Opening reception for Joseph Cohen’s ‘Looking at a flower’ at Rice University will be Nov. 16

MEDIA ADVISORY

David Ruth
713-348-6327
david@rice.edu

Jeff Falk
713-348-6775
jfalk@rice.edu

Opening reception for Joseph Cohen’s ‘Looking at a flower’ at Rice University will be Nov. 16

HOUSTON — (Nov. 13, 2017) — Following a monthslong Rice Public Art residency in the Weisman research laboratory of Rice University’s Department of Chemistry, Houston-based artist Joseph Cohen will present his findings and resulting artworks in a solo presentation, “Looking at a flower,” at the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC).

Pictured in Rice's Weisman research laboratory with one of Joseph Cohen's works are, from left, Sergei Bachilo, Stephen Sanchez, Cohen and Bruce Weisman. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

Pictured in Rice’s Weisman research laboratory with one of Joseph Cohen’s works are, from left, Sergei Bachilo, Stephen Sanchez, Cohen and Bruce Weisman. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

An opening reception with the artist will be held Thursday, Nov. 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the BRC first-floor lobby, 6500 Main St. “Looking at a flower” will run through April 8. The reception and exhibition hosted by Rice Public Art are both free and open to the public.

With guidance from Bruce Weisman, professor of chemistry and of materials science and nanoengineering, and his co-workers Stephen Sanchez and Sergei Bachilo, Cohen has focused his work on the use of carbon nanotubes to produce paintings, photos, sound works and prints that both address and illustrate the unique optical and physical properties of this nanomaterial. The Rice scientists helped Cohen prepare and purify samples of single-walled carbon nanotubes to use as fluorescent pigments in his paintings. They then built a customized optical device to image the artist’s designs that appear in the form of near-infrared light.

Weisman said, “It has been a pleasure to see our research findings on nanotube spectroscopy and fluorescence used to introduce a novel medium to the world of visual art. The exhibition showing the results of our unusual collaboration will be aesthetically pleasing to all viewers and scientifically informative to the lay public.

Parking for the exhibition is available in the BRC garage located on Dryden Road between Main Street and Travis Street. For a map of Rice’s campus with parking information, go to www.rice.edu/maps.

Rice Public Art will host a panel discussion with the artist Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Moody Center for the Arts, 6100 Main St., where Cohen will discuss his work as part of his residency. Panelists will include Paul Cherukuri, executive director of Rice’s Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering; Daniel Heller, a molecular pharmacologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and Weisman.

Cohen was first introduced to the idea of using carbon nanotubes to create art by Heller, a Rice alumnus who uses carbon nanotubes as biosensors and to deliver cancer treatment in his work at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Heller helped connect Cohen with Rice Public Art and Weisman.

For more information about Cohen’s work at Rice, go to https://moody.rice.edu/exhibitions/joseph-cohen.

Established as a universitywide arts initiative by President David Leebron in 2008, Rice Public Art presents and commissions public artworks, exhibitions and programs that are accessible to all and that underscore the caliber and spirit of scholarly inquiry at the university. The collection, which reaches across the Rice campus, is always free and available to students, visitors and the general public.

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About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.