Current Exhibition

Christine Tarkowski: the old Moon in the new Moon's arms

November 7, 2023 - April 1, 2024

Earthlight is sunlight that reflects off Earth’s surface and reaches beyond the clouds and atmosphere. When this light indirectly illuminates the otherwise unilluminated portion of the Moon, it’s known as Earthshine, or the Moon’s ashen glow. “The old Moon in the new Moon’s arms” is a term used when the soft diaphanous glow of Earthlight is captured on the otherwise un-visible portion of a waxing crescent Moon.

The diffuse sunlight (Earthlight) visible on the dim portion of the Moon has been twice reflected. Sun…Earth…Moon…and depending on whether observed from Earth’s Northern or Southern Hemisphere, there will be a fragile cast of light following or leading, waxing or waning a crescent moon…..starlight bouncing off our planet and softly caught on the Moon at sunset or sunrise.

The work at The Arts Club of Chicago is a sweep of suspended, levitating entanglements– not defying gravity but caught up in the physics of our planet. Each piece is an individually hand-drawn contour line using molten glass as the drawing material. The drawing requires a quick action to articulate. Time, gravity, temperature, physicality, and physics are deployed to register a line which was, seconds before, a viscous molten mass–not unlike the molten mass at the core of our planet.

To wrestle a shape into being requires only seconds to fashion, but each motion is one of resistance. That instance of drawing is consumed with an effort to defy expectations of a motion pre-indexed by memory and history– to not repeat a move, to resist reference to language, symbol, or culture, or to refuse to shape the known. 

The sweep of gestures as a whole and the singular drawing wrangle with time on two separate points of measure: warm stellar light reflecting off of us and landing on our Moon, and the Moon’s dark side that we’re never able to see but know is there. 

Photo: Christine Tarkowski

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