Seeing the Light: Illuminating Objects

Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Trina Turk Gallery exhibit causes you to stop and look

Site Staff Arts & Entertainment 0 Comments


"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."— Anton Chekhov

On display through Jan. 3, 2016 at Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Trina Turk Gallery, this exhibition prompts us to think about how we perceive light on objects.

As reflection, illumination, glow, radiance, shimmer, shine, or luster?


Karen LaMonte, Pianist's Dress Impression, 2005, cast glass, museum purchase with funds provided by David Kaplan and Glenn Ostergaard (c) Karen LaMonte.


For designers and artists, the luminosity of materials is endlessly fascinating. The inherent transparency or reflectivity of surfaces heightens our experience and attracts us with their seductive quality. Frank Gehry's Fish Lamp glows from within, Beatrice Wood’s pottery has lustrous surfaces, and the shiny stainless steel of Sebastian Errazuriz's Chaise acts like a mirror. Diverse objects selected from the museum’s permanent collection and from private collections demonstrate the boundless fascination of the expressive power of light.


Pat Lasch, A Couple's Prayer (from the Prayer Cloth Series), 2006, gold, silver, copper leaf and acrylic paint on Arches paper, gift of Albert Aaron (c) Pat Lasch.


Using examples from midcentury to contemporary designers and artists, we examine how the chosen materials and media reflect light or illuminate. An out-sized globe designed by Robert Wilson for a stage production of Einstein on the Beach and the striking fabric, Magnum, designed by Jack Lenor Larsen for a theater curtain, each illustrate the drama of radiance. Modernist sculptor Harry Bertoia’s work, Golden Bush, uses copper and bronze to create a stylized natural form, while artist Peter Sarkisian mesmerizes us with his video of a bubbling pail of iridescent green liquid.


Bertil Vallien, Resting Head, 1999, sand cast glass on waxed wood base and stand, gift of Cindy Miscikowski and the Ring Miscikowski Trust (c) Bertil Vallien.


Glass artists Dale Chilhuly, Angelo Barovier, Kait Rhoads, and Karen Bexfield demonstrate the seemingly endless possibilities of glass to merge color and light. Jewelry in gold and silver designed by artists Fletcher Benton, DeWain Valentine, and Lynda Benglis, and crystal-encrusted shoes by Debra Hovel reveal how personal adornment is fascinating. Mylar wall decals by Jim Isermann create a captivating environment for this exhibition of diverse, luminous objects.

This exhibition is organized by Palm Springs Art Museum and funded in part by Presenting Sponsor Renova Solar. A+D Center Exhibition Sponsors: John Boccardo and Derek Esplin. Media Sponsor: The Desert Sun. Exhibition Season Sponsors: Dorothy Meyerman and Marion and Bob Rosenthal.

Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive, 760-423-5260;

Leave a Reply