A display of “lightpaintings” by Stephen Knapp is a highlight of the 2013 Miami International Art Fair and a prelude to an exhibition at the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum.
Knapp’s lightpaintings are technically complex works combining elements of painting, sculpture, and architecture to produce art that is simultaneously substantial and luminescent, physical and transcendental.
In a lightpainting, small pieces of dichroic glass (fused glass plates sandwiching a colored metallic oxide) mounted on stainless steel refract light into different wavelengths and the steel ground reflects it. Knapp “paints” using the oxide colors, the color of the light coming through the glass, and the angle of reflection from the light source.
Knapp, based in Princeton, Massachusetts, has enjoyed a long and internationally successful career as a photographer, ceramic muralist, and sculptor.
“I have been fascinated with light all my life,” he says, “both for what it can do and for the effect it has on us. In all my prior mediums I’ve used light in ways that are not always apparent. When I found a way to uniquely express myself in light, I embraced it fully. With my lightpaintings I separate white light into pure color and ‘paint’ with light. Each piece has a presence that far exceeds its physical dimensions. At once both physical objects and illusions, they remind us that dreams, hopes and aspirations are the center of art’s ability to touch the human spirit.”
Aboard ship and on dry land
You can see Knapp’s work in the Setford & Bridges gallery space aboard Seafair, a mega-yacht docked near the InterContinental Hotel at 100 Chopin Plaza during the Miami International Art Fair, which opened January 17, 2013, and runs through the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day holiday weekend (including Monday, January 21)
In addition, UM will exhibit 14 lightpaintings at the Lowe Art Museum from January 26 through March 24, 2013.
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