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Tristin Lowe: Under the Influence
October 22, 2011 - January 29, 2012
Lunacy, 2010
Tristin Lowe, American (born 1966)
Felt, PVC vinyl inflatable armature
Dimensions variable. Commissioned by the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.
Tristin Lowe: Under the Influence
October 22, 2011 - January 29, 2012
Provocative, mysterious, and altogether otherworldly, Under the Influence features two interconnected works by Philadelphia artist Tristin Lowe--Lunacy, a giant rendering of the moon created in felt, and Visither I, a neon light sculpture. Both objects were commissioned by the Rhode Island School of Design’s Museum of Art in 2010, where they were first shown. This exhibition marks their Philadelphia debut.

Measuring twelve-and-a-half-feet in diameter, Lunacy is one of Lowe’s most ambitious works to date. Consisting of an inflatable sphere covered in 490 square feet of white felt that has been pieced together by hand, it awes the viewer not only with its size, but with its intricate patterns and details that evoke the pocks and craters of the moon’s surface. Lowe created these effects through a painstaking process involving tweezers, small brushes, sizing, and a comb-over technique.

Lunacy 1
The man and the moon: discover how Tristin Lowe brings Lunacy to life.
View Slideshow >>

Enhancing the visual impact of Lunacy is Visither I, which casts ethereal neon shades of blue and purple onto its surface. The gallery is thus transformed into a contemplative space that allows visitors to experience the installation from multiple perspectives. The unearthly glow beckons through an oversize door (Argonaut) that stands slightly ajar, inviting the viewer into another world. Under the Influence extends into the Skylit Atrium, where two new neon light sculptures (Grace and Nature) hang from the ceiling.

The title may be interpreted in many ways as well. Under the Influence is, on one hand, a metaphor for the creative struggle between control and lack of control. It also refers to the altering effects the moon is said to have on the human psyche.


Dilys E. Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles


Joan Spain Gallery, first floor, Perelman Building