Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Photo by Doug Gates

If you are in the San Diego area and looking for something to do this weekend, check out the Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. It is your last chance to experience the exhibit at the museum’s La Jolla location, as it will be closing this Sunday, January 22. However, the exhibit will remain open to the public at its downtown location in San Diego into spring and summer.

More after the break.

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This exhibit covers the work of a group of artists from Los Angeles, using the medium of light to convey the sensory phenomena we experience everyday.  The work stems from the 1960s and 1970s, exploring the “ flow of natural light, embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, or by playing with light through the use of transparent, translucent or reflective materials. These artists each made the visitor’s experience of light “under controlled and specific conditions”.

© James Turrell | Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann

Craig KauffmanDe Wain Valentine, James TurrellRobert IrwinDouglas Wheeler and Helen Pashgian are just some of the artists whose work can be viewed at the San Diego.  The pieces are sometimes “disorienting”, “otherworldly”, “perplexing” and “produce different and extreme retinal responses”.

© 2011 Bruce Nauman / Artists Rights Society (ARS) Photo by Pablo Mason

The intuition behind using light explores the dynamic relationships between the spaces we occupy. Light can alter the interpretation of the spatial composition of architecture; after all, it was Le Corbusier that said ” architecture is the play of forms under light”.  This exhibit shows us just that.

© De Wain Valentine | Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann

Be sure to check out the Museum’s features here.

Featured Artist Include:
Peter AlexanderLarry BellRon CooperMary CorseRobert IrwinCraig KauffmanJohn McCrackenBruce NaumanEric OrrHelen PashgianJames TurrellDe Wain ValentineDouglas Wheeler

via Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego


Cite: "Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego" 20 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>