Juan Geuer

29 September 1981 - 10 October 1981
Opening Reception 1 September 2023 12am

Large Gallery:

A People Participating Seismometer

“A People Participating Seismometer” Artist Juan Geuer will exhibit a seismometer of his own invention in the Mercer Union Large Gallery from September 29th to October 10th, 1981.

Visitors are invited to come and experience the minute vibrations that travel continuously through the earth, and to witness the larger but less frequent earth shaking events. The arrangement is such that visitors can appreciate these events through becoming part of Geuer’s set-up.

Now sixty-four years old, “Geuer has been for many years an instrument designer and scientific display artist at the Dominion Observatory. Born in Holland, he studied painting, mechanical drafting and engineering design. His father, an artist who worked in stained glass, was associated during the 1930s with members of the De Stijl group which Mondrian and Van Doesburg had formed in 1917. Geuer’s experience from this background, his training in design and his professional career in this country have led him, however, not towards an aesthetics of purity, but away from it. His project as an artist is to reach into that gap between our experience of the world and the knowledge that science has constructed to measure its discoveries.”

(from the catalogue introduction by David Burnet to the exhibition Fascination Feast, McIntosh Gallery, London, 1979.)

The exhibition will open at 8:00 p.m, Tuesday, September 29th. Professor Wayne H. Cannon, Geophysicist from York University, will speak at that time.


A People Participating Seismometer

This work is part of a project for which an “A” Grant was received from the Canada Council. On the subject of his current interests, the artist has stated the following:

“The discovery of ‘invisible’ light 100 years ago and the consequent development of modern physics have led to a completely new concept of our world.

“In Issac Newton’s model of the universe, matter was neatly imbedded in space and moved in time. Masses were held together by gravity. Space and time were seen as absolutes. But now these absolutes have vanished. Space and time are influenced by mass, and gravity can be seen as the curvature of a time/space continuum. Old illusions have been shattered and we now only know that we live in, and are part of an energy continuum of which our senses are not as yet trained to be aware.

“In the visual arts a similar revolution took place. One simply has to observe how Cezanne around 1880 made space a property of the picture plane, and how the Cubists and many others struggled with that problem. Brancusi integrated mass and surrounding space in his highly polished sculptures.

“There is obviously a common awareness in that people from such different disciplines proceeded to refute the old world concept. Nothing is gained by remaining in our specialized disciplines of art, science, psychology or whatever it may be. They have become useless reference systems.”

“In my work I mean to zero in on that ‘Common Awareness’ ”

Juan Geuer