A Certain Kind of Light January 31 2017

A Certain Kind of Light
Observer review – let there be mirror balls

by Laura Cummings

A show about light: a light show – what might a curator put in? Just about all art concerned with making the world visible in some sense speaks of light, the very condition in which it was made. But an all-inclusive approach would be ridiculous, to be sure, so how about a show on light?


You could include Manet, who believed light was the main protagonist of any painting. You could put in Vermeer if you had the funds. You could look at the ever-changing effects of light in the art of Monet, or stuff the show with Constable, Turner and the American luminists, or blow your cash on a Caravaggio – or go the other way and show light art itself, from Dan Flavin to James Turrell.



‘Rapturous’: Totality, 2016 by Katie Paterson at the Towner, Eastbourne. Photograph: Pete Jones/© the artist

 


‘Gleaming wit’: Gary Hume’s Fragment of a Rainbow VI, 2011 at Towner, Eastbourne. Photograph: Pete Jones

But the Towner Gallery hasn’t gone this way at all. True, it has a small seascape by LS Lowry that is hardly lightsome in its turgid opacity. It also has a large Julian Opie sculpture that fuses one of Flavin’s sublime neon works with a freezer cabinet in icily sinister pastiche. And Ceal Floyer has a bulb dangling from the ceiling that seems to emit an eerie blue glow (achieved by projectors) even though it’s actually switched off.

But the Towner Gallery hasn’t gone this way at all. True, it has a small seascape by LS Lowry that is hardly lightsome in its turgid opacity. It also has a large Julian Opie sculpture that fuses one of Flavin’s sublime neon works with a freezer cabinet in icily sinister pastiche. And Ceal Floyer has a bulb dangling from the ceiling that seems to emit an eerie blue glow (achieved by projectors) even though it’s actually switched off.

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http://www.townereastbourne.org.uk/exhibition/a-certain-kind-of-light/

A Certain Kind of Light is at the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne until 7 May,Free

 

https://www.itsalight.co.uk