Rear view: Spencer Finch


Spencer Finch, The Light at Lascaux (Cave Entrance), September 29, 2005, 5:27 PM (detail) (2005), Fluorescent light fixtures and lamps with filters, 39 x 611cm. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery., originally uploaded by mxccuba.

It should have occurred to me that Boxing Day at GoMA would be really hectic, but it was out-of-towners on a tight schedule with the plan. No matter, it’s always curious to see a lot of people’s reactions. And with works by over 140 artists, 21st Century: Art in the First Decade is a lot of fun.

It’s especially enlightening to see all the new acquisitions in one exhibition. In fact, it’s almost astounding that all these works have been so quickly amassed for just one collection. I was particularly pleased to see Spencer Finch’s The Light at Lascaux (Cave Entrance), September 29, 2005, 5:27 PM (2005) amongst them. The work was previously exhibited in 2009 as part of Spencer Finch: As if the sea should part and show a further. It was the best exhibition I’ve ever seen at QAG/GoMA and I’d considered writing a review at the time, but never got around to it.

The exhibition was concerned with light and the perception of light. From what I remember, there was a bank of 9 monitors facing the wall, which reflected a pastel hue, there was a drawing of an eye or iris and there was The Light at Lascaux. In some respects, particularly in its pace, it was really more of an installation than an exhibition.

To create The Light at Lascaux, Finch recorded the quality of light between the shadowy interior and entrance of the Lascaux Cave. The cave which, discovered in 1940 in south-west France, is synonymous with prehistoric art. The Light at Lascaux recreates this light with diagonal fluorescent tubes and calibrated colour filters related to pigments in the cave’s prehistoric paintings, as well as tones from the surrounding mountainous landscape and sky.

Related posts:
I love my time, I don’t like my time, an afternoon at the Frye, January 6 2007
Jessica Stockholder, Of standing float boots in thin air, January 3 2007
Casa Luis Barragan, December 2 2005

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