Light art

Light art

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Light art is a form of visual art where main media of expression is light
Light
Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has wavelength in a range from about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm, with a frequency range of about 405 THz to 790 THz...

. Light has been used for architectural aesthetical effects throughout human history. However, the modern concept of light art emerged with the development of artificial light sources and experimenting modern art
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

. One of the first to use this technique was László Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.-Early life:...

 (1895–1946) Examples of light art include works by Dan Flavin
Dan Flavin
Dan Flavin was an American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.-Early life and career:...

, Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. In 1995 he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research...

, James Turrell
James Turrell
James Turrell is an American artist primarily concerned with light and space. Turrell was a MacArthur Fellow in 1984. He is represented by The Pace Gallery in New York...

, Waltraut Cooper
Waltraut Cooper
Waltraut Cooper , is an Austrian artist, generally described as Minimalist, primarily concerned with light and space.Waltraut Cooper studied Mathematics and Art in Vienna, Paris, Lisbon and Frankfurt....

, Aleksandra Stratimirovič, Austine Wood Comarow, Tim White-Sobieski
Tim White-Sobieski
# Awakening. Autor/es: White-Sobieski, Tim. Publicación: Madrid : Salamir Creación y Arte, 2006# Idilio : fantasía y falacia = Idyll : Illusion and Delusion : [ exposición celebrada en]# Phoenix Kulturstifung/Sammlung, Hamburg, 8 oct. 2006 - 29 abr. 2007;...

 and many others.

History



One of the first artistic uses of light is the way in which stained glass
Stained glass
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings...

 can be used to color transmitted light, examples of this goes back to the 4th century. Most prominently seen in churches and mosques with elaborate stained glass windows.

Another use of light in art is in shadow puppetry, where projections of shadows from puppets can be used to create the illusion of moving images. A form of shadow puppetry is described as early as 380 BC by Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 in the Allegory of the cave
Allegory of the cave
The Allegory of the Cave—also known as the Analogy of the Cave, Plato's Cave, or the Parable of the Cave—is an allegory used by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work The Republic to illustrate "our nature in its education and want of education"...

.

All visual art of cause use light in some form, but in modern times photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

 and motion pictures, use of light is especially important. However, with the invention of electrical artificial light, the possibilities were expanded and many artists began using the light as the main form of expression instead of just a vehicle for other forms of art. László Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.-Early life:...

 (1895–1946), a member of the Bauhaus
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

, and influenced by constructivism
Constructivism (art)
Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1919, which was a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The movement was in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. Constructivism had a great effect on modern art movements of the 20th...

 is regarded as one of the fathers of Light art. Light sculpture and moving sculpture are the components of his Light-Space Modulator (1922–30), which is one of the first light art pieces which also combines kinetic art
Kinetic art
Kinetic art is art that contains moving parts or depends on motion for its effect. The moving parts are generally powered by wind, a motor or the observer. Kinetic art encompasses a wide variety of overlapping techniques and styles.-Kinetic sculpture:...

.

Examples



Light sculptures are an intermedia
Intermedia
Intermedia was a concept employed in the mid-sixties by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins to describe the ineffable, often confusing, inter-disciplinary activities that occur between genres that became prevalent in the 1960s. Thus, the areas such as those between drawing and poetry, or between painting...

 and time-based art form in which sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

 or any kind of art object produces light
Light
Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has wavelength in a range from about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm, with a frequency range of about 405 THz to 790 THz...

, or the reverse (in the sense that light is manipulated in such a way as to create a sculptural as opposed to temporal form or mass). Most often light sculpture artists were primarily either visual artists
Visual arts
The visual arts are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts and architecture...

 or composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

s, not having started out directly making light sculpture.
As an example artist Austine Wood Comarowhttp://www.austine.com works with pure polarized light passing through birefringent materials to create interactive and morphing images. This art form uses no pigments whatsoever, deriving prismatic
Prism (optics)
In optics, a prism is a transparent optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract light. The exact angles between the surfaces depend on the application. The traditional geometrical shape is that of a triangular prism with a triangular base and rectangular sides, and in colloquial use...

 colors purely from birefringence.

