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Rod Penner at Flint Institute of Arts, Flint MI

Size Matters: Big and Small Works from the FIA Collection features objects of both gigantic and diminutive size. Throughout history, artists have often utilized the element of size (or scale) when determining the context of their work. The objects in this exhibition date from the late 18th century to the 21st century.

As we often consider the size of an object relative to our own bodies, objects that are much larger than us have a different impact than those that are miniscule. While a large work may envelop our field of vision, a small work requires us to look more closely. Scale also affects the approach of art-making—a large painting requires ample studio space whereas a small painting may be portable. Scale can also reflect the varying purposes in which works of art were meant to serve, a large artwork may make a bold statement whereas its smaller counterpart may present a subtler message.

From oversized paintings by Sophie Matisse and Ray Parker to small works by Sir Henry Raeburn and David Eichenberg, the artwork in Size Matters: Big and Small Works from the FIA Collection will consider the importance of size in the experience of art.