Visual Art | Spring 2023
IN THE SHUMAN LOUNGE
Fox, Michigan, 1980
Proctor's Theater, Troy, 2015
Past Presence 024, Dance (1), Henri Matisse, 2014
Gelatin silver print
Edition of 5
Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery
Hiroshi Sugimoto (Born 1948, Tokyo) is one of the most critically acclaimed artists and photographers of his generation. His work is engaged with the Minimal and Conceptual movements and consists of photography, sculpture, and architecture. Sugimoto’s works aim to create suspended states by changing how time is represented and how we perceive it. His photographs encourage the audience to observe the world from a different perspective by focusing attention on a single element.
This installation brings together work from two different series: “Theaters” and “Past Presence.” Sugimoto began the “Theaters” series in 1978 by photographing old American movie theaters and drive-ins. Using a large-format camera and the projector of the running movie as the light source, Sugimoto would capture entire films in a single still. The result of each full-length movie is a luminous white rectangle that brings attention to the architectural details of the spaces.
ON THE GRAND TIER
Terrain #1, Terrain #4, Terrain #5, Terrain #3, 2011
Gold leaf on Tyvek, crumpled
17 x 14 inches
Board: 23 x 20 inches
Signed “Antonakos” on board
Stephen Antonakos (St. Nicholas, Laconia, Greece, 1926 – New York, 2013) is known for his Direct Neons, Neon Panels, Neon Walls, Neon Rooms, Chapels, drawings, collages, Travel Collages, Artist’s Books, the conceptual Packages, more than 50 architecturally-sited Public Works, and more.
Throughout his almost 60-year practice, Antonakos explored ways that light activates space. His work is about “real things in real spaces in the here and now.” There are no representations or references. In these “Terrain” works—as with his best-known geometric work with neon—it is the material, the forms, and their relationships to their sites that define them. These are not images, but objects—abstract sculptures in frames.
The artist began his gold-leafed Tyvek sheets in 2010. Their titles—Site, Plain, Terrain, and Field—are clues that the works are, or at least start as, flat planes.
In the studio—after the proportions of each sheet and the specific shade, texture, and size of its gold-leaf squares had been decided and realized—Antonakos laid the work on his drawing table and simply looked until he knew what to do, whether one action of crumpling or several. “The important thing,” he said, “is to know when to stop.”
Even a flat gold-leafed sheet will look different according to the viewer’s angle of vision and the amount and direction of other light in the area. The complex, unpredictable reflections and shadows of the crumpled “Terrains” are practically endless—a gentle dynamism.
A major monograph by David Ebony covering 60 years of Antonakos’s practice will be published by Rizzoli International in October 2023.
Courtesy Bookstein Projects, New York
Copyright © Stephen Antonakos Studio LLC
Audience members at mainstage performances throughout the season are invited to experience both of these installations before and after their performance.
Support for Visual Art at New York City Center is provided by
Deborah Goodman Davis and Gerald R. Davis