Massive digital gallery arrives in Newfields – Indianapolis Monthly

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While THE LUME will open its doors with paintings by Van Gogh, Newfields plans to apply the technology to other types of art in the years to come.Image courtesy of Newfields

Newfields aims to make a strong impression. It took over a year to transform the entire fourth floor (nearly 30,000 square feet) into THE LUME, the largest exhibition space in the museum’s 137-year history and the world’s first multisensory digital art gallery. permanent in the United States. smaller, shorter-term shows, Newfields is the first to commit to something of this size and duration.

Over 258 million pixels of images flood the new gallery, floor to ceiling, from 150 high definition projectors, creating a surreal 3D dream landscape where paintings come to life with cinematic effects.

THE LUME is the work of Australian tech company Grande Experiences, which has been creating multimedia exhibits on art, nature and science around the world for 15 years. A grant from the Lilly Endowment covered the estimated $ 7 million bill, and nearly a third of that was spent on tech spending.

The inaugural exhibition will highlight the work of Vincent van Gogh. Famous for their vivid colors and thick spots of paint, Post-Impressionist paintings are ideal for an up-close exploration into the exaggerated realm of THE LUME.

The immersive experience is not just visual, but designed to stimulate all five senses. Classical music harmonizes with the enlarged images and coordinating aromas fill the air – the fresh scent of sunflowers permeates a room dedicated to Van Gogh’s painting of Sunflowers, for example. A cafe at the center of the exhibition combines art with food and drink to satisfy the sense of taste.

While the new exhibit is sure to be a major draw, some patrons have complained on social media about the relocation of contemporary gallery items that once occupied the floor. According to Jonathan Berger, deputy director of marketing and external affairs at Newfields, some of these pieces have been incorporated into other galleries in the museum. The new space is “intended to bring the museum to life, not to take away what it already gives,” he says.

Although THE LUME was an exciting project for former Newfields president Charles Venable, who resigned under pressure after a racial misstep over the winter, many members of the museum worked on its development over the course of the winter. over the past five years, including Berger and Interim President Jerry Wise. Berger believes THE LUME offers a format that will appeal to a diverse audience, especially those who don’t normally go to art museums.

After being engulfed by the colors and textures presented on the big screens, you can compare the high-tech versions with one of the Van Gogh originals. The iconic Landscape at Saint Remy, Enclosed Field with Peasant, a painting owned by Newfields, bids farewell to THE LUME’s latest gallery, bridging the gap between post-impressionism and digital art.

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