'Science of Art' will showcase emerging and veteran women artists

Boston-area artists Guhapriya Ranganathan and Nancy Selvage draw on science for their artistic investigations

Ranganathan, "Science of Art"
Recent work by Guhapriya Ranganathan and Nancy Selvage
April 28-June 30, 2010
Kniznick Gallery
Brandeis University

WALTHAM, Mass.—From April 28 through June 20, 2010, the Kniznick Gallery at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center will explore the connections between science and art with an exhibition of work by painter/printmaker Guhapriya Ranganathan and sculptor Nancy Selvage.

Ranganathan is currently the artist-in-residence at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., where she makes art alongside genome researchers who are working in their laboratories. She likens the artistic process to that of scientific research, both of which she believes “involve stepping into the unknown without fixed or definite answers.” In her prints and drawings, she maps cell structures and patterns as they transform and evolve, resulting in images that reference neural networks, root structures, and organisms as seen through a microscope.  “I explore how changes at the microcosmic level lead us to visually and spiritually reflect on the macrocosm,” Ranganathan says.

Ranganathan was born in Trichy, India, and currently lives and works in Wayland, Mass. She received her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and her BA from Simmons College. She is also a graduate of the Regional Engineering College in Trichy, India, and holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. Her drawings and prints were recently exhibited in a solo show at the Trustman Gallery and were reviewed in “Art New England.” Images of Ranganathan’s work can be viewed on her Web site.

Nancy Selvage uses a variety of materials—reflective and translucent, solid and visceral—to create sculptures in a wide range of scales, including massive installations and public art. Her sculptures invite the viewer to look at, around, and through the pieces—that is, to see in new ways.  Selvage explores the convergence of content, implied associations and symbolic significance. “As a visual artist, I examine the complexity of experience and phenomena by attempting to see more intensely and coalesce moments of insight,” she says.

Selvage, Selvage’s installations have been recognized and supported by various grants and awards, including a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Sculpture Fellowship and two Massachusetts Arts Council New Works Commissions. Public commissions include a mural and sculptures for the National Park Service’s Grand Canyon Visitor Center, a mural for Keene State College’s Science Building, and a sculptural plaza wall for the Cambridge Arts Council. Images of Selvage’s work can be seen on her Web site.

Exhibited together, Ranganathan’s and Selvage’s work will present two views of how scientific investigation can inform the making of art.

Related Events

Science of Art … Art of Science
Wednesday, April 28, 6 p.m., Rose Art Museum

Ranganathan and Selvage will join a panel of artists and scientists for a slide presentation of their work and a discussion of how art and science can inspire and inform each other. Sponsored by the departments of Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, and Psychology; the programs of Biological Physics, Quantitative Biology, and Women’s and Gender Studies; and the Material Research Science and Engineering and Women’s Studies Research Centers.

Opening Reception
Saturday, May 1, 4-6 p.m.

Kniznick Gallery, Women’s Studies Research Center

Gallery Talk & Reception
Tuesday, May 4, 5-7 p.m.

5-6 p.m. reception, 6-7 p.m. talk by artists
Kniznick Gallery, Women’s Studies Research Center

Kniznick Gallery Info
Women’s Studies Research Center
515 South Street, Waltham, Mass. (across from Brandeis/Roberts commuter rail stop)
781-736-8102, wsrc-arts@brandeis.edu
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and by appointment
Special hours: Saturday, May 1, 12-6 p.m. and Wednesday, April 28 until 5:30 p.m.
The gallery is free and open to the public.

This exhibition is made possible thanks to support from the David Goldberg ’66 and Diana Meehan Endowment for the Arts.

About the Women’s Studies Research Center
The Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) is a place where research, art and activism converge. Bringing together scholars, students and artists, the WSRC is a community that thrives on the sharing of knowledge and ideas. The WSRC is home to the Kniznick Gallery, the only exhibition space in New England devoted to the display of women’s art and/or art about gender. For more information, visit the WSRC Web site.

Top image
Guhapriya Ranganathan
"Regenerations II," 2009
acrylic & ink on paper

Bottom image
Nancy Selvage
"bi op see,"2009
aluminum, paint, mirror, mylar, cast acrylic, cast urethane, cast silicon

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