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CONCEPTUAL POSSIBILITIES OF NATURAL LIGHT Light and Landscape comprises works by both emerging and established artists; includes sculpture, video, and installation. May 12–November 11, 2012 Press Preview: May 10, 10:30 am–2:00 pm For its 2012 season, Storm King Art Center presents a special exhibition devoted to contemporary art in which natural light is both a primary medium and a conceptual focus. Organized by Associate Curator Nora Lawrence, Light and Landscape will encompass about twenty-five works— including sculpture, installation, works on paper, and video—created by artists who use a variety of strategies to engage with light as a central component of their work. Several of the works are being created especially for installation at Storm King, both indoors and outdoors. Light and Landscape includes work by Matthew Buckingham, Peter Coffin, Olafur Eliasson, Spencer Finch, Katie Holten, Roni Horn, Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, William Lamson, Anthony McCall, Katie Paterson, Tobias Putrih, Alyson Shotz, and Diana Thater. It opens on May 12 and remains on view through November 11, 2012. Many of the artists represented in the exhibition focus on the perceptual and aesthetic qualities of sunlight, while others take a conceptual approach. Together, the works encourage viewers to contemplate not only their natural surroundings and the visual effects of sunlight, but also the vast impact of natural light on our daily lives and ecosystem. Ms. Lawrence notes, “The artists featured in Light and Landscape are particularly attuned to the ways in which perception and vision differ with changes in sunlight. Directly or indirectly, the works of art included in this exhibition ask viewers to use light as a means
Anthony McCall, Landscape for Fire, 1972 Video still.
2 through which to think about our world in the broadest sense, moving beyond the physical and temporal constraints of our daily lives. We encourage visitors to return to the exhibition repeatedly over the course of the Storm King season in order to experience the ways in which the works change with alterations in light—not only from morning to dusk, but also from May through November.” While the work in Light and Landscape is contemporary, the exhibition pays tribute to the history of Storm King and its environs. One of the Art Center’s early goals, for example, was to display the sublimely illuminated landscapes painted in the nineteenth century by the artists of the Hudson River School. In addition, Winslow Homer worked at Houghton Farm, near the Storm King property, where he painted the effects of local light. Light and Landscape continues this tradition, demonstrating some of the intriguing ways in which artists today consider and use natural light. Exhibition The works in Light and Landscape range in date from 1972 to 2012. They will be installed across Storm King’s 500 acres of hills, fields, and woodlands—where they will be interspersed with the Art Center’s permanent collection—as well as indoors, in the Museum Building. Works being made specifically for installation in the Storm King landscape include William Lamson’s Last Light, which will illuminate and trace a ray of sunlight as it penetrates the depths of the Storm King pond. To achieve this, the artist will submerge a triangular form, made of reflective plastic, in the shallow pond. Visible to bystanders, it will be positioned at an angle matching that of the sun at the
William Lamson, Study for Last Light, 2012
summer solstice, providing a
reference point for the angle of the sun on other days, thereby indicating seasonal changes in the sun’s position. For Untitled (Bees Making Honey), another site-specific outdoor work, Peter Coffin will build an apiary on the Storm King grounds; an onsite beekeeper will give tours every
3 Saturday, explaining the importance of bees to the ecosystem and the ways in which honeybees use the sun to communicate and navigate. At the end of the tour, participants will receive a sample of Hudson Valley honey, which will provide one answer to the question that Coffin posed to himself at the outset of this project: “What does sunlight taste like?” Tobias Putrih is fashioning a large-scale, organically shaped sculpture for the exhibition. Titled White City, Corner Entrance, it is made of monofilament wire attached to a stainless-steel armature, and serves as a filter for ambient light. The artist has referred to this work, which defines the space it occupies with minimal material and weight, as “disappearing architecture.” Another outdoor work, Spencer Finch’s 2011 Lunar, is a “lunar lander” that comprises a solar-powered element resembling a geodesic dome, perched atop the “landing” structure. During the evening hours, the dome will glow the exact color of the light of the full moon as measured in Chicago, where the work was first shown, in July 2011. An untitled 1997 sculpture by Anish Kapoor will be installed just outside Storm King’s Visitor Center. The images reflected in Kapoor’s work, a convex bowl of highly polished, mirrored stainless-steel, are inverted, causing viewers to ponder the nature of visual perception. Katie Holten’s Timeline (A Light History of the Earth), created for the exhibition, may be experienced both indoors and out. Visitors to Timeline will be able to peruse a library of books about the history of natural light that the artist will install in the Museum Building, or they may choose to sit outdoors, in specially designed chairs with books stored alongside them. Works installed inside the Museum Building will include Untitled (“…it was a mask, but the real face was identical to the false one.”), a mesmerizing sculpture by Roni Horn. Dating from 2009/10, this is an eighteen-inch high circle of solid-cast glass with a top that has been fire-polished to make it as shiny and smooth as liquid. As it is installed with no artificial light, the color of both the sculpture itself and the floor beneath it change continually, depending on the quality of sunlight entering the gallery. The sculpture will be
Roni Horn, Untitled (“…it was a mask, but the real face was identical to the false one.”)
installed with photographs from Horn’s series Untitled (Weather), 2010–2011, a multipart portrait of a single subject across time and under subtly shifting natural light.
