Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible

Art of the Americas Building, Level 2
March 30, 2014–June 29, 2014

Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible features the first large-scale sculptural installation by this pioneer of the Light and Space movement.

After taking up sculpture in the late 1960s, Pashgian became one of a group of artists in the Los Angeles area to experiment with new materials such as fiberglass, resin, plastic, and coated glass. For the current exhibition, Pashgian has created 12 molded-acrylic columns that fill an entire gallery. The sculpture creates an immersive viewing experience that invites meditations on the nature of material and light. To create the columns that constitute the sculptural installation at LACMA, the artist heated large sheets of acrylic until they became soft, like fabric. Then she wrapped each softened sheet around a wooden mold and allowed it to harden again. Each of the 12 columnar elements is made up of two such molded forms, which are then further enhanced. Despite their evident simplicity, the sculptures reveal their internal forms only on close inspection, seeming to hover above the floor as they focus, reflect, and refract light. Pashgian says, "I think of the columns as 'presences' in space—presences that do not reveal everything at once. One must move around to observe changes: coming and going, appearing and receding, visible and invisible—a phenomenon of constant movement. It touches on the mysterious, the place beyond which the eye cannot go."

This exhibition is included in General Admission.
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This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Funding is provided by the Director's Circle, with additional support from Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth.

Image: Helen Pashgian, Untitled, 2012–13, © Helen Pashgian, photo © 2014 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Behind the Scenes: Visualizing a Work of Art in Progress

How do you represent a work of art that doesn’t yet exist? For Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible (March 30–June 29, 2014), the artist is making a new large-scale sculpture consisting of 12 molded acrylic columns that will be displayed in the special exhibition galleries of the Art of the Americas Building. Before the work is installed on-site at LACMA, however, no one—not even the artist herself—will be able to see the sculptural installation in its entirety...