From the late 1960s through the late 1970s, the Colorado-born but California-based artist De Wain Valentine made large-scale sculptures in polyester resin. Their simple shapes (discs, slabs, diamonds) belie the complex processes by which they were created, as Valentine had significant technical input into the chemical composition of the new material. Most measure between six and eight feet tall, allowing for an interaction between viewer and object on equal terms. Their subtle changes of coloration and variations in translucence allow one both to see through the sculptures and to contemplate their reflective surfaces, suggesting the artist's connections with his contemporaries Robert Irwin, Bruce Nauman and James Turrell, who made use of light more explicitly in their work. Valentine's sculptures have recently been highlighted at the J. Paul Getty Museum as part of "Pacific Standard Time" and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, in the exhibition "Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface," but he has not received a major solo museum show in some time, and never one on the East Coast outside of New York.
Also on view: "From Start to Finish: The Story of De Wain Valentine's Gray Column." This documentary tells the story, from conception to display at the Getty Center, of Valentine's resin sculpture, "Gray Column." The 30-minute film includes interviews with artists, conservators, scientists, collectors and historians and recounts the obstacles Valentine and the Getty Conservation Institute overcame to finally showcase the work as part of the Pacific Standard Time Initiative.