Gallery of Art | University of Northern Iowa

Polycosmos: UNI Permanent Art Collection

May 24, 2021 to August 22, 2021

A digital print, antique and blue sky

Curated by gallery director Darrell Taylor.

Writer Paul le Page Barrett (or John Grant) describes a concept in which all possible real, created, or dream worlds co-exist.

The acquisition of two prints by Douglas Prince this year was akin to a prompt for the exhibition. Both prints depict antique objects that can be interpreted as windows into other worlds, or conversely worlds that seem bounded by timeless objects. Thus, are matters of micro- and macrocosm as well as contour and threshold brought to bear.

Once read as “polycosmic,” many similar Collection objects came to mind. Jiri Kolar’s collages and Sandra Baker’s c-prints seemed perfect candidates to flesh out these ideas as did the Ben Sakoguchi etching, which pulsates with energy and conflict. Ken Little’s mixed media sculpture, a signature artwork in the Collection, simultaneously blurs boundaries and mocks ideologies past and present.

The polycosmos is an idea to ponder and maybe a tool to unravel a Gordian Knot or two. Look deeply, question reality, embrace all worlds in parallel, and most of all enjoy the show.