Also included in the light art genre is the so-called light graffiti including projection onto buildings, arrangement of lighted windows in buildings and painting with hand-held lights onto film using time exposure. A unique project for light art can be found in front of the Osram
Osram
Osram, founded 1919, is part of the industry sector of Siemens AG and one of the two leading lighting manufacturers in the world. The name is derived from osmium and Wolfram , as both these elements were commonly used for lighting filaments at the time the company was founded...

 headquarters in Munich, Germany: Seven LED
LEd
LEd is a TeX/LaTeX editing software working under Microsoft Windows. It is a freeware product....

 stelae form as a platform for altering art projects (involving video artists such as Diana Thater
Diana Thater
Diana Thater is an American artist, curator, writer, and educator. She has been a pioneering creator of film, video, and installation art since the early 1990s...

  and Björn Melhus, film makers such as Harun Farocki
Harun Farocki
Harun Farocki is a German filmmaker.He has made over 90 films, the vast majority of them short experimental documentaries...

 or media artists such as Art+Comhttp://www.osram.com/art.

The Neons Parallax Project


In Geneva, Switzerland, The Funds for Contemporary Art of the City and Canton of Geneva initiated in 2005 a project of public art. The Neons Parallax envisages the achievement of seven luminous installations, each one conceived by a different artist on the roofs of the buildings located at the edge of the Plaine de Plainpalais . The works will be built at the rate of two original creations per year (2007, 2008 , 2009 and three for 2012). The project is subventionned by the city and the canton and the buildings are graciously lended by their owners for 10 years.
There is already six installations by [Sylvie Fleury (CH), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (F), Nic Hess (CH), Christian Jankowski (D), Jérôme Leuba (CH) and Sislej Xhafa (AL). Three additional signs, one designed by Ann Veronica Janssens  (BE) chosen as a result of a contest by invitation, one by Pierre Bismuth  (F) chosen by public contest and the last one by Christian Robert-Tissot (CH) which is a direct order of Pierre Darier from the Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie Private Bank. As well as an exhibition, a symposium on public art and a publication will take place in March 2012.
See below in the gallery, the works of Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury
Sylvie Fleury is a Swiss contemporary pop artist employing sculpture, mixed media. Her work addresses the issues of shopping, and the paradigm of the new age. Born 1961, Geneva...

 (Geneva) et Jérôme Leuba (Geneva), Christian Jankowski
Christian Jankowski
Christian Jankowski is a contemporary multimedia artist who largely works with video, installation and photography.He has created a number of television interventions...

  (Germany), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, born in 1965 in Strasbourg, is a French artist working with video and installations. Gonzalez-Foerster lives and works in Paris and Rio de Janeiro. She won the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2002.-Exhibitions:...

 (France) , Sislej Xhafa
Sislej Xhafa
Sislej Xhafa is an Kosovo Albanian contemporary artist who lives and works in New York.- Life and work:...

 (Kosovo) et Nic Hess (Zurich).

Artists in light



  • Grimanesa Amorós
    Grimanesa Amorós
    Grimanesa Amorós is an interdisciplinary artist with diverse interests in the fields of social history, scientific research and critical theory...

  • Frida Blumenberg
    Frida Blumenberg
    Frida Blumenberg is a visual artist and sculptor working primarily in neon, acrylic, and bronze.Born in Durban, South Africa to Swedish parents, she was educated as a sculptor, painter, and goldsmith in London, where she had several solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art...

  • Chryssa
    Chryssa
    Chryssa Vardea Mavromichali is a Greek American artist who works in a wide variety of media. An American art pioneer in light art and luminist sculpture widely known for her neon, steel, aluminum and acrylic glass installations, she has always used the mononym Chryssa professionally...

  • Ron Cooper
    Ron Cooper (artist)
    Ron Cooper is a west-coast based American artist born in 1943 who started his career in the late ’60s in Los Angeles. He currently resides in Taos, New Mexico. By 1973, he had already participated in numerous international solo and group shows with pieces in the permanent collections of the...

