ight, ephemeral and protean, was objectified in this transformative exhibition. Curated by Lilly Wei and titled “Light3,” it focused on the work of Jan Tichy, Ethan Ryman, and Stephen Dean. All used, rather than represented, light, and manipulated it within the contexts of painting, sculpture, and installation. Dean’s two multicolored pieces, A Frame (2013) and Prayer Mill (2009), were installed in the light-filled front of the gallery. Both are freestanding metal-and-glass structures based on utilitarian objects—a ladder and a postcard stand. Their panels of dichroic (two-colored) glass, simultaneously reflective and translucent, seemed in constant flux. The black framework in Prayer Mill, in which the panels are the postcards, functions as a wiggly drawing in space.
Ryman’s white boxes, hung in lines and grids, appeared transformed by light into mini-paintings with almost invisible stripes of tape set just inside or outside of the frames. And Tichy, best known for “painting with light” on architectural structures, presented a site-specific video projection, Installation no. 20 (walls), 2014, in a deep slice of space in the back room. Tichy’s poetic work was so spare as to be almost invisible. He was also represented by two striking, enigmatic neon-red flares that were hung at the level of the spread hands of a standing figure holding them.
A version of this story originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of ARTnews on page 100.