Beginning to see the light
The Hayward Gallery's latest exhibition, Light Show, contains a handful of immersive pieces from artists like James Turrell, Anthony McCall and, above, Carlos Cruz-Diez that reward the viewer the longer they stay within the artwork...
Visitors are advised to let their eyes become accustomed to the light in both Turrell's Wedgework V room and Cruz-Diez's vibrant walk-in installation, Chromosaturation, a version of a piece he has been making since 1965.
While Turrell's chamber is a brooding and meditative place, Cruz-Diez's series of three small rooms are a joy to move around, simply staring wide-eyed at the walls or, rather, at the colours that flood the space (made by sets of fluorescent tube lights with blue, red and green filters).
The space around each set of lights is dominated by that single colour, but things get really interesting in the areas where the colours merge and overlap. And just look what the green room did to my camera (below). I'm no expert on wavelengths, but something was going on – the visual equivalent of wub wub wub.
Anthony McCall's piece, You and I, Horizontal, is also a beguiling treat (below). It's referred to a "solid light installation" and, using subtle smoke effects, teases the viewer into thinking the beam of the projection is in fact a three-dimensional shape.
I must have pawed at it at least twice before I looked to see if anyone else was doing the same (they were).
Other highlights on show include Conrad Shawcross's Slow Arc Inside a Cube IV (shown, below), ostensibly a giant mesh cage with a moving light inside that projects through its walls. This, in turn, distorts the space inside the room to an unnerving degree.
Both Leo Villareal's piece, Cylinder II (below), made from white LEDS and and mirror-finished stainless steel, and Cerith Wyn Evans' columnal S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E (‘Trace me back to some loud, shallow, chill, underlying motive's overspill...') make great use of the cavernous Hayward Gallery space.
But in as much as there are plenty of installations in which to bathe in colour and light, or stare at the shadowplay, the Hayward makes sure that you leave with your senses ringing, if you save the upstairs gallery until last that is.
Up here, in another large blacked-out room, is Olafur Eliasson's Model For a Timeless Garden, which he first made in 2011.
There are no pictures of the piece I can find online that do it justice, suffice to say that it is a long, deep-set bench of working fountains of all shapes and sizes, bathed in the most intense strobe lighting I've ever witnessed. (The Southbank Centre recently uploaded the video below, which gives you some idea of the effect.)
Once over the pounding effect of the lights (which strangely become less of a headache the longer you stay there), the effect that the lamps have on the moving water is quite extraordinary: the light appears to freeze it as it moves through the air, making the whole arrangement look like set of rapidly pulsing sculptures.
As disorienting as Eliasson's Timeless Garden is, I could happily have stayed in there much longer.
CR in Print
The February issue of CR magazine features a major interview with graphic designer Ken Garland. Plus, we delve into the Heineken advertising archive, profile digital art and generative design studio Field, talk to APFEL and Linder about their collaboration on a major exhibition in Paris for the punk artist, and debate the merits of stock images versus commissioned photography. Plus, a major new book on women in graphic design, the University of California logo row and what it means for design, Paul Belford on a classic Chivas Regal ad and Jeremy Leslie on the latest trends in app design for magazines and more. Buy your copy here.
Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878, or buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month.
Radical yet simply STUNNING! Two thumbs up! Simplicity is truly a beauty indeed and this light show strongly defines that…
Fine art leads commercial design by the nose and the pieces by Carlos Cruz-Diez clearly demonstrate this. His immersive art could so easily be incorporated into a commercial environment whether it be an exhibition or interior. To recognise this and understand the enormous potential is the battle. I would love to incorporate such a powerful lighting scheme into one of our commercial exhibitions. However there are two common (and major) objections firstly more often than not the need to comply with the clients brand identity is paramount and secondly it is impossible to control the lighting levels in an exhibition hall.
I'm definitely going to give it a go though!
|Record sleeves of the month (2)|
|Keeping the customer satisfied (1)|
|The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith (1)|
|Dismaland's dismal ad (2)|
|5 Instagram Influencers to Watch (2)|
|New type: Akatre, Erik Spiekermann, Dazed, The Northern Block & more|
|With this suit...|
|Hear Michael Bierut talk about his work, life and new book: we have free tickets|
|Penguin By Hand covers|
|Paperjam's brutalist identity for St Paul's Bow Common|