Shed­ding some un­ex­pected light

Los Angeles Times - - CULTURE MONSTER - By Sharon Mi­zota cal­en­dar@la­times.com

New York artist James O. Clark has been ex­per­i­ment­ing with the artis­tic pos­si­bil­i­ties of light for more than 40 years, but his ex­hi­bi­tion at ltd los an­ge­les rep­re­sents two firsts: his first show on the West Coast and his first op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a piece us­ing a gallery’s ex­ist­ing light fix­tures.

The lat­ter feat feels par­tic­u­larly apt in the land of Robert Ir­win and Michael Asher, who have mas­ter­fully redi­rected our at­ten­tion to the struc­tural prop­er­ties of ex­hi­bi­tion space. Clark, how­ever, puts his own spin on it, trans­form­ing what is nor­mally be­neath no­tice into some­thing more tra­di­tion­ally sculp­tural and dra­matic.

He has ripped the gallery’s flu­o­res­cent-tube light fix­tures from the ceil­ing and hung them ver­ti­cally, dan­gling criss­crossed at jagged an­gles.

Still at­tached to their orig­i­nal elec­tri­cal cords, they are now rigged with mo­tion sen­sors that click the lights on or off as a viewer ap­proaches. The fix­tures’ metal sup­ports are also coated with green phos­pho­res­cent paint that be­comes vis­i­ble only af­ter the lights have clicked off.

The ef­fect is a bit ghostly, although per­haps not as tran­scen­dent as one might hope. (Two smaller works in the show are sim­i­larly un­der­whelm­ing.) Still, it’s sat­is­fy­ing to see ob­jects that usu­ally make the art vis­i­ble be­come vis­i­ble as art them­selves.

Jeff McLane

JAMES O. CLARK’S “1993 to 2011 in 2015.”

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