Spanning the length of the lobby and ascending the full height of Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MMOCA), 227 State St., iconic windows, “in the space of elsewhere” is not just an art exhibit, but an “immersive environment that plays with the way light and shadow interact with the museum’s bold triangular architecture.”

MMOCA commissioned artist Sonja Thomsen for the multistory art installation.

“This project emerged out of a desire to amplify MMOCA’s unique structural features, particularly the soaring glass icon, and as a way to explore public space, transverse the interior and exterior, and energize the museum’s relationship to the surrounding community and its visitors,” the press release said.

Thomsen mobilizes the properties of light and time with photographic murals, mirrored and faceted objects and sculptural elements. Her thoughtful placement of the elements directs and scatters beams of light across the lobby walls, floors, surfaces, and out to the street. The rhythm, movement, and reflections of light within the tangible space of the museum encourage an awareness of the intangible space of observation, a space where people can engage in the act of seeing and the state of being, the press release explained.

Based in Milwaukee, Thomsen earned her master’s of fine arts degree at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her artistic practice combines photography, sculpture, interactive installation and site-specific public art to create spaces that highlight the inaccessible.

“There should always be a place for wonder; it is a direct line to new knowledge,” Thomsen said in the press release.

— Robyn Norton


Robyn Norton is a features assistant for the Wisconsin State Journal.