Spring 2004 Window Works

Artpace Rebus

  • Spring 2004 Window Works
  • Exhibition Dates: May 13,2004 - Jun 15,2004
  • About the artist
  • Gary Sweeney cropGary Sweeney

    Gary Sweeney appropriates commercial signage and found objects to create paintings, sculptures, and installations that humorously confront controversial topics. In his text-based compositions, he often uses linguistic puzzles and famous quotations to question the progress of society. The artistRead more

About the exhibition

In his WindowWorks project, Sweeny presents a rebus-a message spelled out in pictures and symbols-that hints at Artpace’s mission. Cartoon imagery and vinyl letters communicate the idea that “here at Artpace we are trying to create art experiences for San Antonio, bringing you art for the thinking person.” By identifying the organization’s mission through a rebus, Sweeney refers to the use of the pictorial puzzle in coat-of-arms designs. The English coat of arms, still widely used, is a tool for distinguishing a particular person, family, or clan.

Sweeney’s message invests the viewer with a sense of competence, and suggests that the art experience is a requisite for the development of a “thinking person.” The puzzle itself activates nontraditional methods of problem-solving, emphasizing the importance of imagery in the activation of cognition.