Can "The Invisible" Be Pictured?
One snowy afternoon in December, several women gathered in artist Mary Simon-Casati’s southwest Minneapolis home for a little lunch and a lightweight chat about astrophysics and art. The firelit living room crackled with energy; conversation sparked and flared, bouncing from philosopher to art historian to physicist and back, traversing the cosmic terrain of dark matter, energy, quarks and their quasi-poetic names.
“The thing about particles,” the artist said offhandedly, “is that none of us can see them, ever. We don’t know what they look like. Science can figure out what sort of spin they have and what it interacts with. But otherwise, we’re dealing with the unknown.”
Her latest paintings and sculpture explore, in visual terms, phenomena that are largely intangible, ineffable and unseen. The result of three years of research and an intensive yearlong exchange of ideas with University of Minnesota astrophysicist Liliya Williams, her solo show “Smashing the Invisible” is on view at the university’s Regis Center for Art through Feb. 10.