The Californian light artist James Turrell (*1943) founded a new, spatially defined light art in the 1960s. In it, light appears as an autonomous means of composition, separately from its source. In this way, he created pictures made for the first time of pure light. In this volume, the art historian Ulrike Gehring examines the various qualities of light in American art after 1945. The transition from painted light in a picture to staged light in space is traced in the examples of James Turrell, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Dan Flavin. These light pictures are demonstrably a conscious reminiscence of the traditional panel painting. The light installations of the Californian Light&Space movement centering on Turrell, Robert Irwin, and Douglas Wheeler are distinguished from the minimalistic works of the light artists living in New York, Dan Flavin and Bruce Nauman. The cognitive strategies that contemporary light artists use as a matter of course are thereby revealed.
Ulrike Gehring (*1969) wrote her doctoral dissertation on the theme of light and has been a Junior Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Trier since 2003. Her research emphases are in American art, art theory after 1945, and picture and media theory.
17 x 24 cm
52 color- and 22 B/W-illustrations
German with English summary