Thursday, January 20, 2011

White LIght Black Light Evokes Icelandic Landscape


Veronica Corpuz
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
(412) 471-6082

White Light – Black Light

January 28 – April 3, 2011

Wood Street Galleries, 601 Wood Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District

Opening reception during Gallery Crawl 5:30-9 p.m.

PITTSBURGH, PA: Mesmerizing, contemplative, hypnotic and dramatic are ways to describe the Icelandic landscape. The latest exhibition at The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Wood Street Galleries evokes this imagery through the works featured in White Light-Black Light.

Finnbogi Petursson’s sound-modulated light work captures natural phenomena of sound, water, fire, shadow and light, channeling and transforming them into something other than what they are. “Think of phenomena that you can feel and think about, but never see,” explains White Light – Black Light artist Finnbogi Petursson.

Jan Tichy’s multimedia installations also draw upon the ephemeral; natural phenomena are presented within a digital photographic domain. In Tichy’s “Tubes” a TV monitor ‘plays’ the white noise of itself while projecting onto a landscape of tubes within a closed environment that is at once transitory and concrete. With shadow and light assuming equal roles, this sensory environment is hauntingly beautiful and ominous in its measured play.


JAN TICHY’s works intersect video, sculpture, architecture, sound and photography. Using video projection as a time-based source of light, Tichy creates physical and psychic spaces to explore themes of concealment, obscurity, and the seen and unseen. Born in communist Prague, Jan Tichy moved to Israel in the 1990s where he earned a Political Science degree from Hebrew University. Tichy studied photography at Bezalel Academy of Art and subsequently earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. His work has been exhibited in Barcelona, Berlin, Frankfurt, Jerusalem, Paris, Prague, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Venice and Washington, D.C. Tichy’s work is included in the collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; MoBY - Museum of Contemporary Art, Bat Yam; Spertus Museum, Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Installation no.11, consists of two wall-sized projections facing one another; one wall features a projection of the sea, the other, the desert. The projections are flanked on one side by five photographs of an ancient Egyptian Horus, and on the opposite, a single photograph of a moth reflected in a mirror. The projected images of sea and desert cycle through light and dark: the sea emerges from total whiteness and disappears into full black; the desert materializes from the shadows and evaporates into white light.

Cycling in and out of resolution, the images projected are resolutely unstable and the viewer’s perception of them continuously shifting. Additionally, the space is physically and perceptually crisscrossed by a series of animated linear projections and also by a web of masonry strings, strung from floor to ceiling. The shadows of these strings, like the shadows of the viewer who must navigate around them, are inscribed directly onto the images.

The room embodies shifting and contested perceptions of the land itself, which is transformed from mere space in to a discernable locale through history, use, and the social-psychic field. Installation No. 11 is exemplary of Tichy’s tendency to make works that slip in and out of “focus.” His work conjures up multiple and often contradictory meanings, emotions, and ideas, connecting the eye to the mind and to the heart.

Born in Reykjavik, FINNBOGI PETURSSON is one of Iceland's most prominent artists. He is known for works that fuse sound, light, sculpture, architecture and drawing. Sound, a crucial element of his work, is typically incorporated into spare sculptural installations. Pétursson represented Iceland at the Venice Biennial in 2001 with his monumental sound installation Diabolus. Collections include T-B A21, Vienna; Malmo KunstMuseum, Sweden; Nordiska Akvarell Museum, Sweden; and the National Gallery of Iceland. Permanent installations are at Landsvirkjun, Vatnsfellsvirkjun (an electric power plant), Reykjavik University and the Reykjavík Energy Headquarters.

The artist writes: “In both artworks at Wood Street Galleries, as in many of my other pieces, I'm working with a sine wave, an elementary form of sound that bears a distinct relationship to nature. In Sphere (2003), sine waves within a frequency range of 50 to 60 Hz are channeled into a large, clear bowl of water, creating reverberations on the water's surface. Light is then projected from beneath the water onto the ceiling, creating an undulating orb of light. As the sound modulates, the patterns of the projection fluctuate and evolve. Mesmerizing, hypnotic and unearthly in its beauty, this dynamic installation evokes the primal nature of sound within a dazzling display of shadow and light.

“In Reset (2011), I am using three sinus waves to create circular patterns on the surface of a large pool build in the gallery. Spotlights shows the water reflection from different angles in one image on an opposite wall. The ripples travel across the water surface: they disappear for a short time when they reach a soft line in the middle of the piece , then appear bit later mixed with the ripples coming from the opposite direction. Together they form a 3hz dreamless drawing.”

Delta brainwaves are the lowest brainwave frequency, they range from 1,5Hz - 4,0 Hz, but are the highest in amplitude. Delta waves are considered the deepest possible level of mind / body relaxation and are commonly associated with the deepest sleep state and a state of unconscious awareness. 3hz (of "Reset") lies just on the border between delta and theta waves, just after you stop dreaming.


White Light – Black Light

January 28 – April 3, 2011

Opening reception during Gallery Crawl 5:30-9 p.m.

Wood Street Galleries is located at 601 Wood Street above the T-Station in the Downtown Pittsburgh Cultural District.


Wednesday & Thursday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Free and open to the public

For more information, call 412-471-5605 or visit

Wood Street Galleries is a project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

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