Skip to main content

Compression: Recent Gifts to the Block from Bill and Sheila Lambert

May 9-August 9, 2015
Yves Klein, Monochrome und Feuer (Triptych), 1961 Gold on colored cardboard sheets; two sheet Color Carton, Gift of Bill and Sheila Lambert, 2014.7.3 © Yves Klein 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Reproduction, including downloading of Yves Klein works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

In the storage and transmission of digital information, compression is the process of consolidating data by eliminating non-essential elements. In a recent essay of the same name, curator and writer Tim Griffin applies the concept of ‘compression’ to recent contemporary art. Griffin observes that much contemporary art enacts “a kind of loss even while seeming to present an aesthetic experience entirely intact and whole.” As a form of data, how does a work of art convey an idea while also compressing it?

Drawn from recent gifts to the Block Museum of Art from Bill and Sheila Lambert, this exhibition presents works of art that compress time, space, memory, and knowledge. Including photography, printmaking, publishing, computer-generated art, collage, and drawing, these works represent each of the key areas of the Block’s extensive holdings of art on paper, a cornerstone of the collection.

This exhibition has been made possible by a generous gift of artworks from Bill and Sheila Lambert and with support from the Mary and Leigh Block Endowment.