--Artist Used Digital Imaging and Thousands of Mosaic Tiles to Create Large-Scale Mural--
FLUSHING, NY, February 25, 2010 – “Electromagnetic Fall,” a three-story glass-tile mosaic by artist Carter Hodgkin, will be on view March 1 at the official opening of the newly expanded Remsen Hall on the campus of Queens College in Flushing, Queens. This permanent interior installation—visible externally through Remsen’s glass walls—was commissioned by the Percent for Art Program, which integrates site-specific pieces into construction projects funded by New York City. The expansion of Remsen, begun in 2006, was done by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects.
Building on the historic use of mosaic in public places, “Electromagnetic Fall” is expressed in a modern, digitalized vernacular that unites art and science. “Remsen primarily houses chemistry teaching and research labs,” says Professor Robert Engel, Interim Dean of the Division of Mathematics and the Natural Sciences. “So we’re delighted that the artist has created this dazzling work based on a science theme.”
Hodgkin employed a unique, experimental process to construct an artwork that is both evocative and whimsical. Using algorithms, she created a design simulating an atomic particle collision that occurs on the top floor of the glass atrium, causing the particles to fall dramatically three floors to the bottom. A torrent of thousands of small, colored tiles cascade down, forming loops and circular arrays of orbiting particles along the way. Silver, chromium, and gold tiles reflect light, conveying a sense of motion. Then Hodgkin united the interior architecture by creating mosaics for Remsen’s nine columns. Trajectories of particles wrap around each column, extending the design along each hallway.
The mosaic forms a bold emblem on the exterior while remaining intimate on the interior. Occupying 1096 square feet, “Electromagnetic Fall” incorporates 55,162 small mosaic tiles in 105 colors, with each tile corresponding to a pixel in the computerized design. Like the students and faculty of QC, the piece is multinational: the tiles come from Mexico, France, Italy, and China. The result is a work of complex color and texture.
Carter Hodgkin was born in Warrenton, Virginia. She holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and has received fellowships from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Gottlieb Foundation Emergency Grant, and the New York Foundation for the Arts (Painting, 1989, Digital/Electronic Arts, 2009). She lives in New York City and teaches at the Parsons School of Design.
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 140 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment.
Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Each year Queens College has been cited by The Princeton Review as one the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. In addition, U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges (2010) ranks QC among the top 10 public universities in the category “Best Universities—Master’s (North).” The college opened its first residence hall in August 2009. More info on Queens College at www.qc.cuny.edu.