(Photo): Spencer Finch. Moon Dust (Apollo 17). 2009. Installation view at “Fare Mondi/Making Worlds”, Venice Biennial, 2009. Collection of Joanne Gold and Andrew Stern. ©Spencer Finch, Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nordenhake Berlin/Stockholm. Photography by Gerhard Kassner, Berlin
Dramatic light work created for 2009 Venice Biennale will be on view for seven years
BALTIMORE, MD (January 10, 2018)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is transforming Fox Court, the stately columned lobby in the 1929 building designed by John Russell Pope, for the next seven years with an extraordinary light work by acclaimed artist Spencer Finch. On view February 21, 2018 through October 14, 2024, Spencer Finch: Moon Dust presents an abstract sculpture comprised of 417 LED light bulbs that together represent the molecular structure of the moon dust gathered from NASA’s 1972 Apollo space mission. Finch’s installation conveys scientific information and offers a poetic experience as its glowing composition evokes the sensation of being immersed in a star-filled sky.
“This magical work of art will provide visitors with a dazzling, transcendent experience in the BMA’s neoclassical building,” said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford. “We are thrilled that it will illuminate the museum for such an extended period of time and are very grateful to Baltimore collectors Joanne Gold and Andy Stern who have made this long-term loan possible.”
First presented at the 2009 Venice Biennale, Moon Dust (Apollo 17) creates a precise, three-dimensional scale model of the moon’s atomic makeup. Finch represents the chemical elements of moon dust with light bulbs in varied sizes, arranging them on fixtures in patterns that mimic their bonds in molecules. The differently sized bulbs correspond to the relative weights of elements; the smallest indicating oxygen and the largest signifying both iron and chromium.
“The embrace of rational thought and wonder within Moon Dust’s welcoming expanse of light is an amazing metaphor for the discovery and delight that occurs throughout a visit to a museum like the BMA,” said Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman. “It has been very rewarding to work with Spencer Finch and the lenders to adapt the piece to the specific architectural context of the BMA’s original building.”
Moon Dust (Apollo 17) is on extended loan from the collection of Joanne Gold and Andrew Stern, who are generously sponsoring its presentation at the BMA in loving memory of Lenore E. Gold.