In the 1960s, Californian artists became masters of light and space

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ON A dull day in Zurich, it’s a treat to encounter a warm sunset glow infusing salty white light in Hauser & Wirth’s trendy industrial art space. Larry Bell, a Los Angeles-based artist, was inspired by the marine fog that rolls towards his Venice Beach studio to use four large glass cubes, each housing a smaller one, to evoke four variants of Los Angeles’ famously beguiling light. Los Angeles’ light is also a focus in the city itself, where Sprüth Magers, a gallery, has invited Robert Irwin to remodel its space as an immersive installation (pictured) using his trademark scrim—a gauze-like material that is “both there and not there”, as he puts it. The aim, as always with the ingenious Mr Irwin, is to heighten the viewer’s awareness of his or her surroundings.  

Messrs Bell (now 78) and Irwin (89) are pioneers of California Light and Space, a west coast strand of minimal art. Like the better-known James Turrell (74)—who, on Boxing Day, unveiled four disorienting light works at Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New…Continue reading

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