The window – a banal architectural object of everyday life whose chief function is to allow for the passage of light into a space – is a commonplace feature decorating the urban landscape. It serves a secondary function as a transparent device, letting people look out onto the world from the comforts of an interior, safe from the impact of the natural environment. Factors such as size, translucency, and placement of a window affect the quantity and diffusion of light infiltrating a space. These determinates ultimately create an atmosphere that changes over the course of the day.
The impact of the window in art, as both a device to frame a scene and as a symbol representing optimism, transparency and urbanity is the focus of the Curator’s Selection for November and December. The selection brings together works that use the window as a subject, as an interlocutor, and, as a device to frame the viewer’s gaze. The windows in the collection of works below encourage the viewer to look beyond the confines of subject matter; to move past the vista and interior displayed, to examine the extent of what we can “see”. In some instances, they beg the viewer to get closer or peer, like a voyeur, into private spaces and reflect on their own desires and motivations. In others, they represent a passageway into the psyche of the artist. By looking beyond the confines of what is depicted at surface level, the window allows the viewer to question the boundaries of reality, and what is truly an imitation or a loaded illusion.