Anne Lindberg's Immersive Installation Transforms Light and Thread into Site for Contemplation and Reflection at The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, February 4 through July 1, 2023

Yellow and lavender threads pulled taut through space
Anne Lindberg (American, b. 1962), forbidden color (detail), 2022.
January 05, 2023

Chita Middleton: [email protected], 202-994-5593
Caitlin Douglass: [email protected], 202-994-6460

WASHINGTON (January 5, 2023)—A site-specific and immersive installation by contemporary artist Anne Lindberg (American, b. 1962) that explores the question, "What color is divine light?" will transform The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum's third-floor gallery from February 4 through July 1, 2023. A series of programs within the gallery, including interfaith dialogue, guided meditation and music, will bring community members together for shared experiences designed to foster understanding and transcendence. 

Set against lavender walls, Anne Lindberg: what color is divine light? contains thousands of fine chromatic threads in complementary yellow and blue colors – creating a cloud of color that evokes light itself. Lindberg’s installation invites visitors to gather and reflect: If divinity could be experienced as a physical presence, what might it look like? Sound like? Feel like? What color is divine light? 

Across many religions, light is used as a symbol of divine presence on Earth. Inspired by a 1971 essay by art historian Patrik Reuterswärd, What Color is Divine Light?, Anne Lindberg is creating what color is divine light? as both her response to an unanswerable question and an echoing prompt to visitors. 

"Museums often serve as secular places for contemplation, especially during challenging times," said John Wetenhall, director, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. "We hope that this installation provides comfort and wonder for students and visitors who invest the time to reflect."

Scientists have determined that between complementary colors exist colors the eye and brain cannot perceive, called “impossible” colors. “It’s the unnamed space between,” states Lindberg. “Although our eyes can't perceive the colors, we feel them, sense them. The divine, likewise, is unnamable, untouchable, intangible.”

Anne Lindberg is a multimedia artist whose work centers on immersive installations and drawings that tap a non-verbal physiological landscape of body and space, provoking emotional, visceral and perceptual responses. She is the recipient of multiple awards, fellowships and grants, including a Painters & Sculptors Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and a Charlotte Street Foundation Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited widely and is held in collections across the United States. Lindberg received a B.F.A. from Miami University and a M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Anne Lindberg: what color is divine light? will run roughly concurrent with Prayer and Transcendence, an exhibition that introduces the role and iconography of prayer carpets from across the Islamic World, as well as design comparisons from the Jewish tradition. Prayer and Transcendence will be on view from February 18 through July 1, 2023, on the second floor of The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.

"In the Muslim faith, carpets create physically and spiritually 'clean' spaces during the daily ritual of prayer," said Sumru Belger Krody, senior curator, The Textile Museum Collection. "Visitors are invited to discover their own connections between Anne Lindberg’s installation and the historical prayer carpets. Programs designed to engage visitors with the artworks will include an opportunity for interfaith dialogue."  

Support for Anne Lindberg: what color is divine light? and related programming is provided by the Fund for Contemporary Textile Art, the Cynthia and Alton Boyer Fund for Education, the Estate of Jack Lenor Larson and the Contemporary Textiles Endowment.

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum is located on GW’s Foggy Bottom campus at 701 21st Street, NW, in Washington, D.C., just blocks away from the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, the White House, Kennedy Center and the National Mall. Galleries are open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum is free.

For the most up-to-date information on the museum's visiting hours, exhibitions and educational programs please check the museum website.

Virtual and in-person programs, some listed here, explore themes from the installation and exhibition. Browse upcoming programs.

Meet Artist Anne Lindberg
Saturday, February 18, 1-3 p.m.
(In person)
In over 35 years as a visual artist, Anne Lindberg has been working within broad definitions of drawing and textiles in two and three dimensions. Stop by the galleries for an opportunity to meet the artist and discuss her site-specific installation what color is divine light?

Interfaith Reflection and Dialogue on Divine Light
Thursday, February 23, 7 p.m.
(In person)
Following a tour of the exhibition Prayer and Transcendence, participants will engage in an interfaith dialogue in the galleries led by the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington. The conversation will take place amid Anne Lindberg's site-specific installation what color is divine light? 
Register online

Music Performance: Sufism Through Textiles
Thursday, March 23, 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 25, 3 p.m.
(In person)
Join us in the galleries for a unique program of Sufi music and poetry with maestro Dhruv Sangari, set amid Anne Lindberg’s installation. The event is a partnership with the Reed Society for the Sacred Arts.
Register online

Performance: "Ars Poetica" by counter)induction
Friday, March 31, 7 p.m.
(In person)
This special performance of “Ars Poetica” – a muso-poetic collaborative project between composer Douglas Boyce and poet Marlanda Dekine, performed by counter)induction and Dekine – will take place amid Anne Lindberg’s installation.
Register online

Artist Talk With Anne Lindberg
Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m.
In this virtual talk, Anne Lindberg will speak about her artistic practice. Her work explores provocative space between textiles and drawing where she creates visual and bodily experiences that transcend language and suggest the presence of alchemy in everyday life. 
Register online