4 Alyson Shotz’s two Transitional Objects are made of ribbons of dichroic acrylic, which takes on the colors of reflected or transmitted light. The experience of the sculptures shifts dramatically depending on the angle from which they are viewed, seeming two-dimensional from some angles, three-dimensional from others, and virtually disappearing from still others. Anthony McCall’s 1972 video centers on fire, a different type of natural light. Titled Landscape for Fire, it documents a performance in which McCall and his
Alyson Shotz, Transitional Object (figure #1), 2010
assistants, having placed flammable material in a grid pattern in a field, moved from one point in the grid to the
next, setting each on fire until the entire grid was ablaze. The work brought the grid into a natural landscape, merging a pre-set system with the vagaries of outdoor space and fire. Performances of Katie Paterson’s 100 Billion Suns, of 2011, will call attention to cosmic light. Every day, a Storm King staff member posted near the entrance to the Museum Building will fire a hand-held cannon that will emit 3,216 pieces of paper confetti in less than a second. Each piece of confetti is the color of a particular “gamma-ray burst”—or flash of gamma ray associated with an explosion in a distant galaxy—that has been scientifically photographed. Exhibition Support Light and Landscape is made possible by generous lead support from The Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust. Additional support is provided by Janet Inskeep Benton and The Donald R. Mullen Family Foundation. Public Programs Light and Landscape will be accompanied by a range of public programs for all ages. These will include talks by exhibiting artists, curator-led tours, and children’s programs and workshops focusing on natural light and shadow. For information, the public may visit www.stormkingartcenter.org, or call Storm King’s daily message, at 845-534-3115. Storm King Art Center Located in the Hudson Valley about an hour north of the George Washington Bridge, Storm King is one of the world’s best-loved sculpture parks, encompassing over 500 acres of
5 rolling hills, fields, and woodlands. These provide space for more than 100 large-scale sculptures by artists including Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero, Andy Goldsworthy, Maya Lin, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Serra, David Smith, and Zhang Huan, among many others. Storm King regularly complements the presentation of its collection with special installations and exhibitions, both outdoors and in the Museum Building. A rich roster of public programs includes guided walks, docent-led tours of the collection, lectures, and concerts, most of which are free with admission. Visitors may walk the Storm King grounds, rent adult bicycles (first come, first served; helmets provided and mandatory), or, if needed, take the tram. The Storm King Café serves a variety of fresh, locally sourced food for adults and children. Admission to Storm King is $12; $10 for senior citizens (65 and older); $8 for college students with a valid ID and students in grades K–12; free for children under five and members. Discounts are available for groups of fifteen or more with advance registration. 2012 hours are: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm (grounds remain open until 8:00 pm on Saturdays, May 26–September 1, and on Sunday, May 27, and Sunday, September 2; until 5:00 pm in November). Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except for the Monday holidays marking Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. Open only on weekends after November 11 (November 17–18 and 24–25). The 2012 Storm King season closes on November 25. Storm King is located on Old Pleasant Hill Road, in Mountainville, New York. (Drivers with GPS should enter as a destination “1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY 12553.”) Public transportation from New York City to Storm King is served by Coach USA, leaving from the Port Authority Bus Terminal. For updates on programs, amenities, transportation, and more, visitors and potential visitors are invited to “like” Storm King Art Center on Facebook, follow Storm King on Twitter, and receive email notifications about events and other news by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. * * *
Complete image captions are the on following page. Press Contacts For additional information or visual materials, please contact Libby Mark at Jeanne Collins & Associates, LLC, New York City, 646-486-7050, or email@example.com
page 1: Anthony McCall Landscape for Fire, 1972 16mm color film, optical sound, 6 minutes 55 seconds, transferred to DVD © Anthony McCall Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York page 2: William Lamson Last Light, 2012 Mylar, wire, and steel; dimensions variable Courtesy the artist page 3: Roni Horn Untitled ("...it was a mask, but the real face was identical to the false one."), 2009/2010 Solid cast glass; 36" diameter, 18" height Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth page 4: Alyson Shotz Transitional Object (figure #1), 2010 Dichroic acrylic; 31 x 45 x 63 inches Installation view at Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo Photograph by Jeremie Souteyrat Courtesy the artist and Derek Eller Gallery, New York