Painters make light, writers describe it.
-Christopher Le Brun
LOS ANGELES, CA: albertz benda will host Christopher Le Brun: Making Light, the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and the first in Los Angeles. Opening October 7th, Making Light brings together an eponymous group of paintings that deepen Le Brun’s engagement with major existential, aesthetic and formal questions of painting.
In the artist’s words, “a painting is a real thing that behaves like a metaphor.” Referring both to itself - its own material and colors - as well as objects beyond itself - that which it alludes to - each piece in this exhibition explores meaning as both analogic and literal within the context of representation. In Making Light 3, a thick mass of sweeping green brushstrokes traveling across the confines of a sheet of paper renders both a suggestive landscape and a formal exploration of color and surface.
Recalling Composer, Le Brun’s 2017 solo exhibition with the gallery, Making Light renews the artist’s investigation of the parallels between visual and auditory experience. Fascinated by the intermingling of sight and sound in our everyday life, the artist explains, “In order to convey something of what I mean by space in painting, I think it’s helpful to start by considering how sound exists in the space surrounding us."
When focusing on a painting, we effectively limit our perception entirely to a single flat surface. Our sense of vision would surely prefer to spring back again, to return into the natural element –– the fully dimensional openness of the world –– but it cannot, other than by means of picturing imaginary space.
Le Brun continues, “Unlike everything else, the painting stands still as if removed from time. Still and flat, it is subject to the day’s changing light, but experientially separate from it. Even as the painting seems, out of itself and the play of its colours, to quietly generate light, its stillness generates the unending movement of our thoughts.”
The works in Making Light encourage the viewer’s mind to wander and forge new associations within the resonant stillness of the static plane. To this extent, Le Brun writes, “As we look at and think about the painting, we gather thoughts and memories from an imaginary and conjured far and near.” If it is the painter who makes light, then it is our response that opens on to a view.