The Newark Museum

Newark, NJ



The Luminous Image, V


0pening August 2, 2000 at The Newark Museum, The Luminous Image, V brings together a lively and engaging group of accomplished artists, all on the cutting edge of art and technology. This group show of illuminated photography presents new works by guest curator Franc Palaia, plus artists Heidi Kumao, Shu-Min Lin, Anita Thacher and Ted Victoria, each of whom uses a variety of unorthodox materials along with the element of light. Writes The Star-Ledger art critic Dan Bischoff, The Luminous Image "is about photography but also about much more -- like the ways camera-made images can be manipulated to express normally fine arts motifs." (left: Announcement card and color catalog design by Franc Palaia © 2000)

The Luminous Image, V brings together diverse examples of this art form, demonstrating its myriad range. Each artist contributes a distinct element, which forms this intriguing display of modern illuminated photography. For decades a generally overlooked genre, illuminated photography is an eclectic art form. In this show, visitors encounter a theatrical array of mixed-media light sculptures, including kinetic light projections; holographic installations; illuminated Cibachromes; Rube Goldberg-like light boxes that create the illusion of moving objects; back-lit transparencies and mirrors; and works that reclaim and transform found objects in unexpected ways.

Heidi Kumao makes kinetic light projections of everyday activities and gestures such as pointing fingers, a woman sweeping or just an eyeball looking back at you. Her intimate cinema machines, homemade Zoetrope projectors, are fabricated from discarded furniture and 1950s grade school projectors to create subtle and intriguing domestic scenarios.

Shu-Min Lin is recognized internationally for his novel way of presenting holograms. His holographic installations can be walked upon, entered into as a room, reflected in broken glass or appear inside beautifully blown glass vessels. He also makes holograms where as many as 50 portraits are superimposed on one glass plate.

Anita Thacher is a filmmaker and installation artist. Her work is theatrical and cinematic in scope, while still working with space and time. Here, she shows a delicate and subtle new series of illuminated Cibachromes entitled Metropolitan Shadows, which capture the silhouettes and shade created by works at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Ted Victoria is a pioneer in illuminated photography who first exhibited kinetic photo works more than 30 years ago. Included in this exhibition are Rube Goldberg-like light boxes that create the illusion of intimate moving objects, such as spinning cups, bouncing balls and swimming goldfish. These hanging works incorporate mirrors, lights, miniature TV sets, small toys, motors and lenses. The artist invites viewers to open the boxes to reveal their mysterious inner workings.

Artist Franc Palaia, who also curates the show, has been making unconventional illuminated photo-sculptures since 1990. Early works combine found and recycled industrial and domestic objects such as suitcases, auto parts, steamer trunks, furniture, toys, appliances, heating ducts, rusty signs and lamps with Duratrans, or back-lit transparencies. One work uses 72 nightlights to illuminate the two-feet by four-feet image. Here, Palaia presents three-dimensional back-lit transparent mirrors depicting panoramic landscapes of Roman aqueducts, American bridges and Italian architecture.

The exhibition remains on view in The Newark Museum's Community Gallery through October 8, 2000. An opening reception on Sunday, August 6, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. is open to the public and offers an opportunity to meet the artists. Admission to the Museum and its galleries is always free.

Read more about the Newark Museum in Resource Library Magazine

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/18/11

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