January 9 - February 11, 2001
WHITE LIGHT is the third in a trilogy of exhibitions—including post-hypnotic (1999-2001) and The UFO Show (2000-2001)—focusing on visual manifestations of altered states of consciousness.
Whether we are talking about sun and moon worship, the New Testament’s “light of the world,” Eastern religions’ radiances and auras, or the light bulb that pops up above the heads of cartoon characters, light is the oldest and most pervasive visual correlate for attainment and inspiration. In a parallel technological quest, we have over the millennia channeled our awe of celestial and natural phenomena into the creation of light-based technologies and representational devices: from the cultivation of fire to the invention of photography, electric lighting, and cinema, to the more recent cathode ray tube and liquid crystal display.
All visual art is, of course, dependent upon the phenomenology of light—the work in this exhibition, however, calls particular attention to radiance itself as image. In contrast to much of the atmospheric light art made by precursors such as Robert Irwin, Dan Flavin, and James Turrell, the work of the artists presented here is more transgressive and jarring in terms of viewer perception. We are reminded that along with the ecstatic or meditative qualities associated with light, we also have the invasive, disturbing aspects—blinding searchlights, the interrogator’s lamp, the paparazzi’s flash.
WHITE LIGHT includes photography, painting, video, sculpture, and site-specific installations incorporating emanations, traces, or reflections of white light. Artwork represented: a two-monitor DVD installation entitled Night Space by Richard Bloes (NY), exquisitely nuanced blue-and-white paintings resembling electronic screens by Christian Garnett (Brooklyn), a large-scale photorealistic painting of lightning by renowned 80s conceptual artist Jack Goldstein (Los Angeles), visually riveting photograms consisting of golden bursts of light and radiating concentric halos by Adam Fuss (NY), a viewer-activated 100-bulb wall installation entitled Double Flag by Gregory Green (Brooklyn), a pulsating black and white video entitled Feedback by Ray Rapp (NY), a Venetian blind-like grid of motor-driven prisms by Mark Genrich (Normal), an audio CD that when plugged into a TV set creates oscilloscopic dances of lines accompanied by electronic tones by Carsten Nicolai, a.k.a noto (Berlin), a wall-hanging wax disk by Maya Lin (NY), who designed the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C., a luminous oil painting by Judy Ledgerwood (Chicago), entitled Freddy (after Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue"), two paintings by Susie Rosmarin (Brooklyn) which produce some of the most eye-boggling afterimages and spatial effects in contemporary painting, and Kathleen McCarthy's (Chicago) etherial eight-columned installation consisting of virtually nothing but fishing line. WHITE LIGHT is curated by Barry Blinderman, and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated brochure documenting the exhibition.
Illinois State University
January 9 - February 11, 2001
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
April 27 – May 19, 2001
Herron School of Art
August 29 – September 29, 2001