Normally, ‘High Art’ would be referring to oil paintings and marble sculptures depicting royalty and other noble subjects of the Renaissance period. However in this punny case, high art is referring to pieces that have been inspired by the object of flight, the history of air and space travel, and the mysteries surrounding the unknown world beyond us. From 2003 until 2013, the National Air and Space Museum has been collecting artwork that invokes flight; including works from various artists who explore all kinds off diverse media from photography to oil painting and everything in between.
The exhibit is split into three sections; “Visions of Flight” includes works that are more abstract, dreamlike, and surreal. These works contemplate and celebrate the notion of flight as well as question the potential of what could exist beyond the frontier. “Faces of Flight” include portraits of astronauts, scientists, and pilots that deserve recognition for their daring deeds and innovations. Finally, “Looking Back” consists of historical works of art that document the past years of flight.
Paired with High Art are two other exhibitions. “Searching for Goldilocks” is a glass sculpture by artist Angela Palmer illustrating a section of the Milky Way that has been charted by the Kepler Observatory since 2009. It makes reference to the search for a ‘Goldilocks Planet’, one that is not too hot or too cold to support life. “Suited for Space” highlights the design ingenuity that was required to make the modern space suit: a device that allows human beings to live and function in outer space.
High Art is located in the National Air and Space Museum until December 1st, 2013. Visit http://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/high-art/ for more information about the exhibit.