The 9.24.07 Blank Canvas art column by Jodie Cavalier:
- LIGHTS, SPACE, ACTION!
No, this is not a movie scene. However, light and space are fundamentals when making and or viewing an art piece.
In Ephemeral: Explorations In Light, the artists must consider how their work will be affected and translated to the viewer by the light as well as the shadows it may cast and the space it will occupy.
Light-And-Space art was first introduced in Southern California during the late 1960s through the 1970s by artists such as Robert Irwin, Dan Flavin, Maria Norman, Eric Orr and James Turrell.
This movement of art, much like Conceptual Art, focuses more on sensory perceptions and less on a specific idea or message. This is not to say that the artist dismisses the importance of ideas and messages.
Turrell, whose work is currently on display at Pomona College Museum of Art, explores light as a primary medium. Fields of colored light saturate the space and create an installation work, which the viewer is forced to become part of.
Using light as a medium allows the artist to make the viewer more actively involved in the work. The viewer is open to explore the entire space and themselves as the light is reflected onto them.
Although the Light-And-Space movement is documented as having taken place during the 60s-70s, this does not restrict other artists to re-explore the process of such pioneer artists. As such, the new Claremont Museum of Art has created an exhibition titled Ephemeral.
Curator Pilar Tompkins has assembled artists from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Mexico City to feature multi-media installations and sculptures.
The Claremont Museum of Art uses its space to display five works of art from five artists, which challenge the conception of what signifies art and addresses light as a phenomenon.
Don't be fooled. The narrow entrance into the exhibition is actually the work of Inaki Bonillas.
The piece literally transitions you into the show by lighting up this narrow hallway with neon tubing. Bonillas starts with cool toned tubing and then midway through shifts to warm toned tubing to create both a subtle and sharp contrast in the space.
More tricks are up their sleeves when viewing Elaine Buckholtz's piece Spinning Night Café.
This video installation illuminates onto the wall of the gallery, presenting bands of rich color resembling stained glass. The twist is that Buckholtz is reconstituting Van Gough's The Night Café by translating the brushstrokes and color into her piece. It really makes you question if the color and the application are the same. Therfore, how are the two any different?
They are different of course.
However, the point is to question art making and to explore and consider the point being made. Other artists in the show include: Thomas Glassford, Won Ju Lim and C.E.B. Reas.
An Artist Talk: Process / Drawing with C.E.B. Reas will be held Saturday, Oct. 13 at 3 p.m. The Artist Talk will be free for members and $5 for non-members.
The exhibition Ephemeral: Explorations in Light will be at the Claremont Museum of Art Sept. 16 - Nov. 18, 2007.
For a sneak peak or more information, visit them online at www.claremontmuseum.org or call 621-3200.