Bending Light: Neon Art 1965 to Now
Neuberger Museum of Art February 9th, 2018
The Brant Foundation Loan Program
Neuberger Museum of Art
Glenn Ligon, Warm Broad Glow, 2005, Neon, 36 x 192 inches
PRESS RELEASE: Bending Light: Neon Art 1965 to Now presents the work of twelve artists who explore the use of this versatile medium as well as their close collaboration with skilled glass-benders. The exhibition will focus on the often blurred lines between commercial and fine art, and consider the complicated interplay among light, chemistry, and artistic vision. Featured are iconic works from the Neuberger Museum’s permanent collection as well as works on loan from public and private collections. Curated by Avis Larson, Assistant Curator, the exhibition highlights the work of Stephen Antonakos, Sarah Blood, Chryssa, Agnes Denes, Tracey Emin, Cerith Wyn Evans, Glenn Ligon, Kadir López, Ivan Navarro, Paul Seide, Keith Sonnier, and Rudi Stern. Works on view include Chryssa’s Ampersand V (1965), Keith Sonnier’s Chila (2016), Stephen Antonakos’s Untitled (For Sally Yard) (1985), Tracey Emin’s The Kiss Was Beautiful (2013), and Glenn Ligon’s Warm Broad Glow (2005).
In Bending Light: Neon Art 1965 to Now, artists use neon to expand concepts of language and message, light and line, technology, and the ethereal materiality of the trapped gas. Beginning in the 1960s, artists and fabricators alike experimented with traditional techniques in new and inventive ways. Whether capturing the gesture of a handwritten word, the precise geometry of a drawing, or a sketch drawn on a napkin, the benders helped transform neon from an advertising tool into an art form. The exhibition includes work fabricated by the following studios: Let There Be Neon, Lite Brite Neon, Spectrum on Broadway, and by the artists.