A very different form of painting is being displayed in The Dayton Art Institute
s special exhibition galleries beginning October 6 the lightpaintings of artist Stephen Knapp.
Stephen Knapp: Lightpaintings, on view October 6 January 6, 2013, extends the traditions of op art and abstract painting. The artworks are created entirely with light and glass.
Knapps lightpaintings are the intersection of sculpture, painting and technology. They explore color, light and space, and are one of many possible directions for the future of painting. Called a new art medium of the 21st century, lightpaintings dispense with traditional media and narrative content. The resulting objects are intangible, multi-dimensional compositions of pure luminosity.
Knapp creates his works by using dichroic glass, which is treated with layers of metallic coatings. These combine to act as a selective prism, separating focused light into different frequencies of the spectrum. Knapp cuts, shapes and polishes the glass to create a palette that refracts and reflects light onto a surface and the surrounding space.
Knapp has been creating installation art and exploring the possibilities of light for more than 30 years, and his work can be found in museum, public, corporate and private collections. For nearly a decade after graduating from college in 1969, Knapp worked as a fine art photographer. From photography, Knapp moved on to more permanent materials, such as ceramic, mosaic, metal, stone and glass. This ultimately led to work in kiln-formed glass walls, sculpture, glass and steel furniture, ceramic murals, etched metal walls, carved stone and large mosaics.
Knapp developed his lightpainting techniques in the late 90s and perfected his craft by 2002. Over the next several years, Knapp continued to develop this signature form, with his work being featured in numerous shows and exhibitions.
The Dayton Art Institute displays 13 of Knapps lightpaintings in its special exhibition galleries.