Light Matter

My guest blogger this week is Lynn Honeysett, Director of the Pelham Arts Center

Venus is now passing in front of the sun – that once-in-a-century dot of a shadow traversing across our giant ball of life-giving light.  As if responding to a universal prompting, six contemporary artists currently exhibiting at Pelham Art Center’s Light Matter employ the dazzling and elusive qualities of light, all of them capturing smaller patterns that could easily expand to infinity, calling to mind the Big Bang, Milky Way and the larger cosmos.  I just find it so oddly wonderful, this artistic synchronicity.

Using photography and video, Beatrice Pediconi explores the subtle variations in light as it moves across the surface of water, reflecting off trailing asteroids of paint.  Joe Winter probes the nature of cool and hot light, but also observes “The Stars Below” as they spill from chalk dissolved by water onto paper.  Chris Smith harnesses randomness and intent in moving liquid to inspire drawings in haunting otherworldly colors, coaxing light into lunar landscapes.  Sharon Louden’s extraordinary site-specific installation distributes light from the surfaces of tiny mirrors and shards of metal, transforming as it moves across time and space.  Byran Graf translates a microcosm of electric light emitted from a television screen, or the color of light piercing a window screen to reveal how light penetrates solid matter.

Just as synchronicity can prod a handful of scientists from different points around the globe to discover something simultaneously, I wonder if there isn’t a larger theme tugging at these artists as galactic wonders unfold outside our windows.

Through drawing, sculpture, assemblage, video, photography, and digital imaging, these six artists transform our everyday experience of light into something extraordinary, and give us a small peek at something much bigger.  Light Matter is on view from May 4 through June 30.

Photo: Beatrice Pediconi, Untitled III, 2009, chromogenic print

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