Depth Perception: James Turrell is part of Lévy Gorvy’s SUMMER LIGHTS, the gallery’s Summer 2018 program. Paired with Neon in Daylight: the two presentations celebrate the phenomena of light. Turrell and Morellet have each turned to light as a revelation in itself, rather than a source that illuminates another object. The gallery will feature seminal works by each artist—five late neon sculptures by Morellet and Turrell’s 1974 installation Wedgework V. Together, these installations invite visitors to engage issues of light and perception through August 18, 2018.
Depth Perception: James Turrell
Light shapes experience. From Vermeer to the painters of the Hudson River School and pioneers of Minimalism, artists have tested its relationship to new perceptual depths. James Turrell began working with light in the 1960s with projections as part of the Southern California Light and Space movement. His work focuses the viewer on ways in which light connects internal experience with perception of the world beyond the confines of one’s own body.
Turrell’s 1974 installation Wedgework V is an uncanny room-spanning installation belonging to the artist’s landmark Wedgework series. Projected light creates an illusion of structure. Initiated in 1969, this body of work clarified the artist’s mission to display light in isolation, for its own sake: “I’m interested in the thingness of light itself,” he explained. Exemplifying this is the luminous optical sleight of Wedgework V. Red fluorescent light is paired with light-reflective paint to produce a vertiginous spatial effect wherein the gallery appears to expand beyond the logic of its architecture.
Neon in Daylight: François Morellet
As the sun stretches into its longest days, we immerse ourselves in summer’s slower modulations of daylight, its protracted evenings and shorter shadows. We find renewed pleasure in the city’s lights—the streams of car headlights on the parkway, the flicker of street-lamps in the parks, the meteors that tear through the sky above it all. “Neon in daylight is a great pleasure,” wrote Frank O’Hara of the uncanny glow of lamps that burn despite the hour.
The five neon sculptures comprising Neon in Daylight: François Morellet reveal the artist’s unique mixing of rigorous neutrality and wry humor. Two 2012 works from the Ready Remake series, for example, place subtle silhouettes referencing Duchamp and Manzoni—Fountain, and Merda d’artista —under neat vertical arrangements of white neon tubes. Démonétisation n°5 (La Meule) (2009) employs the same technique in a nod to Monet. Destabilizing the viewer’s perception in both somatic and intellectual ways, Morellet’s work is experienced actively, as a sequence of unfolding revelations dawn on the viewer.
About Lévy Gorvy
Lévy Gorvy cultivates a program devoted to innovation and connoisseurship in the fields of modern, postwar, and contemporary art. Founded by Dominique Lévy and Brett Gorvy, Lévy Gorvy embodies expertise, depth of knowledge, and a passion for art. The gallery fosters continued dedication to the living artists and artists’ estates it represents and pursues a robust program of exhibitions and multidisciplinary events at its locations in New York’s Upper East Side and in Mayfair, London. The gallery conducts ongoing art historical research, publishing original scholarship, exhibition catalogues, monographs, and other key scholarly resources. Lévy Gorvy also offers bespoke art advisory services, expanding its global reach with the opening of an office in Shanghai last year, and the launch of a new office in Zürich in November 2018.
Past Works by the artists