What I am Seeing: Neon Lights

Elena Soboleva
Feb 22, 2013 6:48PM

Last week I saw some great shows all over town and found consummate proof that neon is back, all through New York. Gutai: Splendid Playground  opened at the Guggenheim and brought together 145 artists and two generations of the post-war Japanese movement, which strove to reinvent depiction and shed the darkness after the war. 

The teardrop of green is a detail view of water capsules suspended in the rotunda of the museum, splashing the white walls in vivid hues.  Another work to play with light in the show is the hydraulic, equine machine housed in a darkened pod on the fifth floor.

Over in Chelsea, David Zwirner Gallery unveiled their new space with an inaugural show of works by Dan Flavin and Donald Judd.  The square neon Flavins stole the show and lit up the space in psychedelic hues.

A few streets up, the Mary Boone exhibition of Keith Sonnier 69-70 bridges the evolution of neon-art between  Flavin and Nauman; conceptually ground but playfully executed.  You can see the whole show on Artsy.

In an ultimate tribute to neon, at midnight, every night this month, Times Square became host to a Tracey Emin installation of her iconic I Promise To Love You musings. 

Elena Soboleva
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019