Terminal 4 Museum Exhibitions

Electro-Symbio Phonics for Phoenix

By Nam June Paik

Terminal 4, level 3 Gallery
Through July 2021

Nam June Paik

This art installation was commissioned for Phoenix’s new America West Arena (now Talking Stick Resort Arena) in 1992. The work was originally installed along the doorways leading to the arena from the food court and was removed in 2002 after renovations.The robot figures, each standing 10 feet tall, represent a mother, father and child and contain 63 televisions activated by four custom video channels. The fast-paced footage includes manipulated imagery from sports, popular culture and the Sonoran Desert. Neon panels depicting symbols of technology, biology and language flank each figure. The symbols include DNA strands, Chinese characters and Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

Artist Nam June Paik was a pioneer of electronic art, who began experimenting with audio and video technology as an artform in the early 1960s. He recognized video broadcasting as the primary medium for public communication and believed artists could help it become a tool for representing art and culture.

Through his work, Paik imagined a future where technology would be integrated with nature, instead of in conflict with it. His use of robot figures reflected a desire to make technology appear closer to humanity, rather than a complex and mysterious scientific process.

Image caption: Nam June PaikElectro-Symbio Phonics for Phoenix, 1992, aluminum frame, televisions on four-custom video channels

Series: Works Together

Drawings, Prints, Paintings 

Janet Towbin
Terminal 4, level 3, in two locations (east and west of food court)
Through January 2021

Morris Mirror by Janet Towbin, graphite on paper

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A series may be a group of related television episodes, sporting events, books or artworks presented together to create a more complete story. For artists, working in this format allows for exploration, investigation and opportunities to go deeper into a theme resulting in a more unified body of work.

This exhibition presents paintings, drawings and fine art prints created by Janet Towbin. Artworks are displayed in their themed groups allowing one to simultaneously observe the nuance of individual pieces and the continuity of the series. Viewing artwork this way gives one a better sense of the art and what the artist may be trying to convey. 

Motivated by curiosity and an obsession to see “what if...”, Towbin continually experiments with concepts, themes and materials. In her series, Towbin creates one artwork, then related additional works that are similar, yet different. With each new work she may change the color, scale or medium - developing a series that works together.

Image caption: Janet TowbinMorris Mirror, 2013, graphite on paper

Line, Shape, Color

Art of Geometry

Terminal 4, level 3, eight cases on east and west ends
Through April 2021

Perceptual Persistence by Bob Dycus


Mathematics is more than numbers, it is also the science of shape. Measuring, describing and defining shapes such as squares, circles and triangles is part of a branch of mathematics known as geometry. This field of study allows us to recognize patterns in the natural world, helps us intelligently design objects and buildings and also inspires creativity.

Artists have responded to geometry with their art in a variety of ways. Creating nonrepresentational artwork relying on lines, shapes and color is known as Geometric Abstraction. Hallmarks of this type of artwork include repetition, symmetry and hard-edge painting - characterized by areas of solid color with sharp, defined or ‘hard’ edges. Using basic geometric shapes, artists create complex patterns sometimes presenting the illusion of depth or movement. Some artists use geometry by reducing shapes down to their purist, most simplified forms.

This exhibition presents 25 abstract artworks by 15 artists. With a predominant use of line, shape and color in their works, these artists are practicing the Art of Geometry.

Featured artists:
Robert Brown
Jacqueline Debutler
Karl Dowhie
Bob Dycus
Merrill Mahaffey
Kyllan Maney
Anne Moran
Robert Oliver
Jeanne Otis 
George Palovich
Patricia Sannit
Ellen L. Tibbetts
Janet E. Trisler
James Turrell
Unknown artists

Image caption: Bob Dycus, Perceptual Persistence, 1974, acrylic on canvas, Phoenix Airport Museum Collection, Courtesy of Dorothy Mather

Style in the Aisle

Mid-Century Airline Identity

Terminal 4, level 2, near ticketing
Nov. 27, 2020 through May 2021

Airwest uniform 1970s

Free champagne, fur hats and throw-away fashion were some of the ways airlines differentiated themselves from their competition in the mid 20th century. The Phoenix Airport Museum's new aviation-history themed exhibition, Style in the Aisle, shows how airlines went to great lengths to build unique brand identities. The exhibition features vintage 1960s-70s flight attendant uniforms, objects and images from the days when flying was glamorous. 

Coming soon to Terminal 4, level 2 near ticketing.