Josiah McElheny: Island Universe
February 23, 2019–August 18, 2019
Bringing artist Josiah McElheny’s Island Universe to the Cantor is a rare opportunity to examine both cutting-edge art and physics. The monumental installation of five hanging chandeliers is a visual response to recent theories of the multiverse, an elaboration of the Big Bang theory. The installation is both visually stunning and carefully constructed according to measurements that map the history of time. McElheny worked closely with distinguished Ohio State University professor of astronomy David Weinberg to develop those measurements. The structures, which incorporate precise scientific calculations, are modeled on the chandeliers of the Metropolitan Opera in New York—iconic midcentury design objects that were made in Vienna in 1965. That year, the first physical evidence for the Big Bang theory became public, launching popular interest in space science. McElheny’s installation—made of chromed metal, transparent handblown glass, and lights— represents potential universes whose dense origins expand outwards.
Map and Directions
The Cantor Arts Center is located at the intersection of Museum Way and Lomita Drive in the heart of the arts district on the Stanford campus. The Cantor faces the Bing Concert Hall across Palm Drive, northwest of The Oval and the Main Quad.
Parking is limited. Visitor parking is available on Lomita Drive and in a nearby parking structure at Roth Way and Campus Drive. On weekdays until 4PM visitors may use marked, metered spots. On weekdays after 4PM and all day on weekends, visitor parking is free and visitors may also use A and C permit spaces.