'The Miraculous in the Everyday' opens at University Gallery

The exhibition, "The Miraculous in the Everyday," which explores the work of three renowned conceptual and installation artists -- Tom Friedman, Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Gabriel Orozco -- will be on view at the University Gallery from Dec. 1 to March 12.

The artists use modest, humble materials celebrate the mundane in contemporary life. Adjectives often attached to their art -- fleeting, fragile, and ephemeral -- describe an experience that approaches everyday life itself.

"The Miraculous in the Everyday" follows a four- day ceremony at the University Gallery (Nov. 14-17) where Tibetan Buddhist monks created a sand mandala painting from inception to completion and final dispersal into the Connecticut River, symbolizing the "world in harmony" (Sanskrit word for mandala) and the impermanence of all earthly things. Although links between Buddhist perspectives and the work of these three artists are meant only to be inferred, their art encourages an attitude of heightened awareness in the viewer, like the sudden illuminating change in perception that lies at the center of Zen practice. The work of Friedman, Gonzalez-Torres and Gabriel Orozco enriches our encounter with the real, regenerates our perception, opens our eyes to what is already there, and evokes the feeling of the world made new.

A carpet of shimmering silver wrapped candies, shredded pieces of felted lint draped on lines that stretch across the gallery, and a white column created from unrolled toilet paper are some of the highlights of the surprisingly elegant and lyrical works included in this exhibition.

Friedman will install an entirely new work created specifically for this exhibition. He has had solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York (1995); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2000); The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2000); the Prada Foundation in Milan (2002); and appeared in numerous group exhibitions around the world.

The work of Gonzalez-Torres, was the focus of several major museum solo exhibitions in his lifetime and after his death in 1996. Retrospectives of his work have been organized by the Guggenheim Museum in New York (1995), the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Germany (1997) and the Serpentine Gallery in London (2000).

The work of Orozco has been featured in international exhibitions including the Sculpture Project in Munster (1997); XXIV S?o Paulo Biennial; Documenta X (1997); Venice Biennale (1993, 2003); as well as numerous solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Serpentine Gallery, London; and the Kunsthalle, Zurich.

The University Gallery will be closed Dec. 15 through Feb. 6. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2-5 p.m.

Visit the gallery''s website for a complete listing of events related to the exhibition.