Bridge Projects is a new exhibition space with programming on contemporary art, art history, spirituality, and living religious traditions.
Pictured above: Phillip K. Smith III
10 COLUMNS, 2019
aluminum, glass, LED lighting, electronic components, unique color program , dimensions variable. Photo: Lance Gerber.
The group is pleased to inaugurate its Los Angeles building — its 7,000-sq. ft. exhibition space — on October 12 with 10 Columns, an immersive light installation by California artist Phillip K. Smith III.
An opening celebration will feature special musical performances to complement the installation. A suite of interdisciplinary programming is scheduled over the course of the exhibition to explore the meaning of light within contemporary art, art history, spirituality, and living religious traditions.
Bridge Projects’ interdisciplinary program engages Smith’s installation and the subject of light from diverse sources:
- Color workshops led by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.
- “Light in Sacred Space” lectures with rooftop receptions on Mesoamerican temples, the cathedrals of Chartres and St. Denis, and more.
- LACMA Director Michael Govan on befriending Dan Flavin during his final commission for a church interior.
- Light and Space artist Lita Albuquerque on landscape and scientific cosmologies.
Smith’s installation is a special commission for Bridge Projects, presented in its first home after years of grassroots art salons and lectures. 10 Columns features Smith’s signature mirrored surfaces and dynamic light program, flooding the interior with meditative light that evokes the cultural spaces Bridge Projects will support for decades to come.
On October 12, at 4:00PM, a reception will be held for the opening of Bridge Projects and the installation of Phillip K. Smith III’s new work. To mark the occasion, the Los Angeles-based collective Bridge to Everywhere has been commissioned to curate and perform a program of cross-cultural contemporary music throughout the evening, including two world premieres.
After the celebration, 10 Columns will be on view through February 17, 2020.
6820 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Starting October 12, 2019
Wednesday – Saturday
12 pm – 7 pm
PHILLIP K. SMITH III’S 10 COLUMNS:
The faceted surface of the San Bernardino mountains and surrounding desert both frame Smith’s studio and inform his practice; perpetually shifting light and color refracting across the landscape inspires the artist’s exploration into phenomenology, optical theories, and color. As a result, change has become fundamental to the experience of his work. Through the use of reflective, geometric forms just larger than human scale, he has distilled something as monumental as a sunset to an intimate encounter.
Commissioned for the inaugural exhibition of Bridge Projects, 10 Columns features Smith’s signature mirrored surfaces and dynamic light program. Expanding on past site-specific installations, the artist adjoined mirrored rectilinear forms to the colonnades of Bridge Projects’ current site creating an architecture inside the existing one. The modular structure consists of thirty forms of equal heights and three distinct widths, adhering to the ten concrete columns in unique combinations of 90 and 180 degree angles that shift between aligning with and disrupting the grid of columns. The forms are animated by Smith’s patented light program. As the surfaces emit gradations of light and color, the dimensions and experience of the room shift and blur, evoking the subtle changes of light in the Los Angeles atmosphere throughout the day. Recalling both LA’s Light and Space movement and ancient cosmologies, light is a resonant image for the beginning of Bridge Projects.
Smith is known for large-scale temporary installations such as Lucid Stead in Joshua Tree, CA, The Circle of Land and Sky at the inaugural 2017 Desert X exhibition, and Open Sky at the Salone del Mobile, Milano, in 2018. His public artworks are sited throughout the United States, and he was included in the exhibition Unsettled organized by the Nevada Museum of Art and artist Ed Ruscha. Recently, Smith transformed a defunct bridge in downtown Detroit, Michigan into Skybridge, a pulsing rod of color high above the streets that has since become a favorite feature of the downtown cityscape. Born and still residing in in the Coachella Valley, Smith received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design.
During the opening celebration, Los Angeles-based collective Bridge to Everywhere will perform a cross- cultural program of contemporary music that reflects our interconnecting world. The program features works by Los Angeles-based composers Derrick Spiva Jr, Reena Esmail, Juan Pablo Contreras, Philip Graulty, and James Waterman, including two world premieres. The musical collective will explore connections across diverse musical traditions, including Hindustani and Carnatic classical music, traditional West African music, Mexican folk music, Western classical music, and jazz. The group will perform these musical settings as a series of vignettes spread around the exhibition space throughout the evening, activating different locations and inspiring new connections among the musical performances, 10 Columns, and Bridge Projects as a whole.
