Published: December 19, 2006
To celebrate Hanukkah, The Jewish Museum presents “Light x Eight: The Hanukkah Project” through February 4. This exhibition explores the transformative properties of light in the works of eight contemporary artists. Each artist employs light or refers to the properties of light as a means to alter common, everyday materials into luminous visual objects.
“Light x Eight: The Hanukkah Project” is on the first floor of the museum in the Grant Gallery, and on the third floor in the lobby and in the Jerome Greene Contemporary Gallery.
Nature, represented in Teresita Fernández’s “Vermillion Fragment,” 2006, by a fiery landscape, is a recurring theme in the artist’s work. “Vermillion Fragment” captures the gallery’s ambient light, reflecting and refracting it to cinematic, kaleidoscopic effect.
In “Sunset (South Texas, 6/21/03),” 2006, Spencer Finch draws his inspiration from the paintings of J.M.W. Turner, the great Nineteenth Century landscape artist. Finch bases his work on actual experiences and recreates the light conditions of specific sites at particular moments in time.
In Kirsten Hassenfeld’s “Offering,” 2006, strands of jewels, crystals and medallions materialize into various shapes and configurations. Her work is constructed almost entirely from paper with light emanating from within.
Sharon Louden’s “Blue Willow,” 2006, handcrafted out of paper, filament and hardware, blurs the boundaries between painting and sculpture. These pieces are scaled to the human body and react dramatically when exposed to light.
In “Time Zero,” 2006, Brigitte Nahon employs a combination of fragile and strong materials that often seem to float in space. Her ethereal work addresses such opposites as balance and imbalance, solidity and fragility, heaviness and lightness, the temporary and the eternal. In “Coalescence,” 2006, Alyson Shotz threads glass beads onto wire, and sculpts those strands into knotted forms that resemble gestural line drawings in space, creating objects that are at once frenzied and still.
Mary Temple’s “Corner Light, French Gothic,” 2006, explores the condition of standing in a space flooded by sunlight slicing through a window and casting a pattern of brightness and shadow along the wall and the floor.
Pae White’s oeuvre plays with the ways light, color and form affect certain materials. Her “Tip Top Tapestry no. 1” and “Tip Top Tapestry no. 2,” 2006, rendered entirely of matte fabric, depict strong light hitting the surfaces of a variety of papers, ranging from highly reflective foil to glossy magazine cutouts to brightly colored construction paper. Using a medium that has no reflective properties, White’s tapestries capture the effects of light.
The Jewish Museum is at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street. For more information, www.thejewishmuseum.org or 212-423-3200.
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