Art in the Light: Artist Date around Palm Beach galleries

Ludovico in front of the 2021 surf board Christmas tree designed by Johnson Hartig

Palm Beach, Florida was the lucky location of my winter holidays, thanks to a new family home. Besides the sea and the glorious sunshine, the contemporary art scene that the town is newly known for, magnetizes me to this corner of the world.

Located a block from the Atlantic Ocean, the Brintz Gallery was founded in Palm Beach in 2014, and is one of my favorite hubs of contemporary art. A friendly and well-informed gallerist walked me through works on display, responding to all my curiosities. I stopped in my tracks, however, upon entering the room for emerging artists (ps, a hopeful destination for my own works!) and experiencing the techno-sculptural-paintings of Rachel Rossin.

Digitized falling rose petals transposed on painted backgrounds had a mesmerizing quality. Light pours from the embedded holographic display mixed with an animated Zoetrope video. As I watched the innovative experience, I considered how light itself is a medium within art. Hypnotized by the repetitive motion in the foreground of the works, I found my gaze absorbing their abstract base, my own staring presence a kind of hovering.

Michal Rovner, Blue Crossing, 2018, LCD screen and video, 57-1/8″ × 32-5/8″ × 3-3/8″ (145.1 cm × 82.9 cm × 8.6 cm), Edition of 5 + 2 APs © 2019 Michal Rovner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Another innovative light/techno/video painter is artist Michal Rovner seen at the Pace Gallery. “Current Climates” displays televisions each individually embedded with microchips of her video paintings – and sold as a whole. The videos themselves are choreographed by her, involving the use of actors and footage from the desert near her Israeli home. These intricate compilations have a haunting quality, at once rhythmic, tranquil and equally unsettling. I was thrilled expose my son to these works, to inspire his own budding passion for making 3d digital art.

On Palm Beach’s flashy Worth Avenue, I popped into two galleries. Paula Cooper offered a clever group show featuring works on paper. Big guns Cy Twombly and Rauschenberg always fascinate, along with Atsuko Tanaka. The inherent brightness from their works emanates perhaps from the more optimistic eras in which they created. Meanwhile, down the way at Lehmann Maupin, the eye-catching handiwork of sewer-sculptor Do Ho Suh reflected the artist’s eye on the domestic landscape, where the pandemic was lived. His brightly colored, sheer fabric objects had a light touch, creating tension with the works’ deeper implications.

Leggerezza – lightness is one of the necessary principles to be embraced in the 21st century, according to Italo Calvino. With some contemporary artists, this quality is literally “light” itself.

My own digital works are produced by the light emitted from the screen, and my Iconics works are expressed in acrylic or glass when printed in limited edition, chosen for the luminosity of the medium. With my Studio team, I have also created moving portraits and videos to animate snapshots of my world. More and more, I turn to light, color, and movement, and envision these elements in forthcoming works.

I’m excited to have gathered such beautiful inspiration for a bright 2022 in such a luminous spot.