Seeing Things

Seeing Things

A photo essay. To view all 25 shots, check out the email version.

Lumia, a new exhibit at the Yale University Art Gallery, is a show of light, and to make it work, everything else has got to be dark.

But your eyes adjust. During a visit this week, silhouetted visitors told each other what they saw in the artist Thomas Wilfred’s pulsing, flowing abstractions: neon flames, deep-sea creatures, cosmic phenomena, spirits in flight.

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Smart People at Long Wharf Theatre

Other viewers will see something different, literally. Most of the works are looping compositions that last a specific amount of time. Among the shortest is a piece that repeats every 5 minutes and 15 seconds. Among the longest is one that loops every 5 years, 359 days, 19 hours, 20 minutes and 48 seconds. Others go days or weeks before repeating. One piece, Luccata, Op. 162, is purportedly infinite. It was Wilfred’s “final attempt to render infinity intelligible,” a nearby placard says.

There’s a lot of fascinating context like that to soak up, if you like. But you don’t have to think too hard to get a lot out of Lumia. It’s enough to simply bask in the light, and see what you see.

Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light
Yale University Art Gallery – 1111 Chapel St, New Haven (map)
Tues-Fri 10am-5pm (Thurs 10am-8pm Sept-June), Sat-Sun 11am-5pm
(203) 432-0601
www.artgallery.yale.edu/exhibitions/…

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped in no small part by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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