The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, September 19, 2019

Exhibition traces the story of mankind's quest to understand, unlock and master the power of electricity
Electricity condenser jars, an electro-static generator, and a vase with flowers. n.d. [c.1850].

LONDON.- From the structure of the atom to the function of our brains, an electric charge is hidden within every object on earth. Electricity: The spark of life will trace the story of mankind’s quest to understand, unlock and master the power of electricity.

Opening at Wellcome Collection in February 2017, this major exhibition will show how this invisible yet vital force is fundamental to human life and has captivated inventors, scientists and artists alike for centuries. It will feature three new commissions by international artists John Gerrard, Camille Henrot and Bill Morrison, and bring together over 100 objects from ancient spark-inducing amber and early electro-static generators to radiographs, photographs, paintings, models and films.

Electricity: The spark of life will cover three core themes – generation, supply and consumption. ‘Generation: The Great Invisible’ will show how the history of our enduring fascination with electricity can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and our early encounters with natural wonders, such as a burst of lightning or the mesmerising sight of the Aurora Borealis. It will consider how the late 18th century pioneers and philosophers looked to nature to reveal the physical presence of static electricity, and began to unravel its secrets. This included the study of electric fish, the complex bioelectrical experiments undertaken by Galvani (1737 – 1798), and the development of some of the very first devices designed to generate an electric charge.

Mary Shelley was directly inspired by Galvani’s reanimation experiments and was fascinated by the life-giving and death-dealing potential of electricity. In her renowned gothic novel Frankenstein, of which an early edition will be shown, she describes the awakening of the monster as infused with ‘a spark of being.’ Contemporary artist John Gerrard (b. 1974, Ireland), known for his innovative works in digital media, has also taken inspiration from Galvani in a new commission developed specially for this exhibition.

‘Supply: Wiring the World’ will consider how scientists, inventors and innovators of the 19th century were responsible for harnessing, converting and storing electricity, resulting in a power source that would transform the way we live. Objects will include a voltaic pile (1800-1824) – one of the first batteries – made possible by Allessandro Volta, and ‘Barlow’s wheel,’ an instrument made in 1822 in order to demonstrate how electricity could be converted into movement.

In the late 1880s, the challenge of creating an electrical network resulted in the infamous ‘war of the currents’ involving Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison in the USA. This fierce battle between competing energy companies over the use of direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) raised questions about safety and the transportation of power over large distances. In 1889 London’s first electricity network was established by Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti (1864-1930) who conducted a daring safety test by hammering into a live 10,000 volt cable at the world’s first high-voltage power station in Deptford. The original chisel and section of cable will be displayed alongside maps, satirical cartoons and London Underground posters.

Original photographs from the 1920s will show numerous variations in the design of pylons as they became a feature of landscapes carrying electricity around the world and have subsequently developed an aesthetic appeal. Man Ray’s surrealist Electricité photographs commissioned by the electrical board in Paris in 1931 demonstrate how companies have sought to popularise its use. Contemporary filmmaker Bill Morrison’s new work explores historical footage from the Electricity Council to consider the movement and networks of electricity and its profound interconnectedness with our daily lives.

‘Consumption: the silent servant’ will consider how electricity has come to define the modern world. It will feature a new work by the celebrated artist Camille Henrot, which will consider our energydependent lifestyles, as well as the relationship between humans, technology and the environment. This work will be shown alongside early examples of neon lighting and lightbulbs, photographs showing the ‘all-electric house,’ as well as tea towels produced by the Electrical Association of Women in the 1930s offering practical safety advice for the use of electricity in a domestic setting.

Developments in the application of electricity in healthcare will also be explored. This will include early advancements in electrotherapy, one of the first radiographs by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen and advertisements promoting the supposed health-giving effects of electricity through new devices such as ‘electro-belts.’

At a time when we are more reliant on electricity than ever before, the exhibition will ask us to contemplate our ongoing relationship with electricity, the environmental impact of our choices and imagine what the future might look like.

Today's News

February 23, 2017

Louise Bourgeois and Yayoi Kusama united for exhibition at Sotheby’s S/2 Gallery

First New York solo exhibition of Marianna Rothen's work opens at Steven Kasher Gallery

Palm Beach Modern breaks $1.8M with auction of modern & contemporary art

Asia Week New York spotlights contemporary art

Galloway Viking hoard campaign is launched

British Museum opens first exhibition focusing on the Pacific Northwest Coast

Petzel Gallery opens exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Sarah Morris

Christie's New York announces the March 2017 season of Contemporary sales

Swann Auction Galleries to offer landmark deluxe portfolio of Chagall lithographs

Phillips to offer over 100 etchings and aquatints from the collection of Piero Crommelynck

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents immersive installation by Adel Abdessemed

Exhibition traces the story of mankind's quest to understand, unlock and master the power of electricity

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. opens Epistemes, a solo show of new work by Vik Muniz

$12M gift to support Welcome Center for Denver Art Museum's revitalization of Gio Ponti building

Exhibition at Allan Stone Projects features works by two unique Pop artists

Wyeth Wonderland: Joséphine Douet envisions Andrew Wyeth's world

Solo exhibition of Kiki Smith's prints from 1990 through now opens at Mary Ryan Gallery

Newark Museum celebrates the golden legacy of Chief Curator Ulysses Grant Dietz

Cult Japanese film director Seijun Suzuki dead at 93

Major public art installation Trading Words and pop-up exhibition unveiled at London Dock

Kunsthalle Basel opens Maria Loboda's first institutional solo exhibition in Switzerland

Bilbao Fine Arts Museum presents a work by the contemporary artist Javier Pérez

Buster Brown and the Yellow Kid: Rarities of 100 years ago in Heritage Comic Art Auction

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful