Through That Which Is Seen

  • Visual arts
  • San Francisco
  • Sat, January 20 —
    Sun, April 08, 2018
Through That Which Is Seen

The exhibit spotlights the use of dioramas in contemporary art, featuring work by Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz among other artists.

Much can be said about why the practice of creating miniature worlds persists, and in particular why so many contemporary artists find this art form to be a useful tool of expression. Dioramas can turn even the most mundane of subjects into something special and worthy of attention; they direct focus and consideration on their narratives, encouraging an extended gaze; they are a means of escape from the everyday and a window into the dream world; they facilitate a suspension of belief; and at their best, like those earliest examples, blend fantasy and reality so seamlessly we are magically transported into another dimension.

Each of the artists in this exhibition wants to tell you a story through sculpture, photography, painting, or video works. Some of these stories, as those by Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz, are full of alienation and dark humor, and some crystalize a feeling of foreboding or a coming apocalypse. Others are carefully crafted social commentaries, either about current events or about the controversial history of the diorama itself. Many are pure reverie. All of them reflect the careful craftsmanship and inner dream worlds of their makers.

About Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz

For centuries artists have tried to fit reality’s scale into smaller confines: framed canvases, chiseled statues, portraits on ivory… Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz have climbed into their own distinct niche. Known collaboratively as Martin & Muñoz, they sculpture and arrange miniature, three-dimensional scenes of alienation, dread and dark humor and set them inside snow globes.


Venue map

Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303



More information

City of Palo Alto


Presented by The Palo Alto Art Center. Image: Traveler CCCXXIX 2017, by Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz



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