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Rico Gatson | Birmingham Museum of Art

Untitled (Flag IIII), 2021, Acrylic paint on wood, 36 x 48 inches

Light Play is an exhibition drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection that shows the influence and use of light in art.

In this exhibition, artists examine the many meanings of ‘light’ and ‘play’ through medium, expression, meaning, and form. Light Play brings together contemporary artists and works exploring the manipulation, effects, and emotions of light, including the double meaning of the word ‘light,’ by featuring works that are lively or humorous in subject matter.

Explore more than thirty works by artists like Afruz Amighi, Kumi Yamashita, and Harry Anderson, who incorporate light and shadows as a part of their process. Artists like Ebony G. Patterson, Erin LeAnn Mitchell, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Kerry James Marshall, and Jeff Donaldson use the opulent effects of light interacting with shine and glitter to bring viewers closer into a more serious dialogue. Debra Riffe’s prints from the series, walk, in the direction you goin’ in, tell a powerful story using silhouette forms. The photographs of Chester Higgins, Abelardo Morell, and Anderson & Low capture both the light and playfulness of their processes.

Together, these works reflect the expanse of contemporary artworks incorporating light. Whether using it literally, metaphorically, or conceptually, each artist radiates the profound influence of the power of light.

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