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By Tamara Schillin

Covering every square inch of gallery wall space, Fade traces the stark geometric architecture and vaulted heights of the gallery with computerized fiber-optic LED lights, bringing light installation art into the 21st century. Fade, is a site-specific light environment, created by Austrian artist Erwin Redl, He designed several installations using electric light to visually and conceptually alter controlled environments since the late 1980’s. , as well as several web based projects such as: "Truth is a Moving Target". In this current work, he resurrects the combined luminary qualities of Dan Flavin, the neon hues of Stephen Antonakos, and the minimalist grid of Agnes Martin, conceptually and visually transforming the entire gallery.

The space is transformed into a weightless, timeless world with thousands of tiny red dots, rows of pin head sized LED bulbs. The installation is assembled each row along precision lines in a geometric grid, which respond to a sequencer set at five minute intervals, causing the light to change over time. James Manning, who installed the exhibit, said that the installation had to be custom assembled taking about a week to cut, solder and assemble, from giant rolls of LED's, not unlike bubble wrap. LED’s have been used in electronics for years, but newer designs are being toted as the bulb of the future for in home use, have already been adopted by cities and industries and are predicted to become a billion dollar industry by 2012.

This marks his Boston debut Erwin Redl, but for curator, Joseph Ketner, this marks a return to area as the newly appointed Henry and Lois Foster Chair of Contemporary Art at Emerson College. After three years as Director of the Milwaukee Art Museum Fade marks the auspicious inaugural exhibition at Emerson College by Director/Curator Joseph Ketner. Ketner says he is honored to relishes the opportunity as a chance to develop innovative programs, to bring experimental, site-specific contemporary art to both academic audiences and the Boston community. As the former Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University from 1998 to 2005, Joesph Ketner’s expansive art exhibitions, educational programs and lecture series developed a broad outreach to greater Boston area audiences.

Emerson College - Huret & Spector Gallery

"Fade" is on exhibit through November 30, 2008 at the Huret & Spector Gallery, Tufte Performance and Production Center, located at Emerson College at 10 Boylston Place, Boston, MA.

All images are courtesy of the artist, Florian Holzherr, and Ace Gallery, Los Angeles


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