The space also offers a long linear passageway for the viewer which is preferred since the exhibition is about a taking a journey, looking into oneself, looking deeper into the work.
You look, but do you see?

Morgen Kohn