Surface Tension

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9 June 2016

On Tuesday, April 19, the American Center of Physics opened a new art exhibit, Surface Tension. Exhibit curator Sarah Tanguy provides an eloquent overview in the exhibit brochure. The words below are extracted passages from her writings.

"Surface Tension expands the phenomenon of elasticity associated with a liquid surface to explore the interaction of natural forces and the transformations that occur under different states and conditions. The exhibition brings together paintings by Andy Needle, sculptures by Tom Osgood, and a selection of winning photographs from the 2015 American Association of Physics Teachers High School Photo Contest. Although distinct in style and approach, these bodies of work reveal thematic affinities and share a keen sense of observation and experimentation along with an interest in surface, tactility, and pattern.

Andy Needle, painter, with his work "Contrasts""For Andy Needle, the passage of time lies at the core of his highly nuanced depictions of rocks, which carefully balance attention to natural detail with an implied abstraction. In his plein air practice, he made meticulous paintings of scenes directly in front of him, whether from a car or a boat. But after a 20-year search for his own voice, he zoomed in on geological formations and sought imaginative distillations in his painted topographies.

Tom Osgood, sculptor, with his work "Green Glide.""In Tom Osgood’s abstract sculptures, natural life informs the intricate patterning of compound curves. Like Needle, he started off as a representational landscape painter, and coastal scenes near his home in Maine continue to fuel his imagery. Using steel as his primary material, he creates a complex interplay of convex and concave planes whose airy suppleness belies the force in forging or rolling them. Negative and positive shapes exchange identities, while graceful arabesques along the ridges seem to extend beyond themselves into the viewer’s space.

AAPT's Rebecca Vieyra (left) and Beth Cunningham (right) with Léa Koob’s "Shadow in the Clouds.""[The AAPT High School Photo Competiton] offers teachers and students an opportunity to learn about the physics behind natural and contrived situations by creating visual and written illustrations of various physical concepts. [Shown here is] Léa Koob’s Shadow in the Clouds, which magically captures the natural phenomenon of a rainbow around the shadow of an airplane in the clouds." All of the these photos are up for auction!


Interested in bidding on or purchasing a piece?

Each piece of art is accompanied by an index card that has details on who to contact. Happy bidding!

From the left, Surface Tension exhibit curator Sarah Tanguy, and artists Andy Needle, Tom Osgood, Beth Cunningham, and Rebecca Vieyra.