Charcoal people drawn on wood have taken over the Orgain Gallery of the Customs House Museum
through May 20th. An exhibit by Knoxville based artist Denise Stewart Sanabria, Quantum Confusion explores a theory of parallel worlds. The installation contains eleven full scale charcoal portraits on cut-out plywood, mounted on black floor stands. Two sheets of Plexiglas are sandwiched between emerging and disappearing people.
Stewart says There have been many theories given to the existence of many, or parallel worlds, both in the disciplines of Quantum Physics and Metaphysics. They range from solid research that can deliver actual theory-proving data, to the more esoteric work of Lewis and Kripke, which has a tendency to sound like the conversation of a couple of 1960s era grad students on acid. Popular media occasionally tries to produce their own version of these theories, from an episode of Lost in Space that scared the pants off me when I was a kid by showing characters on the program walking into another world through a special mirror portal, to the contemporary and excellent Fox network series Fringe. Whether any parts of these theories eventually prove to be true remains to be seen, but with further developments in the world of Quantum Physics, we are constantly reminded that the more we discover, the less we know.
My own installation plays with the portal idea, using Plexiglas (instead of a mirror). The Physicist, with her pencil and clipboard, is the only alert presence, as the other participants complacently participate in something they havent figured out yet.
Denise Stewart-Sanabria received her BFA in Painting from The University of Massachusetts/Amherst and has lived in Knoxville since 1986. She has received several awards including from the Huntsville Museum of Art, the Knoxville Museum of Art, The Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, and the National Portrait Gallery. Exhibits have included Skeletons in Closets at the Tennessee Art Commission Gallery, Cumberland Gallerys Annual Perennial, and Estel Gallerys Line, an international exhibit of drawing, all in Nashville, 2008 Biennale: Contemporary American Realism, at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana, and Positive/Negative, the annual national juried show at ETSUs Slocumb Gallery, juried in 2008 by Antoine Guerrero, Director of Exhibitions, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, NY. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the country.