On View from May 9 through June 15, 2013 at Gallery 151. 132 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011.
Gallery 151 is proud to present 186,281, a solo exhibition of new works by Bentley Meeker. As an artist working with light, Meeker has exhibited at Gallery Nine5, The Burning Man Festival, and at The Whitney Museum of American Art. He recently collaborated with the writer and anthropologist Michael Taussig, also at the Whitney, in their presentation of the “Berlin Sun Theater” this past February. Meeker is the author of Light X Design, 20 Years of Lighting.
Meeker’s light art installation work confronts the fundamental quality of light and the powerful but underestimated effect it has on viewers–on biological, emotional and spiritual levels rather than for it’s visual presentational purposes.
In 186,281, Meeker’s poured resin shapes and contours reflect a combination of LED and incandescent light sources. The shadows created from the two different sources allow the viewer to explore the juxtaposition of both types of light, and to examine the properties of each type of light within the context of a traditional frame. This allows the viewer to develop an awareness of the ways different light impacts us. Meeker’s work for 186,281 is comprised of 20 light pieces which are each contained within a 40″ x 40″ frame, hanging as conventional paintings.
Meeker is widely known for his prestigious work with his event lighting company where he has arguably blurred the lines between art and commerce for over two decades. His extensive experience working with lighting as design has led Meeker into the exploration of light not only as a tool, but as its own medium that can evoke a multisensory experience. While there is a lively movement under way using light of all different types to create spectacle, culminating in the extraordinary LED display on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge by Leo Villareal, (who, along with Meeker, is a fellow Burning Man participant), there is little examination within the artistic community, or outside of it for that matter, of what light actually is–what the differing properties of each type of light are and how it moves all of us at every level.
The design of light for architectural and aesthetic effects has been with us throughout human history. Transcending our day-to-day relationship with light, the modern concept of light art has emerged with the experiential modern art movement and the development of artificial light sources. In an article written by art critic Hilarie M. Sheets for Art News entitled “Waves of Light,” she explains: “The interplay of dark and light has been a theme running from Greek and Roman sculpture to Renaissance painting to experimental film. But as technology advanced from the glow of the electric light bulb to the computer monitor, artists have been experimenting with actual light as material and subject. The 1960s saw a high point in activity, with artists such as Flavin, Bruce Nauman, and James Turrell creating sculptures and environments out of diffuse light or radiant fluorescent and neon tubing. Today, younger artists are looking beyond their forerunners and taking light in new directions.”
Bentley Meeker continues to push the envelope within the lighting community, both commercially and artistically, with his art installations creating a platform for us to peer beyond the ubiquitousness of daily illumination and access our personal relationship with light and the ways it affects the quality of life of all individuals.