SA MI 75 DZ NY 12 febrero 9, 2012Posted by christian saucedo in Other projects.
Tags: Other projects
David Zwirner is pleased to present an ambitious new work by American artist Doug Wheeler (b. 1939), whose large-scale installations have rarely been seen in the United States. Built within the gallery’s 519 West 19th Street space in New York, Wheeler’s SA MI 75 DZ NY 12 (2012) explores the materiality of light while emphasizing the viewer’s physical experience of infinite space. The exhibition marks the first presentation of an “infinity environment” by the artist in New York.
As a pioneer of the so-called “Light and Space” movement that flourished in Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s, Wheeler’s prolific and ground- breaking body of work encompasses drawing, painting, and installations that are characterized by a singular experimentation with the perception and experience of space, volume, and light. Raised in the high desert of Arizona, Wheeler began his career as a painter in the early 1960s while studying at the Chouinard Art Institute (now the California Institute of the Arts) in Los Angeles.
Wheeler’s early white canvases incorporated abstract imagery that created a spatial dynamic and activated the central void of the painting’s field. His practice quickly developed into the environmental aesthetic for which he is presently best known. In 1965, the artist made a transitional work in which he over-sprayed a canvas with subtle variations of white and installed neon tubes inside the back of the frame. Installed with a white floor, the painting appeared to float on the wall. Wheeler subsequently abandoned canvas altogether with a body of innovative, radiant works known as “fabricated light paintings” in which he applied lacquer to Plexiglas boxes that were illuminated from within by neon tubing. These “paintings” were followed by his “light encasements,” which consist of large squares of painted vacuum-formed plastic with neon light embedded along the inside edges. Intended to be installed in a pristine white room with coved angles, these works dematerialize and create an immersive and spatially ambiguous environment that absorbs the viewer in the subtle construction of pure space. According to critic and curator John Coplans, who organized Wheeler’s first solo exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1968, Wheeler’s “primary aim as [an artist] is to reshape or change the spectator’s perception of the seen world. In short, [his] medium is not light or new materials or technology, but perception.”