Nahmad Contemporary is pleased to present Still Life, an exhibition comprised of two pivotal works by Dan Flavin and Alex Israel.
Conceived fifty years apart at parallel points in the lifetimes of both exhibiting artists, the works in Still Life come together to create a singularly dramatic moment borne out of embellished iterations of common and inanimate source material.
Dan Flavin’s seminal 1963 work, pink out of a corner (to Jasper Johns), consists of a fluorescent light bulb installed, as the title indicates, where two walls meet. Through this reorientation, the artist imparts an industrial object, the common lamp, with striking unfamiliarity. Within the frame of the mind’s eye, this single, unadulterated readymade fluorescent lamp, in fact, takes on characteristics of a linchpin of Still Life: the melting candle, illuminating yet destined to flame out.
Alex Israel’s 2013 Lens installation is a cornerstone work in the artist’s oeuvre. The sculpture depicts an enlarged lens from a pair of sunglasses, conjuring the associated notions of cool, mystery, and power. Like the mirrors, yard globes and Victorian gazing balls associated with traditional Still Life, Israel’s oversized work acts a contemporary nod to the genre’s trope of optical devices.
Traditional still life has often been associated with the passage of time. The rosy pink glow that both artworks emit or embody relates strongly to this notion, by capturing the light of the magic hour (the pinkish light that appears just before sunset), that very specific moment in time when day slips into night.