Crochet Coral Reef: By Margaret and Christine Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring

September 12, 2019 to December 8, 2019
LUAG Main Gallery, Zoellner Arts Center

Born on the coffee table of Australian twin sisters Christine and Margaret Wertheim, the Crochet Coral Reef has grown to become one of the largest community art projects in the world.  A unique nexus of art, science, geometry and environmental activism, the Reef is an ever-evolving archipelago of woolen installations emulating the naturally occurring hyperbolic structures of coral reefs through the process of crochet. The project has engaged a worldwide community of makers, spawning satellite reefs in Chicago, New York, London, Melbourne, Abu Dhabi, Capetown, and other locations.  Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to experiment with hands-on hyperbolic construction, and to contribute to the Lehigh University Satellite Reef.

About the Crochet Coral Reef

The Crochet Coral Reef project resides at the intersection of mathematics, marine biology, handicraft, and community art practice. Through a process of collective creativity, the project responds to the environmental crisis of global warming and the escalating problem of oceanic plastic trash by highlighting not only the damage humans do to the earth’s ecology, but also our power for positive action. The Crochet Coral Reef collection has been exhibited in art and science museums worldwide, including the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), the Hayward Gallery (London), the Science Gallery (Dublin), and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC). The project's Satellite Reef program has engaged thousands of people from all walks of life in more than a dozen countries. The Crochet Coral Reef is one of the largest participatory science + art projects in the world. 

About The Institute For Figuring

The Institute For Figuring is a non-profit, Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics. Co-founded by science writer Margaret Wertheim and her sister Christine Wertheim, a member of the Critical Studies faculty at California Institute of the Arts, the IFF specializes in creating participatory projects in which communities build large-scale artworks inspired by discoveries and techniques stemming from scientific and mathematical research.


A special thank you to our partners: Conversational Threads, Eco Tech Marine, Lehigh University Environmental Initiative, Lehigh University Center for Community Engagement, Lehigh University Office of Sustainability and Lehigh University Visiting Lecturers Committee. Additional support provided by Frances Dubrowski and David Buente '68.

The Motion of Light in Water

August 26, 2019 to December 6, 2019
Dubois Gallery, Maginnes Hall

Water is a material, a metaphor, a social space.  A moving target for the camera’s eye, water appears and disappears as it changes shape and shifts from one state to another.  Tracking the movement of light across the surface of this most elusive subject, generations of photographers have faced challenges both technical and poetic.  Effects ranging from crisp focus to ghostly blur and moods that span the playful to the turbulent are on view in this exhibition of works from the LUAG permanent collection.  Photographs by Weegee, Stoumen, Kertész, Porter, Bourke-White, Dassonville, and others are included.


British Abstraction: Three Views

August 26, 2019 to May 22, 2020
Fairchild-Martindale Study Gallery, E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library

Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, William Scott

Abstraction has roots in the physical world.  Meaning literally drawn from, the term abstraction suggests a source from which line, color, and shape emerge.  While many American artists of the postwar period moved increasingly toward a rhetoric of pure disembodied form, their British counterparts embraced a relationship to the landscape.  In particular, the fishing town of St. Ives, Cornwall became a magnet for artists including Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, and William Scott seeking inspiration from its coastal terrain, weather, and light.  Although thoroughly abstract, these works flicker with references to the horizon, deep space, crags, and boulders.  Their vibrant colors and geometric forms resonate with the experience of being grounded in time and space.  

Brit Pop Snapshot

August 26, 2019 to December 7, 2019
The Gallery at Rauch Business Center

Prints by Eduardo Paolozzi, Patrick Hughes, Patrick Caulfield

Hollywood movies, comic books, and pop music provided a flood of imagery to artists on both sides of the Atlantic hungry for pictures in a post-Abstract Expressionist world.  Pop Art began in Britain as artists of the 1950s turned a cool eye toward the excesses and mania of American consumer culture and celebrity. British Artists viewed the American Dream from an ocean away, and in light of their own postwar realities.  While responses to American pop culture remained central, British Pop artists like Eduardo Paolozzi, Patrick Hughes, and Patrick Caulfield infused their work with a sense of parody and ironic distance.

The Teaching Museum: Selections from the Permanent Collection

August 29, 2018 to December 8, 2019
Lower Gallery, Zoellner Arts Center

Lehigh University Art Galleries is the Teaching Museum at Lehigh University. With a permanent collection of over 16,000 works of art spanning many cultures and eras, the mission of the museum is to inspire, develop, and promote visual literacy and cultural understanding, providing educational opportunities across all areas of study. Visit the galleries at the Zoellner Arts Center to view selections for the university’s world-class collection, including works by Pierre Bonnard, Wifredo Lam, Charles Burchfield, Robert Mapplethorpe, Pablo Picasso, Romare Bearden, Berenice Abbott, Salvador Dalí, Robert Rauschenberg, Henri Matisse, and others.

Scale Shift: Large and Small Works

January 21, 2019 to December 6, 2019
Siegel Gallery, Iacocca Hall, Mountaintop Campus

Scale is relative.  Large objects loom over us and overwhelm.  We shrink when confronted with a vast expanse, real or imaginary.  Conversely, as our relative size grows larger, we surround, engulf, and contain smaller forms like a suitcase, a baby, or a grain of rice.  Surprisingly, small spaces can also open portals to miniature worlds, while large forms can feel finite and contained.    Artists take these effects seriously.  Decisions about scale are often the first an artist makes when selecting the size of a canvas or a tool.  This exhibition features pairs of works with similar motifs that vary widely in scale.  Visitors are invited to experience their own changing perception of relative size and imaginary space as they view these large and small works from the LUAG permanent collection.