A few months ago I visited MASS Moca, a modern art museum in a converted factory in the Northern Berkshires. The space itself is worth a visit with its exposed brick walls, high ceilings, huge windows, and industrial feel.
My favorite work was by Brooklyn artist Spencer Finch. Finch explores how people perceive lights effect on an object’s color, the boundaries of the human field of vision, and the influence of language, memory, and the subconscious.
His works re-creates specific light conditions experienced at a different place and time. Above are photos I took of two Spencer Finch installations, “Sunlight In An Empty Room (Passing Cloud For Emily Dickinson, 2004)" and “Candlelight (2007)" at Mass Moca.
I love how color and light can impact all they touch, be it skin, grass, water etc. To see artists that are artificially capturing and portraying these effects is so thrilling. My husband and I went to Paris for our honeymoon on a whim last summer. We planned to be in Italy but it was sweltering so we hopped a train to beautiful, colorful Paris (hence my obsession with macarons and previous post on this blog).
While there, we visited my favorite modern art museum Centre Pompidou. We experienced a truly interactive light and color installation called Diurnisme by Philip Rahm. Rahm subverted the perpetual day created by modernity and globalization. The room is bathed in a bright orange/yellow light with wavelengths upwards of 600 nanometers, which is perceived by the body as night. The hormone melatonin guides our perception of day or night. The light of the room triggers the production of melatonin, tricking the body into thinking it's night. We didn't get too sleepy though hyped up on cappuccinos. The first photo is from We Make Money, Not Art, The second is a snapshot of my husband entering the exhibit and the third is my favorite painter Lisa Yuskavage.
Yuskavage is the only artist of the three who so well portrays color and light in an opaque medium, oil paint. Her work is thick and luscious so vividly conveying the impact of light and color on skin and fabrics as well as evoking a distinct emotion and mood.