If you are looking for what to do over the Easter holiday, here are our contemporary art-themed suggestions.
April's F/ART calendar includes 11 neonart exhibitions and installations around the world.
Where: Museum Ritter, Alfred-Ritter-Straße 27, 71111 Waldenbuch
When: 16 October 2022 - 16 April 2023
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 am - 6 pm
Link: Museum Ritter – Tutto Bene!
Artists: Alighiero Boetti, Corrado Bonomi, Antonio Calderara, Enrico Castellani, Gianni Colombo, Dadamaino, Fortunato Depero, Piero Dorazio, Paolo Masi, Marcello Morandini, Bruno Munari, Paolo Scirpa, Atanasio Soldati, Grazia Varisco, and Francesco Vezzoli
Exhibition: The exhibition featuring works from the Museum’s collection is dedicated to Italy’s specific contribution to abstraction and nonrepresentational art, and takes a look at various currents and approaches that have helped shape developments over the past hundred years. Over 70 paintings, reliefs, objects and kinetic works give a sense of just how differently the principles of geometry and mathematics can be interpreted. Thus, freely composed, almost sign-like forms determined the painting of the Movimento d'arte concreta, while grids and serial structures set the works of the Arte programmata in vibration and motion.
Neon artwork: Ludoscopio multispaziale by Paolo Scirpa
Paolo Scirpa, Ludoscopio multispaziale, 1987 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023, photo: Gerhard Sauer
Where: Palazzo San Giuseppe, via Mulini 2, Polignano a Mare (Bari – Italy)
When: 18 March - 30 May 2023
Days and hours: Saturday and Sunday, 18.00-21.00
Artist with neon work: Daniela Corbascio - "untitled" 2023
Event: Like A Little Disaster presents "And then an insurmountable tension, to the level of an incommensurability", a group exhibition involving twenty-five artists brought together to create a scenario decolonised from the human being, inhabited by hybrid objects/subjects, resistant to any definitive classification or definition. The project is configured as a panorama structured by multiple tentacular connections that are never completely closed, capable of setting in motion unexpected, unpredictable and uncontrollable consequences.
Neon artwork: The presence of the white and livid blue neon tubes that the artist has positioned emphasises the disturbing aspect of the skins.
Man and nature in a continuous alternation of conflict and alliance, proliferating chimeras, questioning the concepts of subjectification, objectification and subjection, the classification of beings and the hierarchy of actors and values.
Daniela Corbascio. Neon, F/ART neon transformer, iron, fur coats. Dimensioni ambientali, 2023.
"E poi una tensione insormontabile, fino all'incommensurabilità", curated by Like A Little Disaster, Palazzo San Giuseppe, Polignano a Mare. Photo Credit Like A Little Disaster.
Where: Borgonato Castle, Corte Franca, Brescia
When: Permanent installation, visible from sunset
Artist: Valerio Rocco Orlando (Milan, 1978) is an artist, PhD student in Architectural and Urban Engineering at the Sapienza University of Rome and guest researcher in Urban Studies at the University of Basel. He teaches Multimedia Dramaturgy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brera, the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and the Politecnico delle Arti in Bergamo. Through practices ranging from workshops to video installations, his research takes art as a process of mutual analysis and knowledge and explores the osmosis between institutions, museums, academia and the social sphere. His works are held in public and private collections in Italy and abroad.
Installation: the first light sculpture of the Vite Operose cycle by Valerio Rocco Orlando, the inaugural artistic project of Casa dei Talenti Berlucchi.
Casa dei Talenti Berlucchi, a format directed by Caroline Corbetta, curator of contemporary art and member of the Scientific Committee of Academia Berlucchi, is aimed at the realisation of cultural programmes for the regeneration and promotion of the Franciacorta territory, and at the valorisation of the people who work there, with a view to human and environmental sustainability.
Vite Operose is a participatory and widespread art project, dedicated to the theme of industriousness, which was born in Franciacorta to be developed during 2023 in the heart of the two cities Capital of Italian Culture 2023. In fact, it is a cycle of community-based art works that originate from the involvement of three communities in Franciacorta and the cities of Bergamo and Brescia through a series of workshop activities.
The work has several faces is the phrase that the artist transformed into a neon light sculpture, almost 6 metres long, handmade in a unique edition to be set up on the tower of Borgonato Castle.
"The sculpture was handcrafted using the neon technique, precisely to reproduce human handwriting. This artistic language is a metaphor for manual care in the practice of vine cultivation,' explains Valerio Rocco Orlando.
Valerio Rocco Orlando, "Il lavoro ha diversi volti (Vite Operose)", 2023. Site-specific white neon light sculpture (Franciacorta) 45 x 575 cm Courtesy the artist and Casa dei Talenti Berlucchi
Where: Chiostro del Bramante (Rome)
When: 18 March - 15 October 2023
Hours and days: Monday to Friday 10 am - 8 pm, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10 am - 9 pm
Admission: subject to payment (junior 10€, Monday to Friday 15€, Saturday and Sunday 18€)
Artist: Michelangelo Pistoletto (Biella, 1933)
Exhibition: Fifty works and four large site-specific installations. More than 60 years of art, almost 90 years of life.
