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Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible Exhibition March 30-June 29, 2014 at LACMA

Dates: March 30, 2014–June 29, 2014

Location: Art of the Americas Building, Level 2, LACMA
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible features the first large-scale sculptural installation by this pioneer of the Light and Space movement.

After taking up sculpture in the late 1960s, Pashgian became one of a group of artists in the Los Angeles to experiment with new materials such as fiberglass, resin, plastic, and coated glass. For the current exhibition, Pashgian has created 12 molded-acrylic columns that fill an entire gallery. The sculpture creates an immersive viewing experience that invites meditations on the nature of material and light. To create the columns that constitute the sculptural installation at LACMA, the artist heated large sheets of acrylic until they became soft, like fabric. Then, she wrapped each softened sheet around a wooden mold and allowed it to harden again. Each of the 12 columnar elements is made up of two such molded forms, which are then further enhanced. Despite their evident simplicity, the sculptures reveal their internal forms only on close inspection, seeming to hover above the floor as they focus, reflect, and refract light. Pashgian says, “I think of the columns as ‘presences’ in space—presences that do not reveal everything at once. Once must move around to observe changes: coming and going, appearing and receding, visible and invisible—a phenomenon of constant movement…It touches on the mysterious part beyond which the eye cannot go but beyond which the eye struggles to go.”

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This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Funding is provided by the Director’s Circle, with additional support from Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth.

Image: Helen Pashgian, Untitled, 2012–13, © Helen Pashgian, photo © 2014 Museum Associates/LACMA.

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