BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- CLEAR brings together works by twenty-three contemporary artists exploring subjects reflective, transitory, crystalline, or celestial by traversing concepts of clarity sourced from art history, science, and esotericism.
The late 1960s saw the emergence of the California Light and Space Movement, tangential to Minimalism, with protagonists such as James Turrell, Larry Bell, and De Wain Valentine. They created works predicated on the extrasensory potential of light by using the space within and around it as an immersive frame, heightening the viewers awareness of the mind-body experience. CLEAR imagines a continuation of this narrative, suggesting astral projectionleaving ones physical body to inhabit an astral oneas an endgame. The exhibition explores apertures both material and conceptual, as well as the rich sensibilities that visualize the science and fantasy of aesthetic experience and popular imagination.
Photographic works take the sky as a subject or vantage point, capturing heavenly bodies from light years away. Light and cosmic mystery converge in Lisa Oppenheims Heliograms (2013), with their abstract sun-spotting, and the starry firmament of Thomas Ruffs Sterne (198992). Andreas Gurskys Ocean IV (2010) is a god's eye view of the sublime nether region between the Horn of Africa and Antarctica, improbably compressed within a single frame.
Since Narcissus first reflection in the gazing pool, the mirror has offered glimpses of a parallel reality. Douglas Gordons Everything is Nothing Without its Reflection: A Photographic Pantomime (2014) presents a diary of poignant photographic images interspersed with identically framed mirrors; thus in the process of looking the viewer is drawn in as an active player in the visual drama. Upon passing through the looking-glass, Alice contemplated the qualities of mirror milk in the chiral sameness before her: the same conundrum underscores Michael Craig-Martins iconic conceptual work An Oak Tree (1972). Notions of duality also inform Gianni Mottis six-hour film titled HIGGSLooking for the Anti-Motti (2005), which shows the artist walking through the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Here, science and fiction meet face-to-face in the 30-kilometer tunnel that loops beneath Geneva, where particles are accelerated into divine ether.
In 1971, artist and psychic Ingo Swann coined the term remote viewing to describe his ability to consciously leave his body and visit places both tangible and unknown. Swanns collaboration with the Stanford Research Institute, and eventually the CIAin what was later declassified as the Stargate Projectbridged science and fiction and became his prime artistic motivation, resulting in paintings such as Cosmic Egg (1994). Since the earliest recordings of astral projection, one third of all accounts report a silver umbilical cord tethering the subject to the physical body while floating in the astral planeliteralized in Jason Metcalfs sculpture A Silver Cord (2014). Were the minds full capacity to be accessible, total clarity would allow the visualization of multi-verses, such as Jorinde Voigts large-scale algorithmic drawings, which suggest an omniscient pattern of interplanar activity, or Mark Lombardis detailed constellations of global conspiracy. Ranging from x-ray vision to astral projection and the cosmos, CLEAR treats translucence as an avenue to transcendence.
Artists in the exhibition: Richard Artschwager, Larry Bell, Julien Bismuth, Dan Colen, Michael Craig-Martin, Olafur Eliasson, Piero Golia, Douglas Gordon, Andreas Gursky, Jacob Kassay, Idris Khan, Germaine Kruip, Mark Lombardi, Jason Metcalf, Gianni Motti, Lisa Oppenheim, Kirsten Pieroth, Thomas Ruff, Ingo Swann, James Turrell, Daniel Turner, De Wain Valentine, Jorinde Voigt.