cover image Art of Light + Space

Art of Light + Space

Jan Butterfield. Abbeville Press, $65 (271pp) ISBN 978-1-55859-272-8

Light and Space art, a movement that began in Southern California in the late 1960s, uses glass, cast acrylic, phosphorescent materials, floor lights and so forth to evoke the ripple of sunshine on water, the flicker of light through the trees, a splash of moonlight. In this profusely illustrated, entrancing survey, art critic and artists' consultant Butterfield investigates an art that takes shape through the viewer's directed perception. Examples include Robert Irwin's mysterious, luminous spun-aluminum discs, Maria Nordman's geometrically planted trees that redefine public spaces, James Turrell's hovering three-dimensional cube of light and Eric Orr's transmutation of alchemy, Egyptian ruins and kabbalistic lore into ``silent, awesome, magical'' installations and environmental sculpture. This album showcases a movement that deserves to be better known. (July)