Discovery D.C.: Art and Your Perceptions

'The Age of Insight' and the art of Jacob Lawrence

The Age of InsightOn Wednesday, March 13 at 4 p.m., join the group in Teen Space to discuss seeing and perceiving and the art of Jacob Lawrence. In his book The Age of Insight, neuroscientist Eric Kandel focuses on how we see and perceive, and how we respond to works of art. Viewers are attracted to an artist's use of line, color, exaggeration of features and limbs, and absence of boundaries between subject and background.

Art historian Alois Riegl argued that "art is incomplete without the perceptual and emotional involvement of the viewer" (189). Kandel tranlates this psychological insight into one of neuroscience. The viewer, in concert with the artist, transforms a two-dimensional painting into a three-dimensional view of the visual world. A viewer interprets what he sees in terms of his own experiences and understandings, thereby bestowing a personal meaning to a picture.

We will discuss our unique interpretations of the "Migrations Series" by Jacob Lawrence. In addition, we will view a number of artists' self-portraits, including one by Jacob Lawrence, to further explore how art is both visually perceived and emotionally felt.

Refreshments will be served.