Project Series 24: Amy Myers
Amy Myers creates intricate, monumental drawings that merge the microcosmic with the macrocosmic in a visionary blending of art, mathematics, and physics. Myers links sensuous materiality with an intellectual rigor, exploring through evocative drawings the illusive terrain of the most profound scientific explorations.
Raised in an environment steeped in scientific inquiry—her father is a particle physicist, Myers grew up comfortable questioning the unpredictability and interconnectedness of nature and the universe. Since these formative discussions, Myers’s work has incorporated and integrated esoteric notions of quantum physics, mathematical equations, and, most fundamentally, the evidence of an unmitigated experience of the possibilities of the human imagination in the mysteries of the universe.
The formal qualities of Myers’s work reflect this inventiveness of scientific investigation combined with a spiritual, intuitive, and artistic vision. In finely executed drawings of graphite and gouache, Myers creates highly complex, and loosely symmetrical, networks of forms and systems of activity that shift in perspective and scale. The imagery—impossible to pin down, but as delicate and refined as lace, as infinitely spectacular as galaxies, as dizzying as an orbit through outer space, and as intricate and perfect as a strand of DNA—could refer to obscure mathematical principles and systems—in fact, the work does reference specific mathematic equations—as well as visionary models of altered states of consciousness. The work’s enigmatic nature—its slippage between the sublime vastness of cosmic scale and the incredibly intricate realm of sub-atomic particles—demonstrates how a visionary artistic process parallels the creative investigations of scientists. Both involve a similar exploration into the unfamiliar and unknown, such as artistic or scientific visionaries, like the Romantic William Blake or Leonardo da Vinci, who created paintings and drawings of the unknowable, or like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking, who theorized world-changing hypotheses that address fundamental laws governing the universe.
Reflecting this merging of the artistic, intuitive, and scientific, Myers’ process links the organic and the experimental. The artist works on two or three drawings simultaneously, as she considers a dialogue between more finished and less resolved work—each of the monumental drawings responds and relates to the work preceding and following it. Every mark relates to another mark, in a conceptual or mathematical way. Myers lets each piece develop intuitively, and the process to resolution takes up to one year.
For this exhibition, Myers presents a new body of work based on the original Heliocentropy of 1999. The work builds on itself as each monumental drawing further expands the scope of her project by adding mysterious new layers of meaning and more complex devices of scale. The Opera Inside of the Atom (2004) is the impetus behind her forthcoming opera of the same name, which is based on the four known forces—the strong, the weak, the electromagnetic, and gravity—and moves back in time beyond the moment of the Big Bang, to the time of our original ten dimensional supersymmetrical universe.
Amy Myers’s exhibition is the twenty-fourth in the Pomona College Museum of Art’s Project Series, an ongoing program of focused exhibitions that brings to the Pomona College campus art that is experimental and that introduces new forms, techniques, or concepts.