Horizon

June 15 – September 1, 2013

I am a field, an experience.

– Maurice Merleau-Ponty

The horizon exists as an ever-shifting threshold where the literal gives way to the metaphorical and where the present passes into the future. It divides earth from sky and limns the boundary between the landscape we know through direct perception and the unknown landscape we imagine beyond it.

Recent psychological studies suggest that the absence of a literal horizon, or “long view,” in our increasingly dense urban landscape, as well as our fixation on computer screens and smart phones as means to acquire and share knowledge, is contributing to new pathologies of depression. The future health of our landscape is likewise threatened by the lack of a metaphorical long view of our relationship with the environment.

Horizon provides an opportunity for reorientation to, and recalibration with, the horizon. Uniting a selection of paintings from the Frye Art Museum Founding Collection as one harmonious and continuous landscape, the Museum provides the longest and most open horizon it can house.

On the opposite wall, Morning After the Deluge, 2003, a projected video installation of an unmoored horizon by renowned contemporary American artist Paul Pfeiffer, encourages reflection on the future through an eternally renewing present.

The viewer becomes a field, an experience, between a contemplative grand vista and perpetual moment of change and rebirth, in a landscape one can know, and one that can be envisaged—an even more perfect landscape that might lie just beyond the horizon.

Horizon is organized by the Frye Art Museum and curated by Scott Lawrimore. The exhibition is funded by the Frye Foundation with the generous support of Frye Art Museum members and donors. Seasonal support is provided by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and ArtsFund.

Image Credits:
Horizon installation design.
Pieter van Veen. First Snow, ca. 1914. Oil on canvas. 15 x 21 3/16 in. Frye Art Museum, Charles and Emma Frye Collection, 1952.179.
Emile Van Marcke. In the Marshes, ca. 1880. Oil on canvas. 42 1/2 x 63 in. Frye Art Museum, Charles and Emma Frye Collection, 1952.178.
Paul Pfeiffer. Morning After the Deluge, 2003. 1 channel video installation, color, no sound, 60 minutes, looped. Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.