Light and Space Movement

In the 1960s and ’70s, the California-based Light and Space movement offered a West Coast spin on the rising international trends of Minimalism and Op art. Inspired in part by the radiant light and tempered atmosphere of Los Angeles, the Light and Space artists pioneered new techniques to transform the viewer’s sensory experience of space, employing artificial and natural light, deliberate installation, and the latest technology from the engineering and aerospace industries. “To be an artist is not a matter of making paintings or objects at all. What we are really dealing with is our state of consciousness and the shape of our perceptions,” Robert Irwin explained. Highlights from the Light and Space movement include James Turrell’s pioneering light projections, Larry Bell’s colored glass cubes, Mary Corse’s textured canvases, and John McCracken’s glossy sculptures reminiscent of waxy surfboards.

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