Along with Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved musical, the opening exhibit "Bright Golden Haze" is inspired by the state's landscape, including Oklahoma Contemporary's new home designed by Rand Elliott Architects.
"To sort of set the tone for the show is really the building itself. Rand Elliott is envisioning it as this response to this amazing Oklahoma sky, which is certainly something that I experienced when I came to Oklahoma," said Jennifer Scanlan, the center's curatorial and exhibitions director. "It's so different from New York. It's even so different from Minnesota, where I'm from originally. You just have this beautiful, dramatic expanse of sky and clear, strong light. So, the building reflects this literally and metaphorically, so I chose artworks that really talked about how the quality of light can create a sense of place."
Among the highlights planned for "Bright Golden Haze" are landscapes by John Gerrard that use video game technology to re-create spaces, an installation by Doty Glasco that incorporates Southwest travel photography from the 1950s and a recent work by influential Light and Space Movement artist Robert Irwin.
"I did choose on purpose a wide variety of artists - some of them are just emerging and some of them are very well-established and really have been key figures for many years on the contemporary arts scene - and a wide variety of media. All of them use light as part of the way that they create artworks, so the works are not only about light but they use light as well," Scanlan said.
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OK Contemporary announces opening date, reveals first exhibition details