An exhibition of new work by Jim Campbell will be on view at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in Chelsea through April 19, 2014. New Work will focus on the pioneering artist’s most recent series of sculptural light installations. A consummate innovator, Campbell is considered one of the leading artists working today in the field of new media.
The exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery coincides with an expansive New York museum exhibition of Jim Campbell’s work. Organized by the Museum of the Moving Image, Jim Campbell: Rhythms of Perception, will be on view from March 21 - June 15, 2014.
In addition, New York's Joyce Theater will present Constellation, a collaboration between Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Jim Campbell, from March 18 - 23, 2014. The performance will feature an installation comprised of 1,000 light spheres programmed in synchronized interplay with the dancers.
A former filmmaker, Campbell moved to interactive video installations in the mid-1980s and has been working with LEDs – light emitting diodes – since 1999. His investigations with LED technology have produced immersive, illuminated, sculptural environments that vividly record and recalibrate the presence of time in relation to light, space, and the human condition. Simultaneously shifting the viewer's perception through works that synthesize acts of observation, reflection, and engagement in an all-encompassing pictorial realm, Campbell deconstructs these grand optical illusions by revealing the mechanisms at play.
In three separate series on view: Topographies, Reconstructions, and Home Movies, the artist continues to challenge notions of image making and the experience of viewing by injecting color (an element rarely used before) into his illuminated palette.
Home Movies, 2014, and Home Movies: David, 2014, are two panel projections comprising strands of LEDs resembling film strips strung from ceiling to floor in grids that transmit low-resolution imagery distilled from found Kodachrome home movies. While the imagery barely registers, the warm tonality of Kodachrome and the generic meme of recorded family activities are instantly recognizable.
Untitled (multi-panel Commuters), 2014, one of Campbell’s most recent Reconstructions, is a wall-mounted, color LED-based composite relief. While Plexiglas front pieces reflect the episodic movement of pedestrian traffic at various depths, the overall imagery remains intact.
Exploring the expressive properties of new sculptural forms, three Topographies comprise wall-mounted, multilayered, black and white gradient picture planes formed by LEDs. In Topography Reconstruction Wave, 2014, a contoured and striated sculpted resin mold acts as both surface and content, obscuring and enhancing the undulating pattern of wave-like forms produced by the LEDs encased within this bas relief. Conversely, in Light Topography Wave, 2014, the rhythmic depiction of moving people composed from individually-scaled LEDs is unsheathed, so that the illusive effect is deconstructed when viewed peripherally.
While his earlier LED-based transformative works – primarily featuring pixilated views of fleeting activity or quotidian events – relied on video as content, Campbell's focus has recently turned more towards materiality and process. The new works “hover on the edge of abstraction, re-abstraction and representation,” says Campbell, and investigate how perception, as a visceral phenomenon of time and memory, can be altered, filtered, or manifested through the layering of media. There's a push-pull effect taking place compositionally throughout the works on view, while imagery is more abstract; scale, form, and tone command the picture plane.
Jim Campbell lives and works in San Francisco; CA. Born in 1956 in Chicago, IL, he earned a degree at M.I.T. in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics in 1978. Campbell's work is in the collections of many of the country's most important museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Smithsonian, Washington, DC. Recent museum exhibitions have included The National Museum of Photography, Denmark, 2011; Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland, 2011; the Museum of the Moving Image, Long Island City, NY, 2011, and Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, 2010.
Recent public commissions include Madison Square Park, New York, 2011; AT&T Stadium, Dallas, 2013; San Diego International Airport, 2010-13, and Central Subway Station, San Francisco, 2010-17.
Grants and awards include a Rockefeller Grant in Multimedia, three Langlois Foundation Grants, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Campbell has lectured on interactive media art at many institutions throughout the world, and holds roughly twenty patents in the field of video image processing.