‘Camouflage, Ink, and Silence’ Opens March 26 at UMCA

Lurking Octopus, 2013, by Katy Schimert

The University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) is featuring a solo exhibition of work by Katy Schimert, an American artist who works across a variety of media, including drawing, sculpture and film.

“Camouflage, Ink, and Silence” will be on view March 27 to May 4. An opening reception is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26 from 5-7 p.m.

At 6 p.m., Schimert will discuss her work with poet and art critic John Yau.

Her subjects are the sea and a large mythical octopus, a hidden sculptural force, and ghost like presence of fierce emotion underneath the moiré effect of water. Schimert has been inspired by literature of the sea and science fiction by authors including Jules Verne, Herman Melville, and Joseph Conrad, and by Marianne Moore’s poem “The Octopus.”

Included in this exhibition are several paintings, on loan from various museums, by Thomas Chambers, the American 19th-Century marine and landscape painter, selected by Schimert to convey her affinity for Chambers’ expressive style and sensibility.

Schimert will take part in a panel discussion on “Contemporary Glass Sculpture/Ancient Middle Eastern Luster Technique” on Tuesday, March 25 from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center lobby. She will be joined by Boston glass artist Linda Ross, Hosseinali Saheb Ekhtiari, a ceramicist at the Rhode Island School of Design and Walter Denny, professor of art history.

On the same date, Schimert and Christopher Couch of the comparative literature program will introduce two films being shown as part of Couch’s seminar on “International Science Fiction Films.” The screening from 7-10 p.m. in Hasbrouck Lab will feature “A Trip to the Moon” (Voyage dans la Lune), 1902; a French silent film by Georges Méliès, and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” 1954; first science fiction film produced by Walt Disney Productions.

On Thursday, March 27, a panel discussion titled “In the Octopus’s Garden: A Conversation about Art, Science, and Science Fiction” will take place from 5-7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center lobby. Schimert will participate with Roger T. Hanlon, director, program in sensory physiology and behavior, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and professor, ecology and evolutionary biology, Brown University; and N. C. Christopher Couch, comparative literature, department of languages, literatures, and cultures.

Schimert’s residency is supported by the Class of 1961 Artists Residency Fund.

Support for the UMCA comes from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Fine Arts Center Friends Residency Fund.

A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue with an essay by John Yau will be published.