The Persistence of Vision: Early and Late Works by Artists with Macular Degeneration at The DAAP Galleries: Philip M. Meyers, Jr. Memorial Gallery at the University of Cincinnati, June 8 – July 29 2018

The Persistence of Vision: Early and Late Works by Artists with Macular Degeneration is an exhibition that explores the versatile, inventive, and personal ways artists respond to the challenge of working with the loss of sight.

The exhibition brings together 50 works by eight artists affected by macular degeneration, a common disease of the retina that results in central vision loss. Artists included in the exhibition are: Lennart Anderson (1928–2015), Serge Hollerbach (1923), Dahlov Ipcar (1917–2017), David Levine (1926–2009), Robert Andrew Parker (1927), Thomas Sgouros (1927–2012), Hedda Sterne (1910–2011), and William Thon (1906–2000). By juxtaposing art produced both before and after the onset of symptoms, this exhibition demonstrates how deteriorating sight can inspire new and unique images. These artists honed their other faculties, drawing from remembered gestures, memories and their imaginations. Through adapting their practices, these artists forged new insights into familiar subjects, and discovered a clarity of inner-vision.

Co-curator A’Dora Phillips, Director of the Vision and Art Project, remarks that “Artists affected by vision loss have extraordinary inner resources that allow them to continue working and producing compelling images. Serge Hollerbach speaks of drawing on his ‘third eye,’ which for him is ‘something that your spirit, or your mind, or your soul, sees.’ William Thon spoke of the presence of instinct and feeling that allows an artist to work like a sailor does, by ’throwing his bowline in the dark.’ Dahlov Ipcar spoke of the hand knowing what line to draw from long experience and body memory. This exhibit shows how powerful art can be when derived from these sources.”

Lennart Anderson, 
Idyll 3, 1979-2011. 
Acrylic on linen, 
77 x 96 inches. 
Estate of Lennart Anderson, Courtesy Leigh Morse Fine Arts. Pre-and post-macular.

Lennart Anderson, 
Three Nymphs on a Bluff
. Acrylic on canvas, 
50 1/4 x 60 1/4 inches. 
Estate of Lennart Anderson, Courtesy Leigh Morse Fine Arts. Post-macular.

Serge Hollerbach, Cityscape (Figures with Dog and Bags), c. 2015. 
Acrylic on linen
, 40 x 30 inches. 
Collection of the Artist. Post-macular.

Dahlov Ipcar, 
Harlequin Jungle, 1972. 
Oil on linen, 
40 x 50 inches
. Estate of Dahlov Ipcar, Courtesy Rachel Walls Fine Art. Pre-macular.

Dahlov Ipcar, 
Sunlight in Forest Glade, incomplete, 2015. 
Oil on canvas, 
30 x 22 inches. 
Collection of AMDF. Post-macular.

David Levine, The Front, 2004. Oil on canvas, 40 x 72 inches. Private Collection. Pre-macular.

David Levine, The Last Battle (incomplete), c. 2007-2008. Oil and charcoal on canvas, 40 x 72 inches. Private Collection. Post-macular.

Robert Andrew Parker, Dog Running, 2014. Oil on board, 18 x 24 inches. Collection of the Artist. Post-macular.

Robert Andrew Parker, Capt. Lt. David Reid’s 2nd Victory. Hand-colored etching. Collection of the Artist. Pre-macular.

Robert Andrew Parker, Antonov, 2011. Acrylic on board, 10 1/2 x 8 3/8 inches. Collection of the Artist. Post-macular.

Thomas Sgouros, 
Remembered Landscape, 2007. 
Oil on linen
, 60 x 64 inches. 
Estate of Thomas Sgouros, Courtesy Cade Tompkins Projects. Post-macular.

William Thon
, Deep Winter, 1976, 22 x 30 inches. Collection of the Caldbeck Gallery
© Portland Museum of Art, Maine. All Rights Reserved. Pre-macular.

William Thon, 
The Birches (Farnsworth Museum Insight Painting), 1996, 18 x 23 1/2 inches. 
Collection of Nancy Warren. . Post-macular.

The exhibition is curated by A’Dora Phillips and Brian Schumacher, from the Vision and Art Project, and Aaron Cowan, Director, DAAP Galleries, and is supported by The American Macular Degeneration Foundation.

Images courtesy DAAP Galleries.