Light, one of the fundamentals of both the arts and sciences, continues to captivate and entertain in conceptual and empirical inquiry. Perhaps the reason so is that the answers to even some very basic scientific questions about it continue to elude. And, many scientific explanations tend to fall short when applied to broader study and observation. As the title suggests, artists whose works are included in “Particle and Wave” at San Francisco’s Hosfelt Gallery thrive within this ambiguity, delving into the unknown and the uncertain. The contradictions and inconsistencies in the studies of optics, refraction, and color theory are implemented in their work, examining the fluidity of human perception and knowledge of light, and explore science and philosophy’s attempts to make sense of the nature of the universe.
Artwork by a range of artists in background and practice, from Brooklyn-based artist Tara Donovan’s sculpture of Mylar situated in humble beauty on the bright white floor, to local artist Jim Campbell’s LED light works on either side of the gallery walls, and Bruce Connor’s life-sized photogram that prominently greets visitors at the door of the gallery reveal the broad array of how light is used as tool and muse. Connor and Marioni’s photograms capture the manner in which light reflects off their objects with photogram, marking direct, physical connections between light, material, and object. Adding more further depth and dimension to the exhibition, Donovan’s Mylar material and Marco Maggi’s engraved mirrors do not necessarily require light in the making of the object like the photograms. However, the artwork’s materials intend to interact with light to affect the perception of the work and illustrate as well as examine the complexity and aesthetic quality of the object. The show is a vast and yet thoughtful survey of the subject within and beyond the gallery’s artists, making “Particle and Wave” a show not to miss.
“Particle and Wave” will be on view at Hosfelt Gallery, 260 Utah Street, through March 19, 2016.