Dark Matter exhibit at the Allentown Museum of Art

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Stargazing can be hypnotic. The universe is amazing, from the smallest particles to the largest galaxies.

Starting next week, you can step inside the Allentown Museum of Art to experience some heavenly visions, interpreted through the eyes of a local artist.

“Alteronce Gumby: Dark Matter” will be unveiled on October 29 in the upstairs galleries of the museum. Gumby – originally from Harrisburg – explores formal, material and conceptual complexity through paintings that reflect a deep fascination with the cosmos. The show runs until April 9, 2023.

According to museum curators, the exhibition (Gumby’s first solo effort) was assembled primarily from private collections and includes large-format works. His early and more recent expressions incorporate shards of tempered glass, gemstones and other unconventional materials. Some glow under black light. Each uses color as material and metaphor, skillfully exploiting its subtle effects and rich tonal relationships.

The creations explore the ability of color to create and convey meaning. By focusing on the power of color to signify, the artist’s practice prompts questions about painting’s relationship to larger cultural forces and gestures toward more fundamental questions of identity, agency, and sense of purpose. ‘invisibility.

Some works incorporate fluorescent minerals from the former Sterling Hill mine in Ogdensburg, New Jersey. The gallery’s ultraviolet lighting will allow visitors to appreciate the luminous colors of these shimmering minerals.

Gumby earned his BFA from Hunter College in 2013 and his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale School of Art in 2016. He resides in New York City.

His works have been presented in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Berlin and Paris.

Gumby will be attending a preview and members reception from 5-8 p.m. on October 28 at the museum.

The artist will also lead a presentation/discussion on November 12 at the museum. For more information, visit allentownartmsueum.org.

The “Dark Matter” exhibition is supported by the Nicola Vassell Gallery, the Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation and the Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment. In-kind support is provided by the Sterling Hill Mining Museum.

The museum’s move to free admission for all began in August and is funded by one of the last three Century Fund donations and additional multi-year support from Lehigh Valley Health Network, Downtown Allentown and by JB and Kathleen Reilly.

The shift to free admission — one that museum staff had studied for years — goes hand in hand with the reconfiguration of the New American Galleries.

Where: 31 N 5th St, Allentown

Gallery hours: 11am-4pm Thu.-Sun. and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on third Thursdays

How much: Free

Information: allentownartmsueum.org

Morning Call Arts & Entertainment editor Craig Larimer can be reached at 610-778-7993 or [email protected]

Follow Craig on Twitter @cklarimer and Instagram @larimerc

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