Seeing the Light

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The house (interior), 2003 White Polyurethane Foam 109 X 139 X 210 Inches © Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Seeing the Light

521 W. 21st St.
New York, NY 10011
November 22nd, 2008 - January 10th, 2009
Opening: November 22nd, 2008 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

(212) 414-4144
Tue-Sat 10-6
projection, light, photography, sculpture


Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is very pleased to present Seeing the Light, a group show of gallery artists taking the subject of light as its primary formal theme. Each work selected for the show, which includes sculpture, light boxes, projection, and photography, exploits light as an essential element. As an additional formal and conceptual framework for the exhibition, the show will be primarily self-illuminating, insofar as very limited gallery house lighting will be used for the duration of the exhibition. Rather, the lighting elements of each work will produce an environment of ambient light that will alter the overall experience of the visitor, while simultaneously amplifying the effect of each autonomous work.


The selected artists' works featured in the exhibition not only represent the wide range and varied use of light in contemporary art, but also provide a testament to the complex and dynamic legacy of light in art history. Indeed, it could be argued that the use of light (or electronic devices of any kind) in art works serves as the starting point for the incredible development, and important role in recent years, of new media in contemporary art. Further, the ephemeral, immaterial and essentially temporal nature of light represents the expansion of the artwork beyond the discrete object, and the shift of art towards a more subjective perceptual experience. This expansive theme of art as experience, one in which the visitor plays an active role in the production of the artwork, is perhaps the most important development that has occurred during the common period of these featured artists' practices.


The theme of light serving as a passageway or opening to a greater, broader and more extensive experience is also suggested by the title of the show. As the world goes through a period of cultural transition, from the change in American governmental leadership to a shift in the foundation of our economic assumptions, the title proposes the beginning of a new awareness, suggesting art's role in contemporary culture as one possible source of guidance, self-examination, and perhaps inspiration.