  • Waltraut Cooper
    Waltraut Cooper
    Waltraut Cooper , is an Austrian artist, generally described as Minimalist, primarily concerned with light and space.Waltraut Cooper studied Mathematics and Art in Vienna, Paris, Lisbon and Frankfurt....

  • Ólafur Elíasson
    Ólafur Elíasson
    Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. In 1995 he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research...

  • Annet van Egmond
    Annet van Egmond
    Annet van Egmond is a Dutch designer. She is co-founder, co-owner and Art Director of the design label “Brand van Egmond” in Naarden.- Biography:...

  • Spencer Finch
    Spencer Finch
    Spencer Finch is an American artist whose work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world. In 1985 he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in comparative literature from Hamilton College, then pursued an M.F.A. in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating...

  • Ellis D Fogg
    Ellis D Fogg
    Ellis D Fogg is the pseudonym of Roger Foley who the National Film and Sound Archive have described as Australia's "most innovative lighting designer and lumino kinetic sculptor." The term Lumino Kinetic Art was first used in 1966 by Frank Popper, Professor of Aesthetics at the University of...

  • Dan Flavin
    Dan Flavin
    Dan Flavin was an American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.-Early life and career:...


  • Lucio Fontana
    Lucio Fontana
    Lucio Fontana was an Italian painter, sculptor and theorist of Argentine birth. He was mostly known as the founder of Spatialism and his ties to Arte Povera.-Early life:...

  • Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
    Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
    Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, born in 1965 in Strasbourg, is a French artist working with video and installations. Gonzalez-Foerster lives and works in Paris and Rio de Janeiro. She won the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2002.-Exhibitions:...

  • Richard Harned
    Richard Harned
    Richard Harned is a contemporary kinetic sculptor and glass artist. Harned trained under Dale Chihuly in the 1970s at the Rhode Island School of Design with other artists of the American Glass Movement, including Bruce Chao and Tom Kreager. In 1974, he established the Abstract Glass studio in...

  • Michael Hayden
    Michael Hayden (artist)
    Michael Hayden is a Canadian artist who is noted for his artworks incorporating neon lighting. His best-known commission is probably Sky's the Limit , which is a very large installation within the Chicago International Airport...

  • Jasper Johns
    Jasper Johns
    Jasper Johns, Jr. is an American contemporary artist who works primarily in painting and printmaking.-Life:Born in Augusta, Georgia, Jasper Johns spent his early life in Allendale, South Carolina with his paternal grandparents after his parents' marriage failed...

  • Gyula Kosice
    Gyula Kosice
    Gyula Kosice, born Fernando Fallik in Košice is a naturalized Argentine sculptor, plastic artist, theoretician and poet, one of the most important figures in kinetic and luminal art and luminance vanguard....

  • Piotr Kowalski
    Piotr Kowalski
    Piotr Kowalski was an artist, sculptor, and architect. He was born 2 March, 1927, in Poland, and died 7 January 2004 in Paris.Piotr Kowalski worked in non-traditional materials including electronic and mechanical devices, neon, large earth works, explosions and other natural phenomena including...

  • Lili Lakich
    Lili Lakich
    Liliana Diane Lakich is an American artist best known for her work in neon sculpture. Her sculptures have been included in major publications on contemporary sculpture, neon sculpture and feminist art including Signs, and in many private and corporate collections...

  • Gilles Larrain
    Gilles Larrain
    Born in Da Lat, Vietnam in 1938, Gilles Larrain was first a painter, who went through the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and one of the pioneers in kinetic art in the 1960s, using air, smoke, light, water and neon tubes...


  • Frank Malina
    Frank Malina
    Frank Joseph Malina was an American aeronautical engineer and painter, especially known for becoming both a pioneer in the art world and the realm of scientific engineering.-Early life:...

  • David Medalla
    David Medalla
    David Medalla is a Filipino international artist. His work ranges from sculpture and kinetic art to painting, installation and performance art. He lives and works in London, New York and Paris....

