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Synesthesia—the involuntary crossing of different senses—is usually depicted as an outlier neurological phenomenon. However, many people describe what seem to be synesthetic experiences when engaging with art. In this state of receptivity, it seems natural to conceptualize that we can visualize sound, hear color, or taste the texture of a painting.
The works in SYNAESTHESIA at 5 Car Garage may not trigger a synesthetic reaction, but they illustrate the ways that contemporary painting involves the different senses. Dense paint and pungent color in paintings by John Seal, Paul Waddell, and Jennifer Sullivan look like candy or ice cream that begs to be felt with the mouth, or tongue. Color and contour become dimensional in works by Max Maslansky, Max Jansons, and Kyla Hansen, as representation breaks down into palpable, discrete shapes.
Our senses are natural allies to each other, so it makes sense to think that the physical world is designed to be experienced synesthetically. The avalanche of daily information we experience encourages us to close perception down, while paying closer attention to how we take in the world encourages the opposite. By reminding us that painting is a form of sensory contemplation, SYNAESTHESIA proves art’s capacity to return us to our senses.
SYNAESTHESIA runs from April 9-June 4, 2016 at 5 Car Garage (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for address and/or more information).