Phenomenal : California Light, Space, Surface

Edited by , Foreword by


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During the 1960s and 1970s, a loosely affiliated group of Los Angeles artists - including Larry Bell, Mary Corse, Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Doug Wheeler - more intrigued by questions of perception than by the crafting of discrete objects, embraced light as their primary medium. Whether by directing the flow of natural light, embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, or playing with light through the use of reflective, translucent, or transparent materials, each of these artists created situations capable of stimulating heightened sensory awareness in the receptive viewer. "Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface", companion book to the exhibition of the same name, explores and documents the unique traits of the phenomenologically engaged work produced in Southern California during those decades and traces its ongoing influence on current generations of international artists. It features Foreword by Hugh M. Davies. Additional contributors include: Michael Auping, Stephanie Hanor, Adrian Kohn and Dawna Schuld. Artists include: Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Mary Corse, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, John McCracken, Bruce Nauman, Eric Orr, Helen Pashgian, James Turrell, De Wain Valentine and Doug Wheeler.

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  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 228.6 x 243.84 x 20.32mm | 907.18g
  • University of California Press
  • BerkerleyUnited States
  • English
  • 100 color illustrations, 75 b/w photographs
  • 0520270606
  • 9780520270602
  • 444,316

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Author Information

Robin Clark is Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Hugh M. Davies is Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

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Review quote

"Of the many superb books related to 'Pacific Standard Time,' Phenomenal is among the most elegant." Art In America "Beautifully illustrated and impressively researched... Represents an important contribution to the deepening of scholarship on this still poorly understood yet fundamental dimension of postwar Los Angeles art." Choice "Impressive... Notable for including many large-scale, immersive works that are rarely shown to the public." Southern California Quarterly

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Flap copy

The Light and Space movementof great importance to my development as a young artistis far more than a valid art historical reference. It translates matters of psychology, phenomenology, criticality, emotional investment, and now-ness into an immaterial language that is both subversive and compelling. Light and Space is as contemporary as ever. Olafur Eliasson "

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