Extraordinary light and space artist Doug Wheeler returns to NYC—this time at David Zwirner's 537 W 20th Street space. Occupying the ground floor of the gallery, Wheeler's "rotational horizon work" is similar to the artist's awe-inspiring 2012 installation SA MI 75 DZ NY 12 (see my post from February 2012 here), but not exactly.
For starters, instead of waiting in long lines, visitors can call the gallery in advance and make a reservation for a 15-minute time slot for the current exhibit. Smaller groups of people viewing at once provide a more relaxed, experiential atmosphere. After putting on disposable booties to ensure the viewing platform remains white and spotless, viewers walk through a short, tight corridor and enter the installation via a narrow opening. Like SA MI 75 DZ NY 12, the installation feels ethereal, vast, and disconcerting (especially with the slightly convex floor), but this time the space is round, like a globe. A line of LED lights circle the perimeter of the room at foot-level, creating a horizon that subtly changes hues from violet to blue in short intervals traveling left to right. Standing on one side of the installation and looking at people on the other side, they seem far off in the distance, as if teetering on the edge and about to fall off into the mysterious horizon. Looking above, there are no discernible seams or corners indicating a ceiling, so it's like gazing upon an endless white haze. While SA MI 75 DZ NY 12 felt like being inside a cloud, this feels like being atop a giant glacier on a misty day.
Wheeler's installation is another astonishing immersive work that will make you experience space, light, and perception in a truly memorable way. Learn more at davidzwirner.com. Through March 29th. Call 212.517.8677 for reservations.