UrbanGlass Robert Lehman Gallery
From January 20 – March 5th, 2021
Closing night is glimmering upon the horizon for the Stirring Glows exhibit at Brooklyn’s UrbanGlass as they prepare to end a nearly six-week-long run. Showing from Jan. 20 to March 5, the exhibit features an array of brightly colored neon artwork created by a list of different artists.
Curated by Zeljka Himbele, Stirring Glows showcases neon work from Alejandro Diaz, Graciela Cassel, Hannah Kirkpatrick, Indira Cesarine, James Akers, Jan Tichy, Kate Harding, Lucy Gillis, Patrick Martinez, and Soledad Arias. The works in the exhibition emphasize the importance of current global issues including economic, class, and gender disparities, the relationship between nature and humans, climate crisis, population dislocations and migrations, and surveillance and institutional power through the use of metaphor and simplicity in neon art.
“Because of its unique properties, neon light has been used in a multitude of ways by contemporary artists, who have, over several decades, vigorously explored its conceptual potential. Ever since the invention of neon light, Futurists as well as other artists recognized how neon’s transfixing properties guide the viewer’s perspective and convey metaphorical language of the artworks. Typically residing in the domain of commerce and advertising, neon light was used by the Op Art and Minimalism movements during the 1960’s; in the 1970’s Light and Space Movement in Southern California, and further acclaimed by artists focused on the exploration of color and industrial materials. In the following decades, neon works by Joseph Kosuth, Keith Sonnier, Bruce Nauman, Glenn Ligon, Cerith Wyn Evans and Tracy Emin, among others, would be displayed on museum walls all over the world, testifying to a wide range of messages and aesthetics expressed through the neon glow.
The exhibition Stirring Glows features recently made neon works by artists — Alejandro Diaz, Graciela Cassel, Hannah Kirkpatrick, Indira Cesarine, James Akers, Jan Tichy, Kate Harding, Lucy Gillis, Patrick Martinez and Soledad Arias — who frequently incorporate this medium in their respective multimedia practices. While addressing the rich history of street neon lights, as well as the historical neon art production, the works displayed speak about and call attention to urgent topics of our times: the relationship between nature and humans; climate crisis; striking economic, class, gender, and racial disparities; population dislocations and migrations; surveillance and institutional power – the topics which require action all the more amidst the current global pandemic.”
Within the collection displayed, viewers can expect to see meaningful wording, sculpting, and outlining with neon lights created by the aforementioned artists.
Furthering the conversation on neon art’s impact on society, its history is also highlighted throughout the exhibit. A conversation with Las Vegas’ Neon Museum arts program manager and collections manager, occurring on Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. is set to supplement the gallery’s display. Visitors will have the opportunity to reserve tickets for In Conversation with Joanne Russ & Emily Fellmer of The Neon Museum, where they will discuss the Las Vegas Museum in-depth and offer tips on how to get involved in its community.
As for Stirring Glows, a socially distanced closing reception will be held on Wednesday, March 3, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with several exhibiting artists attending the event. Timed tickets can be reserved for every half hour on their website.