A narrative journey, a story, an art experience that through the iconic works of Michelangelo Pistoletto (Biella, 1933) - from the historic to the most recent, from 1962 to 2023 - accompanies us on an exciting journey inside the poetics and the many worlds of one of the masters of contemporary art.
An infinity of ways of making art, an infinity of ways of seeing, of changing perspective, of reading reality. At the centre a single artist but in his many possibilities of being, of transforming, of depicting and representing, of telling. This is why, at the Chiostro del Bramante, Michelangelo Pistoletto is INFINITY: because art is without limits.
Neon work: Love Difference-neon (2005 - 2023), a light installation composed of twenty neon signs and presented for the first time at the Venice Biennale, where the artist received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.
Where: IN'EI, Sestiere San Polo 1100, Venice
When: 14 March - 24 April 2023
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Artist: Gao Bo - artist, photographer and performer (Deyang City -Sichuan, 1964)
Exhibition: The exhibition, curated by Pietro Gaglianò, presents a series of works, including a site-specific environmental installation, that reveal the vision of the artist, born in China and resident in Paris for many years, which is the product of the experiences and traditions of these cultural and geographical areas, in perfect line with the objectives of the gallery.
Neon work focus: Neon emphasises the non-verbal writing created by Gao Bo, who chooses to use a language that has not been used for violence, for abuse, for oppression. "Il n'y pas de langue qui ne soit pas dangereuse" (There is no language that is not dangerous) is the phrase in the installation that emphasises the artist's vision.
MANDALA OFFERING, Tibet. (ph. Francesco Niccolai)
Photography and mixed media installation, performance art, varied dimensions, Beijing, 2012. One thousand portraits of Tibetan citizens in silver-bromide emulsion printing on stones, with artist’s writing in neon, and one thousand bronze lamps.
Where: Arsenale Nord, Venice, waterbus stop Bacini Arsenale Nord
When: 11 March - 16 April 2023
Hours: daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Entrance: free with donation to the MoCA cultural association
Artists with neon artworks: Kyle Yip e Marina Gasparini
Event: With the exhibition of 240 works, by as many artists from over 50 countries, Arte Laguna Prize presents from 11 March to 16 April 2023 the exhibition of the finalists of the 16thᵃ and 17thᵃ editions, which since 2021 has been held every two years.
The extraordinary space of the Arsenale Nord in Venice, with its 4000 square metres, hosts the works selected in the last two editions for each of the ten categories of the award: painting, sculpture and installation, photographic art, video art and short films, performance, digital art, digital graphics and cartoons, land art, urban art and street art, and art design. The finalists were chosen from over 20,000 candidates by two juries, one for each edition, composed of curators, museum directors and art experts of international calibre.
Where: Quantus Gallery, 11-29 Fashion St, London E1 6PX
When: 16 October 2022 - 16 April 2023
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Exhibition: Contemporary UK artists Eve De Haan and Sara Pope explore desire, seduction and connection in the powerfully uplifting joint exhibition ADDICTED TO LOVE
Artists: Sara Pope & Eve De Haan
Best known for her colourful, hyperreal paintings of glossy lips, Brighton-based Sara Pope aims to capture the sensuality and seductive power conveyed by the lips and mouth. Rolling Stones fans may find Pope’s paintings reminiscent of the band’s lips and tongue logo, designed by John Pasche and first used on the 1971 album Sticky Fingers. Mick Jagger’s brief to Pasche was to convey a tribute to Kali, the Hindu goddess of empowerment and energy.
Eve De Haan aka @halfaroastchicken applies her love of the written word to a growing portfolio of neon artworks. A theology graduate, the London-based artist describes her work as “progressive and positive” and, like Sara Pope, is interested in art as a form of communication.
Where: Ken Saunders Gallery, 2041 West Carroll Avenue, Suite C-320, Chicago, IL 60612
Opening time: Saturday 11-3pm and by appointment
Artists: Works by James Akers, John Bannon, Jacob Fishman, Annesta Le, Zoelle Nagib, Jason Pickleman, Michael Young.
Exhibition: Neon is sending you a message. "Love is in the Air. Pretend to Unsown Gardens". Love, Neon
JOHN BANNON. What It’s For, 2020 (neon)
Where: 216 S. Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91204
When: 24 February – 27 August 2023
Opening: 4 March 2023 from 6 to 8 pm
Artist: Oliver Nowlin’s work mines his personal narrative and diverse interests. He abstracts stories from his life by conveying them through geometric forms, texture, color, mark-making, and light. The found objects that Nowlin occasionally integrates into his sculptural form (cardboard packaging and beer can decals) are transformed through sculptural and painterly interventions. Inspirations for the works range from his time in the Navy during the Vietnam war; his family; when he witnessed lightning hitting the ground while camping as a child; his time fishing along the LA River; and his son.
