Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Presents Three new Exhibitions

Wellesley, MA – In the winter/spring of 2010, the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College will present a new sound and light installation by Stephen Vitiello and two complementary Indian art exhibits: Seeing God in Prints: Indian Lithographs from the Collection of Mark Baron and Elisa Boisanté and Painted Songs & Stories: Contemporary Pardhan Gond Art from India. Two installations currently at the Davis – Christine Hiebert’s Reconnaissance: Three Wall Drawings; and Michael Singer’s Ritual Series/Retelling – will remain on view through June 6, 2010.

The opening reception for Stephen Vitiello and Seeing God in Prints will be held on Wednesday, February 24 from 6-8pm, and feature a gallery talk by Stephen Vitiello and an opportunity to meet Lisa Fischman, the Davis Museum’s new Ruth G. Shapiro ’37 director. And, on April 7, from 5-7pm, an opening reception will be held for Painted Songs & Stories.

In his first solo exhibition, open February 24 – June 6, 2010, in New England, sound artist and electronic musician Stephen Vitiello will create a new sound and light installation in collaboration with lighting designer Jeremy Choate. Featuring his field recordings from the Australian outback, the Canadian wilderness, and New York City’s streets, Vitiello’s soundtrack will move between the abstract and the recognizable, attuning us to the subtleties of ambient sound. In this piece, sound will be connected with light and color, creating an immersive synaesthetic experience. The lighting will be designed in sympathy with the audio, and the resulting combination will surround the visitor, altering our spatial perception.

The Los Angeles Times has called his work “stunning” and “revelatory,” and exclaimed “What more can you ask of a work of art than that it alter your breath — that it first make you aware of your own breathing and then slow it, shape it, sculpt it?”

The work of Stephen Vitiello ranges from mesmerizing soundscapes to installations, and includes collaborations with composers and visual artists. Well-known for his World Trade Center Recordings, in which he created a sonic portrait of one of the towers through the use of contact microphones, Vitiello’s recent work links sound with light and color to create an enveloping physical experience. Vitiello has released several CDs and his work has been performed at The Tate Modern, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Kitchen, NYC.

An exhibition of late 19th- and early 20th-century color prints of Hindu gods and goddesses, open February 24 – June 6, 2010, this exhibition tells the story of how the worship of Hindu deities became entwined with the export of printmaking expertise from Europe to India. These widely distributed devotional lithographs were printed first in Europe, and later at Indian-run commercial color presses, and became ubiquitous in commercial and domestic spaces across India. The exhibition will trace the history of this genre, and includes important examples of 19th-century prints produced in Germany for export to India, the earliest examples printed by the first Indian-run presses, and classic lithographs from the most famous early and mid-20th century Indian publishers.

The exhibition is the first formal presentation in the United States of this genre of Indian art. It was organized by the International Print Center New York as part of their touring exhibition program.

Painted Songs and Stories, open April 7, 2010 – June 6, 2010, features the works of nine contemporary artists belonging to a tribal clan of Central India, the Pardhan Gonds. Using a variety of media (including acrylic paintings on canvas, ink drawings on paper, silkscreen prints, and animated film) they have created unprecedented depictions of their natural and mythological worlds, traditional songs and oral histories, thus inventing a new, hybrid visual art combining tribal subject matter with modern media and non-tribal patronage.

Rich in detail, color, mystery and humor, these colorful and captivating artworks brilliantly explore various religious, cultural, political, aesthetic, and ethical issues associated with the transformation of communal and ritual forms of expression into signed artworks intended for urban, national, and international markets and exhibitions.

Painted Songs and Stories, the first American exhibit celebrating contemporary Gond art, features works from the private collection of noted art historian John H. Bowles, and is organized by Wellesley College’s South Asia Studies Program.

Wellesley College campus, 106 Central Street in Wellesley, Massachusetts