  • Mario Merz
    Mario Merz
    Mario Merz was an Italian artist, and husband of Marisa Merz.-Life:Born in Milan, Merz started drawing during World War II, when he was imprisoned for his activities with the Giustizia e Libertà antifascist group. He experimented with a continuous graphic stroke–not removing his pencil point from...

  • Victor Millonzi
    Victor Millonzi
    Victor Millonzi was an American painter and sculptor best known for his work in neon sculpture. His work can be found in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and in several other collections.External Links*Brother of Robert I. Millonzi....

  • François Morellet
    François Morellet
    François Morellet is a contemporary French painter, engraver, sculptor and light artist. His early work prefigured Minimal art and Conceptual art, and he has played an important role in geometrical abstraction over the past half century.-Career:After a short period of figurative/representational...

  • Bruce Nauman
    Bruce Nauman
    Bruce Nauman is a contemporary American artist. His practice spans a broad range of media including sculpture, photography, neon, video, drawing, printmaking, and performance. Nauman lives in Galisteo, New Mexico....

  • Iván Navarro
  • Bill Parker
  • Robert Rauschenberg
    Robert Rauschenberg
    Robert Rauschenberg was an American artist who came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Rauschenberg is well-known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations...

  • Martial Raysse
    Martial Raysse
    Martial Raysse is a French artist born in Golfe-Juan on 12 February 1936. He lives in Issigeac - France.-Biography: Raysse was born in a ceramicist family in Vallauris and began to paint and write poetry at age 12. After studying and practising athleticism at a high level, he began to accumulate...


  • Larry Rivers
    Larry Rivers
    Larry Rivers was an American artist, musician, filmmaker and occasional actor. Rivers resided and maintained studios in New York City, Southampton, New York and Zihuatanejo, Mexico.-Biography:...

  • James Rosenquist
    James Rosenquist
    James Rosenquist is an American artist and one of the protagonists in the pop-art movement.-Background and education:...

  • Raphaele Shirley
    Raphaele Shirley
    Raphaele Shirley is a French-American artist.- Overview :Raphaele Shirley is a multi-media artist whose work spans installation art, light sculpture, video, art collectives and social intervention. Her work deals with questions of space, time and primordial life forces and the ephemeral...

  • Keith Sonnier
    Keith Sonnier
    Keith Sonnier is a Postminimalist, performance, video and light artist. Sonnier was one of the first artists to use light in sculpture in the 1960s, and has been one of the most successful with this technique...

  • James Turrell
    James Turrell
    James Turrell is an American artist primarily concerned with light and space. Turrell was a MacArthur Fellow in 1984. He is represented by The Pace Gallery in New York...

  • Tim White-Sobieski
    Tim White-Sobieski
    # Awakening. Autor/es: White-Sobieski, Tim. Publicación: Madrid : Salamir Creación y Arte, 2006# Idilio : fantasía y falacia = Idyll : Illusion and Delusion : [ exposición celebrada en]# Phoenix Kulturstifung/Sammlung, Hamburg, 8 oct. 2006 - 29 abr. 2007;...

  • Thomas Wilfred
    Thomas Wilfred
    Thomas Wilfred born Richard Edgar Løvstrom, was a musician and inventor. He is best known for his visual music he named lumia and his designs for color organs called Clavilux...



See also

  • LED Art
    LED Art
    LED Art is form of light art constructed from light-emitting diodes. Many artists that use LEDs are guerilla artists, incorporating LEDs to produce temporary pieces in public places. LEDs are very inexpensive to purchase and have become a new way to make street art...

  • Light sculpture
  • Light Art Biennale Austria 2010
    Light Art Biennale Austria 2010
    The Light Art Biennale Austria 2010 is the first biennale for light art in Austria. About 60 artists from 21 countries and 4 continents participate.- Facts :...

  • Lumino kinetic art
    Lumino Kinetic Art
    Lumino Kinetic art involves, as the name suggests, light and movement. It is a subset and an art historical term in the context of the more established kinetic art, which in turn is a subset of new media art...

  • Neon lighting and artists in light

External links