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Art in the 3D Postdigital World

by Becky Lindardt


learning & interpretation , events & programs , lectures , 3D printing , technology , education , Decorative Arts

One of the hottest topics in the art world today, 3D printing, will be the focus of a presentation at the Cincinnati Art Museum on Sunday, March 15.

“Although much attention is being given to 3D printing breakthroughs in the fields of medicine and industrial usages, exciting developments are happening in the world of art as individual artists and teams use 3D and digital technologies to create museum-worthy pieces,” said Ronald T. Labaco, Marcia Docter Curator, Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.

Works which were once impossible or extremely difficult to create are now feasible through recent innovations in 3D printing and computer-aided design. What gives value to these 3D creations will be part of his presentation as guest speaker for the 19thAnnual Kreines Lecture, Digital Fabrication: Realizing the Impossible, from Piranesi to Kapoor. This lecture will expand on Labaco’s expertise and his experiences as curator of the 2012 exhibition Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, at the Museum of Arts and Design and new developments in the use of digital fabrication in 21st-century art and design.

“It is amazing to think that some works of art that we have always viewed in two dimensions may be able to be developed into real objects,” said Labaco. “We now have the technology to take the beautiful sketches of furniture by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi and create full-size models in the round that allow us to visualize what they might have looked like – if built at the time.”

Examining the additive (3D printing) and the subtractive (computer-controlled milling) use of digital programs to create art was the focus of the Museum of Arts and Design’s groundbreaking exhibition on postdigital art, design, and architecture

“When I proposed the concept for the exhibition in 2010, the technology was very new and relatively unknown outside of the industry. We were one of the first major museums to focus on the subject but there were significant milestones even by the time the exhibition opened in 2012,” said Labaco. “Since then digital fabrication has rapidly influenced the art world and new standards are developing.”

The 19th Annual Kreines Lecture on Decorative Arts and Design is presented by Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Kreines and the Decorative Arts Society of Cincinnati takes place in the Fath Auditorium at the Cincinnati Art Museum Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. The lecture is free and reservations are not required, but recommended: (513) 721.ARTS. Parking at the Art Museum is $4 (FREE for Art Museum Members). For more information about other lectures this season see the  Spring Lecture Menu.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is supported by the generosity of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Cincinnati Art Museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges operating support from the City of Cincinnati, as well as our members. General admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is always free. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is closed Monday. Visit the Art Museum website to plan your trip.