Moody Center for the Arts

Josiah McElheny: Island Universe

Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 – Saturday, Jun. 2, 2018

Island Universe-087-R

Island Universe is a monumental installation of five hanging sculptures inspired by the multiverse scenario of eternal inflation, an extension of the big bang theory. Made of chromed metal, transparent handblown glass, and light, the structures are modeled on an iconic midcentury design object: the chandeliers of the Metropolitan Opera in New York made by J. & L. Lobmeyr in Vienna in 1965. Each sculpture pictures a different potential universe where their spheres represent clusters of galaxies and their lights evoke quasars—the brightest objects in the universe—all carefully placed according to measurements marking the history of time. McElheny’s related film, Conceptual drawings for a chandelier, 1965, will be shown together with the exhibition.

Island Universe is organized in coordination with Rice University’s School of Humanities, which has invited McElheny to deliver the prestigious Campbell Lecture Series. On March 20, 21, and 22, McElheny will deliver a three-night lecture/performance that is free and open to the public.


  • Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Hours change based on exhibition.
  • Free Hours: Always free and open to the public. Closed Sundays, Mondays, University Holidays, and during installation periods. Please check our website to confirm an exhibition is on view before planning your visit.

Directions & Parking

  • Paid Parking
  • The Moody Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Rice University, and is best reached by using Campus Entrance 8 at the intersection of University Boulevard and Stockton Street. As you enter campus, the building is on the right, just past the Media Center. There is a dedicated parking lot adjacent to the building. Payment for the Moody Lot is by credit card only. Maps are available at rice.edu/maps

Special Offers / Dining

Moody Cafe
Enjoy a coffee, beverage, or light bite to eat at the Moody Cafe, operated by Salento. The Cafe is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-2pm; visitors are also invited to use the laptop bar overlooking the Central Gallery (with free wi-fi) during open hours.

Events at Moody Center for the Arts

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