The paintings in Warped Side are an outcome of the deep friendship and collaboration between Lia Halloran and Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Kip Thorne to mobilize science, art, and poetry, and explore aspects of the universe that many people are curious about: black holes, wormholes, and other strange phenomena.
Halloran created over 500 paintings over the course of 13 years, out of which 100 were chosen to accompany Thorne’s poetic verse. The book, The Warped Side of Our Universe: An Odyssey through Black Holes, Wormholes, Time Travel and Gravitational Waves, is co-authored by Halloran and Thorne, and published by Norton/Liveright. It will be released on October 31st. This exhibition features a selection of paintings published in the book alongside new larger-scaled works representing an expanded view of each chapter in the book.
Halloran engenders an intimate and empathetic approach to storytelling through the figurative portrayal of her wife, Felicia, who is depicted throughout the epic narrative in the heroic role of a space traveler, braving through the probabilities of wormholes and perils of black holes. Throughout the sequence of paintings, Felicia’s humanity bridges distant concepts closer to home, a parallel to Thorne’s poetic verse. In this respect, the project presents an intimate experience of our universe’s knowns and unknowns.
Over the years, Halloran has employed painting techniques in conversation with visual mediums associated with research and scientific studies — from photography to cyanotypes to drafting paper. In these works, Halloran uses ink on drafting film to achieve a range of indigos, cyans, and blues that animate the sublime characteristics of the cosmos and celestial abstractions. With gravity in play, the ink realizes a range of opacities from the densities of black holes to pulsating galaxies and the many dimensions of the human form.
To celebrate the opening of the exhibition and launch of the book, a limited edition signed print by Lia Halloran will be produced, titled Everything in Our Universe (archival pigment print on Sommerset paper, 17 x 25 inches). It will be on display in the gallery’s viewing room. In addition, the gallery will host a book signing and talk with Halloran and Kip Thorne on Saturday, December 16th from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.