REDMILK EXPLORES THE ARTISTS OF LIGHTS AND INSTALLATIONS: ROBERT IRWIN, CERITH WYN EVAN E JUNG LEE.
During modern times, technology represents the link for manipulating in a physical way the light. The alteration of the bright beams is recent history: talking specifically about art, it started from the 30s of the last century. At that time Bauhaus artists experimented by inserting in their movable sculptures light bulbs, that created a futuristic effect due to the breaking of the light sources.
The American Robert Irwin (1928): he is the author of estranging environments where the light plays a key-role, presenting the illusion of the surface thanks to the variation of luminosity. He puts the audience in touch with the light, making us to perceive it in a moving way. Land art is Irwin’s signature: one of his favourite materials related to the use of the light are fluorescent tubes. Thanks to its absence of characteristics typical of the matter and to pop culture reference, they quickly became a cult amongst artists starting from the 60s. Irwin is a minimal artist obsessed by the control of the intensity of the light.
Artworks that focus on space and perception are still a major thing also in contemporary art: Cerith Wyn Evan’s artistic practice focuses on how ideas can be expressed through form. His conceptual work incorporates a diverse range of media including installation, sculpture and much more. Cerith Wyn Evans has been commissioned by Tate to create a new light installation for Tate Britain in 2017. The artist created a huge neon structure, that perfectly achieved the goal of coming out with a poetic idea involving viewers’ perceptions.
Communication is the core of contemporary Korean artist Jung Lee. Her works concentrate on the limitations of language: she puts neon words in abandoned areas and takes picture. The result might seem about alienation apparently, but, going deeper, her art is all about new meanings: we use language to communicate things, but sometimes words cannot exemplify everything. so that is why we need to perceive it with a new aesthetics. Light in space, Light is seen through form, and light to communicate: the never-ending meanings of brightness.
Text by Lorenzo Sabatini