Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Viewpoints from Light and Space Artists

February 13, 2019

Eversley, Bell, Corse: Three Different Viewpoints From Light and Space Artists

Native to Southern California, the informally associated group of artists who populated the Light and Space movement during the second half on the 20th century, pursued their new art form through several central features. Light and Space works first and foremost showcase minimal materials. Like those used in other modernist movements, Light and Space materials were stripped down and maintained only their most important functions. Works of the movement are almost entirely dependent on the participation of the viewer. The object itself refuses to perform without activation by its audience and thus the definition of the ‘artwork’ is composed in the relationship between the piece and the viewer. This produces an ephemeral effect that often alters the spectator’s perception in some capacity. This loose rubric leaves much room for interpretation and thus has sponsored many different variations of its pillars.

Larry Bell, VFGY 5
February 17, 2019 Modern Art & Design Auction

With his solo exhibition in 1962, Larry Bell was the youngest artist to join the famous Ferus Gallery. Bell soon became recognized for his glass sculptures which are always changing in response to their environments as well as the viewer’s interaction with them. To an even greater extent than other artists, Bell considers light to be his main raw material, therefore his works explore the ways in which that light transforms when captured and sourced through various materials.

Fred Eversley, Untitled
February 17, 2019 Modern Art & Design Auction

From the beginning, Fred Eversley aimed to craft kinetic sculptures that used the natural fluctuations, in both their setting and relationship to the viewer, to produce movement.  By the 1970s the artist’s sculptures evolved into the translucent, concave discs that are now represented his series of lenses. The elegant shape of these large multi-colored “fish eye lenses,” captures an image of the surrounding environment within the sculptures. This parabola concentrates light energy and thus projects that image back onto the spectator. While many Light and Space artists focused on the viewer’s perception of their works, Eversley focused on creating objects that could be used by the spectator to perceive the world around them. Because the morphing reflection in  Eversley’s resin is produced by the viewer’s movement, they are made more aware of their own important role in the kinetic “choreography” of their surroundings.


Mary Corse, Untitled (White Line Grid)
February 17, 2019 Modern Art & Design Auction

In contrast to both Eversley and Bell, Mary Corse focuses on the creation of space, using light as a tool. At a young age, Corse became fascinated by the works of Josef Albers and Hans Hoffman and their ability to coax out the viewer’s recognition of their own perception. She recalls tracing their fundamental shapes over and over, marveling at the ways in which her visual interaction with the forms could animate and transform them. Through the subtle color gradient that constitutes shape in Corse’s own work, the creation of space through light disappears and reappears in response to the viewer’s engagement. While her techniques and materials have varied widely over the fifty years of her career, Corse persistently teases out the viewer’s sensitivity to their own act of creation through perception.


Lot 134
Larry Bell
Vaporized metal on paper
Signed and dated in graphite lower center edge of sheet
Together with copy of original invoice from The Museum of Contemporary Art dated June 16, 1998, and letter of provenance
Composition/sheet: 39.375″ x 27.5″; Frame: 40″ x 28″
Provenance:  Janus Gallery, Venice, California; Joe Austin (acquired directly from the above, 1979); Private Collection, Beverly Hills, California (acquired directly from the above through MOCA Auction, Los Angeles, California, June 16, 1998, lot S 64); Thence by descent

Estimate: $15,000 – 20,000
February 17, 2019 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 133
Fred Eversley
3-color, 3-layer cast polyester
22.125″ x 22.25″ x 7″
Provenance:  Private Collection, United States

Estimate: $30,000 – 50,000
February 17, 2019 Modern Art & Design Auction

Lot 137
Mary Corse
Untitled (White Light Grid)
Glass microspheres in acrylic on canvas
Signed and dated verso
24.25″ x 24″
Provenance:  Richard Bellamy, New York, New York; Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above, 1971); Thence by descent

Estimate: $100,000 – 150,000
February 17, 2019 Modern Art & Design Auction

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