Robert Irwin in the studio working on an early line painting, 1962
To be an artist is not a matter of making paintings or objects at all. What we are really dealing with is our state of consciousness and the shape of our perceptions.
Whenever you look at light, basically it's just air. It has no tactileness to it. It's totally without density.
If you wanted to watch me work, it would be totally boring. It would look like a Warhol film where nothing happens. I sit for 24 hours, then I scratch myself.
If I hold up a red square for 30 seconds and take it away, you will see a perfect green square. It's how the eye works. So if you want to paint a really good red painting, you have to strategically place in some green, so the eye is brought back.
The whole thrust of modern art, as far as I understand it, is expanding the role of the artist as a kind of esthetician, someone who actually spends his time, is trained in a way to deal with qualities.
Robert Irwin, Tergal voile, fluorescent bulbs, and framing materials (2015)
Installation view of Robert Irwin:
Scrim Veil-Black Rectangle-Natural Light, Whitney
Robert Irwin (b. 1928), 115 fluorescent lights (2007)
"Several decades ago I embarked on an adventure in aesthetics and creative inquiry, in which I integrated the arts and sciences with this expressed purpose: To explore the nature and work of A.R.T., or All Representations of Thought. Essentially, that encompasses everything our minds have produced in the History of Ideas, Inventions & Innovations. All this material can be used as “art works” that enhance our understanding of the world. It can also be creatively and wisely applied in inventing our collective future."
”Genius is everywhere, everyday, in everyone, in everyway imaginable!“
Todd Siler, friend, and author of Think Like a Genius.
Split Second (2011)
Radical Futures (1993)
Metaphorms: Forms of Metaphor (1988)
Thought Assemblies (1983)
* “ArtScience” and “Think Like a Genius” are registered trademarks of Todd Siler. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2015 Todd Siler
Otto Peine, Director Emeritus of
the Visual Arts Center at MIT
Otto Piene was a German artist specializing in kinetic and technology-based art. He lived and worked in Düsseldorf; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Groton, Massachusetts.
Big thank you to Todd Siler, friend and author of Think Like a Genius, and former student of Otto Piene at the Visual Arts Center – Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A leading figure in kinetic and technology-based art, Piene employs the use of light and the surrounding environment in his Light Ballet and Fire Paintings, and demonstrates the connection between art, nature, and science.
Otto Piene, The Proliferation of the Sun, 2014. Installation view Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin. Photo: David von Becker.
“More Sky” at The Nationalgalerie
Otto Piene: Light Ballet and Fire Paintings, 1960-1967
Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, NY
Then & Now: A Retrospective of Light-Based Sculpture by Dorothy & Mel Tanner
MOA is pleased to announce Then & Now: A Retrospective of Light-Based Sculpture by Dorothy & Mel Tanner. This is the first ever retrospective exhibition of Dorothy and Mel Tanner. Join us at the opening reception of this spectacular exhibition on January 13th from 6-10pm. The opening will include hors d’oeuvres and libations and will feature live music mixing by DJ Buddha Bomb, incorporating some of the music created by Dorothy Tanner and Marc Billard.
Dorothy and Mel Tanner began their luminal art in the 1960s in Miami. Their interest in plexiglas and its unique light-transmitting quality engaged them in experimentation that led to the major component of their art form: light. In unison with the light sculptures, they added the elements of live projection, music, and electronics to create a multi-sensory experience that The Miami Herald described as “one of the most unusual yet beautiful experiences in the world of art.” The Tanners’ interest in the healing and spiritually uplifting effects that result from light and sound immersion became their lifetime dedication.
Since the passing of Mel Tanner in 1993, Dorothy continues to experiment with a wide array of materials and media. Plexiglas is a material that she sculpts, paints, sandblasts, bakes and shapes. Some are wall sculptures, some free-standing or mobile, while others are water sculptures.
“Their artwork is unlike anything we have seen,” says MOA President and Executive Director, Cynthia Madden Leitner. “Illuminated sculpture engages the audience with its pop-art modernity.”
Dorothy Tanner and her team relocated to Denver in 2008 where she collaborates with long-time associate, Marc Billard, in creating video, accompanied by Dorothy’s spoken word and their electronic music. These elements are all part of the Lumonics expression. More information about the art of Dorothy and Mel Tanner and the video and music collaborations can be found at lumonics.net and dorothytanner.com.
The exhibition will be on display at MOA’s indoor galleries through March 24, 2017.
This exhibition is FREE and open to the public thanks to the generous support of the City of Englewood and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).