Two Exhibitions Provide Dramatic Contrast at Emerson Gallery

"Suzanne Anker: Origins and Futures," an exhibition of sculpture and prints by Suzanne Anker, opened on February 28, at Hamilton College's Emerson Gallery.  A sculptor and printmaker, Anker works with genetic imagery in the creation of her work.

"The Nuremberg Chronicle," which also opened on Feb. 28, stands in stark contrast to Anker's work.  In 1493, a remarkable team of artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs published "The Nuremberg Chronicle" in Latin and German editions.  One of the key monuments in the history of early European book publishing, it is lavishly illustrated with 1600 woodcuts and presents an encyclopedic panorama of the world as it was understood a year after Columbus's voyage.

"Origins and Futures" counterbalances pyrite minerals with images of embryos built by 3-D computer programs. Anker's sculpture is based on the theories of A.G. Cairns-Smith's proposal, that life on earth originated through the "genetic takeover" of crystals which allowed RNA to learn life's replication process.

Image courtesy of Suzanne Anker

Anker's work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in venues including the J.Paul Getty Museum, the Smithsonian Institute, the Philips Collection, the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Modern Art in Japan among others. She is department chair and teaches art history and theory at the School of Visual Arts in New York. 

The gallery will host a gallery tour and talk with Anker on Tuesday, March 30, at 4:15 p.m., followed by a reception and book signing of her new book, "The Molecular Gaze: Art in the Genetic Age" co-authored by Dorothy Nelkin and published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The book explores the moral and bioethical questions raised by genetic technologies.

The opening for the "Nuremberg Chronicle" was held on Saturday, Feb. 28. Co-curators, Professor of Art History John McEnroe and Edward Wheatley, associate professor of English, presented a talk and tour of the gallery followed by the Hamilton College Choir singing medieval songs. On  March 3 Wells College Professor Emerita of Art History Sheila Edmunds presented a lecture relating to the exhibition, titled "The Evolution of an Early German Printer."

Both exhibitions close on Sunday, April 11. "Origins and Futures" is co-sponsored by The Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society and Culture in conjunction with the Emerson Gallery and is organized by Pamela Auchincloss/Arts Management, New York.
All lectures and exhibitions are free and open to the public.

The Emerson Gallery is located on the Hamilton College campus in Clinton, New York, in the Christian Johnson Hall directly behind the chapel. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call (315) 859-4396.

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