Bridge to Everywhere is comprised of twelve musicians whose passion and excitement for new music move them to take bold risks and explore the unfamiliar. From flute, violins, and Hindustani vocals to electric guitar, tanpura, and percussion from around the world, the ensemble strives to build new bridges between instruments, genres, cultures, and people.
Bridge Projects’ collaborative public programs will offer opportunities to engage Smith’s installation and the subject matter of light from diverse sources including: color workshops led by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, “Light in Sacred Space” lectures with rooftop receptions on topics such as the temples of Mesoamerica, the cathedrals of Chartres and St. Denis, and the California Light and Space movement. Visit bridgeprojects.com for tickets and more information.
10.12 Opening Celebration and Musical Performance, 4PM | Los Angeles-based collective Bridge to Everywhere performs for Bridge Projects’ inaugural exhibition with Phillip K. Smith III.
10.19 Josef Albers Workshop: Interactions of Color, 2PM | The Josef and Anni Albers
Foundation hosts interactive exercises on Albers’s philosophies of color and form—all levels of experience welcome
- 10.20 Josef Albers Workshop: Matière, 2PM | The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation hosts interactive exercises that test the possibilities of physical materials—all levels of experience welcome
10.25 Light in Sacred Space: Michael Govan on Dan Flavin at Chiesa Rossa, 5:30PM | LACMA’s director Michael Govan reflects on befriending Dan Flavin during his final commission for a church interior
11.09 Light in Sacred Space: Lita Albuquerque, 5:30PM | Light and Space artist Lita Albuquerque discusses her work at the intersections of light, landscape, and scientific cosmologies
11.16 Light in Sacred Space: Ronald Faulseit on Light in Mesoamerican Temples, 5:30PM | Anthropologist Ronald Faulseit lectures on the interactions between natural light and ritual environments
ABOUT BRIDGE PROJECTS:
Bridge Projects began in 2017 with a series of LA-based salons engaging a diverse community of artists, scholars, and collectors. We exhibit solo and group shows and commission new works by local and international artists, and our parallel public program explores connections among art history, spirituality, living religious traditions, and contemporary art practices.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
American artist Phillip K. Smith III (b. Calif., 1972) uses light as a medium to create optically shifting sculptures and site-specific installations. His minimal but imposing interventions into vast outdoor landscapes and more discreetly scaled sculptures are nuanced perceptual encounters in response to the unique conditions of site and context. Expansile and living, Smith’s boundary dissolving sculptures use mirrors and LED technology to alter the interplay of light, color, and surface in an expanded field, proposing shifts in experiential pace to modify the viewer’s physical encounter.
Informed by the material history of Minimalism and its pursuit of formal concision, Smith lists Sol LeWitt (1928-2007) and Dan Flavin (1933-1996) among his influences, Lewitt for his belief in the elemental universality of form expressed through the simplest means and Flavin for his pioneering introduction of light as a viable art medium. Smith’s work is equally indebted to Southern California’s Light and Space practitioners, notably Robert Irwin (b. 1923) and James Turrell (b. 1943), who helped usher in a new era of experiential concerns, displacing the static object with work that required time-based and sustained viewing. Trained as an architect at Rhode Island School of Design, Smith incorporates the site- specificity of architecture, with its reliance on scale, and its capacity to physically impact the human interaction it supports, to create immersive viewing experiences.
Recent projects include The Circle of Land and Sky (2017 ), part of the inaugural Desert X, the critically acclaimed Coachella Valley desert-wide, site-specific exhibition; Open Sky (2018), commissioned by Scandinavian fashion house COS for Italy’s Salone del Mobile, Milan; and Detroit Skybridge (2018), a 100 foot long LED installation commissioned as part of Detroit’s Library Street Collective city-wide revitalization effort.
Smith has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Palm Springs Museum of Art, and Laguna Art Museum, and Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. His work is in the permanent collections of Palm Springs Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, and Newark Art Museum, and has been featured in numerous print and online publications, including in Architectural Digest, artnet, ARTnews, Forbes, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Wallpaper*, and Whitehot Magazine, among others.