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On Exhibit at Douglass Library: Judith K. Brodsky – The Twenty Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century

August 31, 2018
Judith Brodsky exhibit on display at Douglass Library through December 14, 2018.

The Twenty Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century, a solo exhibition by renowned artist and activist Judith K. Brodsky, will be on display at Douglass Library from September 4 through April 12, 2019 in the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries.

On Tuesday, October 30th at 5pm in the Mabel Smith Douglass Room, Douglass Library, there will be a reception in honor of Brodsky followed by an artist’s lecture from 5:30 to 7 p.m. that will include a discussion on the relationship between art and science with her daughter, molecular biologist Frances M. Brodsky, director of biosciences at University College London. Dr. Brodsky previously was a professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). With over 100 scientific papers to her credit, she has also written a series of mystery novels with a scientific theme.

Judith K. Brodsky, distinguished professor emerita in the Department of Visual Arts at Mason Gross School of the Arts, was named 2018–2019 Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist by the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities (CWAH). She works with a contemporary iconography, one that is often ironic and sometimes humorous, reflecting the intellectual, political, and social issues of the present world. She is known for her etchings and lithographs, and her work is in many permanent collections worldwide including the New Jersey State Museum, Harvard University Museums, Library of Congress, Victoria & Albert, London, and Stadtsmuseum, Berlin.

Scientific themes have been present in Brodsky’s work throughout her career, and she explores the impact of science on our society further in her current body of work, The Twenty Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century. The series was inspired by an article in the New York Times, in which the editor of the science section on Tuesdays queried various scientists about their views. Brodsky says that the questions immediately elicited visual images for her. The series consists of large drawings that have digital elements. The images address such questions as: How many body parts can be replaced? Are men (women) necessary? What is the hardest math problem? and Could science prove there’s a God?

Brodsky states, “I hope that viewers will go away thinking about the impact and importance of science in their lives and in the future of the world—about the origins of the universe, about climate, about gender and sexuality, and about the extension of life and what it means”.

The exhibit is curated by art historian, curator, women’s studies scholar, and librarian Dr. Ferris Olin, who also holds the title distinguished professor emerita at Rutgers University. To accompany the exhibition, CWAH will publish a comprehensive online catalog in 2019 with an essay by the curator.