Lisson Gallery

'Spencer Finch: Bring me the sunset in a cup' MIT List Visual Arts Center, MA, USA

12 March 2024

On 5 March 2024, MIT presented its official opening of Spencer Finch's permanent, commissioned work 'Bring me the sunset in a cup'. Drawing on the artist’s decades-long explorations of light and color, Finch’s Percent-for-Art commission for the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing is a shimmering meditation on computing and human perception.

Finch’s work is composed in dialogue with a computational logic: binaries—made visible here through the competing pairs of colors that compose each panel—are both foregrounded and destabilized. Viewed from a distance, the work appears as a geometric tessellation of colored panels that flank the building’s staircase. As the viewer approaches, the colors multiply as the small discs that compose the fields of color in the panels become visible. Finch created each panel’s “color” by pairing two tiny discs of different colors that alternate and repeat. The discs, which are often used in simple storefront signage, tremble faintly with the movement of air through the space.

'Bring me the sunset in a cup' emerges from Finch’s repeated experiments with creating “unnamable” and “in-between” colors. With this work, as well as many past pieces, the artist draws inspiration from 'Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Colour (1950)', in which the philosopher proposes impossible colors like “reddish-green” and “transparent white” as experiments in language and thought. For Finch, as well as his Impressionist, Pointillist, and Light and Space predecessors, color allows a complex exploration of subjectivity and phenomenology. It is ungraspable in essence yet remains a fundamental feature of visual perception and memory.

Find out more via MIT List Visual Arts Center.

'Spencer Finch: Bring me the sunset in a cup' MIT List Visual Arts Center, MA, USA
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