In the early 1970's Californian artist Robert Irwin began working with fluorescent light tubes during a period when his work evolved "from matter to energy" (from the press release). Light's ability to "articulate space" attracted the artist to the medium and he's been creating amazing installations since. His current exhibit Way Out West at Pace Gallery's 57th Street location features six stunning new light works that "experiment with the perceptual qualities of light, playing with rhythm, texture, densities, temperature, and chromatic relationships."
For his new pieces the 82-year-old artist, who was an integral part of the "Light and Space" movement, wrapped fluorescent tubes with colored gels (some with as many as ten layers!) to perfectly capture the "range of hues" he was seeking. He then neatly assembled the tubes vertically onto walls in groups. Some of the lights are turned on at full power while others are at dimmer levels and some are completely turned off—creating wonderful interplay on light, shadow, reflection and color. According to the show's press release, "One light tube reflects on another, and the spaces between the light tubes allow two adjacent colors to refract, producing a vast range of hues." The light, shadows, and colors emitted from the sculptures create varying moods and atmospheres—cool and otherworldly, warm and earthy, vivid and intense. Irwin's seemingly simple structures composed of everyday fluorescent lights are incredibly emotive, dramatic, and powerful. Learn more at thepacegallery.com. Through January 29, 2011.