Michener Art Museum exhibit explores impact of conscious dreaming on contemporary art and culture

From daydreams to nightmares, images and stories fill our heads helping us to solve problems, explore fantasies and unlock hidden feelings. In a lucid dream, the dreamer can consciously control characters and settings. Lucid Dreaming, the second exhibition in the vibrant news series Shift: Investigations in Contemporary Art at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, features paintings, photographs, film and sculpture with recurring elements, unusual juxtapositions and narratives that skew both time and space. On view in the Museum’s Pfundt Gallery from January 17 through April 12, 2009, this exhibition and the dreams recounted through it, reveal prevailing attitudes about the body and its place within contemporary art and culture.
Charlotte Schulz


Lucid Dreaming is sponsored by Mary Lou and Andrew Abruzzese of The Pineville Tavern.

“The process of ‘constructed visualization’ is something that artists do by their very nature,” explains Kristy Krivitsky, the Museum’s Associate Curator of Contemporary Art and organizer of the Shift series. “They consciously create new realities—they dream new worlds—and through the act of giving their dreams physical form, they share their private universes with us, the viewers. This exhibition focuses not only on the active construction of dreamlike imagery by contemporary artists, but also on the body and the dominant role it often plays in dreams.”

Among the six artistic viewpoints in this exhibition, Lindsay Pichaske’s ceramic sculptures examine the effects of obsession on the body, while Tina Newberry investigates the construction of identity by taking on different personas in her paintings. The collaborative group Subcircle, through dance films conceived and directed by Nicole and Jorge Cousineau, interprets how disruptions of space and time impact our understanding of the world. Stacey Steers creates mixed media collages to use as stills for animations which explore our constructed identity and social interactions. Through careful blending of charcoal and erasure, Charlotte Schultz creates dreamlike environments in which we can meditate on the influence of television and computer screens on our everyday lives. Meanwhile, the angles, space, reflections and light in Connie Imboden’s photographs uncover surreal images of the human body.

The Museum offers a special exhibition lecture, entitled “Body Building: Figuration in Contemporary Art,” on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ($15.00 per person / $8.00 for Museum members). Krivitsky gives a summary of artists who have focused on the body as both a subject and as a material in order to make personal, psychological and political statements. Advance registration is required by calling (215) 340-9800.

Michener Art Museum