Eye of the Needle

Artist uses spools of thread and other optic tricks to make us see

When we were kids, we'd stare closely at newspaper photos until we saw the uniform black-and-white dots pop out. Or approach the TV screen to admire the beensy red, green, and blue rectangles. Artist Devorah Sperber specializes in the eye-brain miracle that makes images out of dots and pixels -- and she's found mind-bending ways to break it down in her oeuvre, from tiny Chartpak labels on clear shower curtains to curved reflections of pipe-cleaner rugs to art masterpieces reproduced with row after row of spools of colored thread. Lenses, mirrors, and other viewing devices are installed with the sculptures to augment our poor little peepers.

There's cutting-edge neuroscience at work here, along with optics so venerable that David Hockney (obligatory name-drop) suggests that some 15th-century masters used camera obscura projections to draw from life. Three Sperber pieces -- channeling Grant Wood, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci -- visit Phoenix for "The Eye of the Artist: The Work of Devorah Sperber" exhibit.


Tuesdays-Fridays. Starts: Dec. 7. Continues through Jan. 31, 2007
 
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