New York – ILLUMINATIONS (After Arthur Rimbaud): Sculpting the Light from the East, an exhibition of sculpture, video and installation by 16 well-known and emerging artists who work with light, will be on view at Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller (LTMH) Gallery from September 15 through October 15, 2010. Inspired by a collection of poetry entitled Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), the exhibition is curated by Ashok Adicéam, an independent curator and art advisor. A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Adicéam will accompany the exhibition.
Creating a revealing dialogue between artists living and working in the East and West, ILLUMINATIONS (After Arthur Rimbaud): Sculpting the Light from the East highlights the strength of light to bind different cultures together. As Rimbaud wrote, “…the soul for the soul, summing up everything, perfumes and sounds and colours.”
The artists in the exhibition, who represent countries including France, Germany, China, Iran, the UK, the US, Turkey, Algeria and Pakistan, are: Osman Akan, Vahap Avsar, Christian Boltanski, Zoulika Bouabdellah, Chryssa, Shezad Dawood, Tracey Emin, Dan Flavin, Claude Levêque, Leila Pazooki, Jack Pierson, Martial Raysse, Anselm Reyle, Ko Siu Lan, Keith Sonnier and Leo Villareal.
A number of the artists are inspired by neon lighting: Only God Knows I’m Good is spelled out and sculpted in white neon in a 2009 piece by Tracey Emin. Leila Pazooki uses blue neon tubes to sculpt a Farsi word in Orientalism, 2010. In a 2009 sculpture, Claude Levêque writes Rise of the Poisoned Youth in white neon. Shezad Dawood illuminates a tumbleweed with light blue neon script in Arabic, which is encased in acrylic.
A highlight of the exhibition will be Christian Boltanski’s Lumieres (vertical green rectangle - Catherine), 2000. The artist explores his longstanding interest in identity, narrative and biography in a haunting installation with light bulbs and a photograph of a woman.
Ashock Adicéam, curator of ILLUMINATIONS (After Arthur Rimbaud): Sculpting the Light from the East, writes in the catalogue essay, “The artists and works selected for this show express the hope for social transformation through the use of light. Their aim is to renew aesthetic visions and to expand the frontiers of receptivity to art. Conceptual, minimalist or charged with electrical emotions, these pieces of art deliver on the assignment given by Dan Flavin to his light sculptures: ‘transform finite picture fields into endless surroundings.’ Indeed, by helping to ‘see oneself see’ as pointed out by James Turrell, light works in contemporary art are like candles in the domain of artificial light we have been living in for the century since the scientific revolutions of Edison and Einstein…. an offering to the God of light as a prayer for redemption. "
Mr. Adicéam has served as a director of cultural organizations and international cultural projects in Paris (at the Maison des Cultures du Monde and CulturesFrance), Nigeria, India, the UK, Edinburgh (as director of the French Cultural Centre) and in Miami, Florida, where, as the French cultural attaché, he was strongly committed to Art Basel Miami Beach. Until last May, Adicéam was the head of development at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Italy. He is also the curator of the recent exhibition Hope! from Giacometti to Murakami at the Palais des Arts in Dinard, France.