Exhibition: Exhibition showcases wall-based sculptures made over the last 3 decades by the 81- year-old artist
Museum: The Museum of Neon Art is the only museum in the world devoted exclusively to art in electric media, exhibiting electric and kinetic fine art, and outstanding examples of historic neon signs, for over three decades.
Neon is a gateway between scientific principles and artistic expression. Neon illumination integrates electrical technology, creative design, and fundamental concepts of physics and chemistry.
Oliver B. Nowlin: Lightning’s Lung. Courtesy of MONA
Location: MARC STRAUS, 299 Grand Street, New York, NY
Opening time: March 12th, 2023
Artist: Marie Watt holds an MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University, and she attended Willamette University and the Institute of American Indian Arts. In 2016, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Willamette University. Watt’s work has recently been shown at The Whitney Museum in the exhibition Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019; the Seattle Art Museum in the exhibition American Art: The Stories We Carry; the Yale University Art Gallery in Place, Nations, Generations, Beings: 200 Years of Indigenous North American Art; the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, amongst others. Upcoming shows include Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea at the Smithsonian American Art Museum this summer. Watt was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Watt’s work is part of major museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Whitney Museum of American Art; the National Gallery of Art; Cornell University; Yale Art Gallery; Princeton University; the Portland Art Museum; the Smithsonian; Seattle Art Museum; US Library of Congress; Denver Art Museum; Crystal Bridges Museum; Rose Art Museum; the Heard Museum; the National Gallery of Canada; the Detroit Art Institute; amongst many others.
Exhibition: MARC STRAUS is proud to present Singing Everything, our second solo exhibition with interdisciplinary American artist Marie Watt. A member of the Seneca Nation, Watt also has German-Scott ancestry. Her layered and complex influences include Indigenous knowledge and Iroquois proto-feminism, the matriarchal structures of certain Native American nations, the rise of social activism throughout the 20th century, and the anti-war and anti-hate content of the 1960s and 1970s music scene.
When entering the gallery, the visitor is greeted by a sweeping, 24-foot-long neon sign spelling out the words “deer, skywalker, heron, bass, great lake, woodland, beaver, turtle, wolf, lowly, muskrat, rat” in various hues that evoke the sky on the horizon during sunset and sunrise. While the piece represents a new direction in Watt’s work, she views neon as an extension of beadwork. The glass itself is at once thread and bead, and both neon and beads have a relationship to trade. They both envelop light, color, and sound, embodying sunrises and sunsets on the horizon.
Courtesy of the Artist and MARC STRAUS
Where: Museum of Glass. 1801 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA 98402
When: 11 February – October 2023
Opening Celebration: February 11 – 5:30pm-8pm
Days: 10am-5pm, Wednesday - Sunday. Third Thursday of every month, 5am-8pm, free admission
Tickets: $18 - Adults; $16 - Seniors (65+)/College Students (18+)/Military (Active and Veteran); $10 - Children (6–18); Free - Children (under 6); Free - Museum Members; $1/person; $2/family - EBT Cardholders
Artists: Sarah Blood, Carissa Grace, Kacie Lees, Stephanie Sara Lifshutz, Victoria Ahmadizadeh Melendez, Meryl Pataky, Lily Reeves, Daniella Thach, and Jude Abu Zaineh.
She Bends: She Bends explores the evolution of neon teaching methodologies in the traditionally male-dominated art form, and the transition of the medium from an agent of advertising and commercial signage to fine art. She Bends aims to push the boundaries of neon and is dedicated to building a more equitable future for the art form through public education, curatorial projects, and artist programs.
Exhibition: In addition to the process of neon and the importance of women and gender-expansive artists in the medium’s history, visitors will learn about the intersection between art and science, the commercial history of the material, and its emergence as a more personal art form. Much of the exhibited work is not only a response to neon’s commercial origins, but an exploration of themes of cultural identity, healing, or political activism. Additionally, since neon is a “master/apprentice” craft, the exhibition’s curators are focused on how neon skills are passed on and how the material’s legacy evolves.
Museum: Located in Tacoma, Washington, Museum of Glass is a premier contemporary art museum dedicated to glass and glassmaking with the West Coast’s largest and most active museum glass studio. Opened in 2002, the Museum has established a reputation for hosting impactful and engaging artist residencies, organizing nationally traveling exhibitions, and creating unique programs for visitors while building a growing permanent collection chronicling the development of modern and contemporary glass.
Daniella Thach (Cambodian American, born 1998). As An Aspara, 2020. Krypton, transformer, digital projection, and artificial intelligence; 60 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Are you an artist working with real neon or a gallery hosting artworks made with cold cathode lamps and would you like to be published in F/ART's neon art column?
Contact us by sending us a press kit and photos of your installation, you could be featured in the next article!