Maddox Gallery Los Angeles is delighted to present ‘Inner Eye,’ a curated exhibition celebrating the legacy of the seminal Light and Space movement through new works by Ruth Pastine and Sali Muller.
Emerging from Southern California in the 1960’s, the Light and Space movement was pioneered by artists such as Larry Bell, John McCracken and Mary Corse. Their fascination with the diffused atmosphere and glowing light of Los Angeles produced works that capture the city’s luminosity through their use of colour, light and space, and offer both shifts of perspectives and new emotional encounters.
Decades later, we see the same conceptual philosophies in the practice of two female artists from differing generations and locales, with the transformative and elusive qualities of light, colour and space manifesting themselves in unique ways.
In Pastine’s Presence Absence Series, we are suffused in ethereal, radiant light generating through vertical bands of colour. Painted during the challenging past year, their pureness of form and immediate experience encourage not only a reverie of the mind, but also a restoration of spirit. A more saturated glow extends from the depths of the colour spectrum in Red, Orange-Yellow, Green, Blue-Violet, Spectrum Quartet. Working primarily with three contemporary colour systems as the core of her practice and with a focus on the phenomenology of colour, Pastine embraces a spontaneous and rigorous process of painting colour upon colour to seek out the possible chromatic interactions; creating a visual and unknown phenomenon that displaces our perception of self.
Muller’s Down the Rabbit Hole and Abziehbild sculptural forms create similar illusions with the interplay of light and movement. Their transparent surfaces are treated with a mirrored foil that both absorb and refract light, creating fragments of abstracted reflections. These altered images bring into question the nature of seeing, and more importantly, how we wish to be seen by others. Shifting waves of light ripple and reflect on the surface of Ultra Contemporary Landscape and depending on where one stands, hints of a seascape emerge through its vibrant hues.
The works also touch upon the artists’ shared interest in spatial dimensions and the proverbial dance between the physical objects and the viewer. Comprised of slowly rotating acrylic panels treated with reflective foil, Der Moment in dem sich alles dreht - Muller’s immersive installation - summons us through a meandering path of refracted light, colour and shadows. An ever-expanding space is created when light hits the surface and disperses beyond the room, evoking a physiological response as we sync ourselves to the rhythm of its movements.
Pastine’s Core, Depths and Color Space Series also take us beyond two-dimensional boundaries, with unpredictable colour combinations creating luminous caverns that simultaneously pull us to into its infinite void while engulfing us in its chromatic veil. They become spaces for contemplation with each canvas offering a moment of respite from the outside world.
Channelling colour, light and space, ‘Inner Eye’ invites us to reconsider ideals about the subjectivity of perception. With the works of Pastine and Muller acting as conduits bridging the gap between the visible and the invisible, the exhibition brings together unexpected encounters that may enlighten, confound or open up the prospect of discovering something new.