Fear of pandemic is focus of “Superbug” art exhibition opening Jan. 23

The Wisconsin Academy’s James Watrous Gallery will open a new exhibition, SuperBug: An Installation. The opening reception is Friday evening, Jan. 23, 5:30-7:30 pm, with artists’ talks beginning at 6:30 pm. SuperBug is a collaborative multimedia print project created by well-known Madison artists Jennifer Angus and John Hitchcock. In this exhibition, Angus and Hitchcock use microscopic images of the lacy patterns of viruses and diseased cells as a way to examine our fears of a “superbug” pandemic, such as the Asian influenza virus. The artists remind us that life remains fragile in the 21st century, despite our ever-increasing scientific knowledge. They also remind us that deadly things can be beautiful and that artists can use the power of beauty to present difficult ideas in a way that is visually compelling.

Pattern becomes multi-layered in SuperBug. On one level, Angus and Hitchcock use the patterns created by the viruses as an overall design element, much as you would use pattern in wallpaper. On another level, these patterns echo the patterns of disease spread in a global epidemic.

Artist Jennifer Angus was interviewed by Madison Magazine’s Katie Vaughn for Vaughn’s blog, “Liberal Arts.” Click here to read the interview.