45 x 72” (114.3 x 182.9 cm)
Courtesy of the artist
The Cooper Gallery Permanent Collection
About Universal Consciousness - Have you ever listened to "Universal Consciousness" by Alice Coltrane? For those who are unfamiliar with the series of chaotic interruptions that comprise improvisational jazz, all five minutes of the song will surprise you. Ming Smith combines her introspective photographic style with an expressive array of red, green, white, and black layered paint strokes to capture the simultaneous explosiveness and nuance of Coltrane's work in Universal Consciousness with Alice Coltrane. The choice to print in large scale allows the viewer to enter the surrealist landscape and join the light blue figure of the nude woman in the lower left corner of the work as she wades, knee deep, through the cosmic pool that Smith has summoned for her. The blue woman wanders thoughtfully through her surroundings as we do through Universal Consciousness, guiding us through the reflection on a work which perfectly marries sight and sound on the canvas.