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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Center for Creative Photography puts on ‘Color Light Abstractions’

    You enter the gallery. All is still. The fluorescent lights shine brightly, and mysterious photographs line the walls. The room is quiet, but as other guests peruse the artwork and contemplate each piece, you overhear their comments. “”It’s like a kaleidoscope,”” “”This one’s aurora borealis,”” and “”Wow — this is cool.””

    The museum-goers are examining the Center for Creative Photography’s new exhibit, “”Wynn Bullock: Color Light Abstractions.”” The show runs from now until Nov. 28. It’s a fascinating compilation of about a dozen color photographs by Wynn Bullock, a pioneer in abstract photography during the 1960s.

    Bullock used sheets of clear glass, ordinary objects and colors from plastic, stained glass and cellophane to create these images. He photographed his creations at very close distances in order to achieve distorted refractions of light and thoughtful shapes of transparent color.

    The titles of the pieces are simply numbers, so it is impossible to know what Bullock wanted each compilation to represent. But we know that he intended for them to mean something, because he once wrote that, “”It is through the magic of photography that light becomes the subject matter with colors, forms, and space/time relationships that express my deepest feelings and beliefs.”” This makes his artwork even more mesmerizing because it leaves the photographs open for interpretation.

    As you look across the back wall of the gallery, examining pictures entitled “”Color Light Abstraction 1071, 1140, 1076, and 1165,”” each photo becomes another world.

    The first is some kind of extraterrestrial planet, the next could be a spaceship docking, another seems like the fiery horizon of the Triassic period and the last looks like the depths of an ancient sea.

    In each piece, colors are stretched across each other, creating puzzling lines and shapes. They combine to form complete images that are mysterious and thought-provoking. The exhibit is attached to “”The Edge of Vision: Abstraction in Contemporary Photography,”” which is another interesting collection at the Center for Creative Photography. Together, both exhibitions celebrate the rise of abstract photography and the compelling pictures that progressive artists can create.

    In Wynn Bullock’s case, these fantastic photographs were simply inspired by light — because, to an abstract artist, the concept of “”light”” means more than just illumination. It is an idea that spawned an entire series of artwork.

    Bullock says of his photos, “”Light has become more important than anything in the object world. There is no life without light.””

    So, as you enjoy Bullock’s images that are puzzling, artistic and cool, look for some inspiration of your own. You may find that his words are worthwhile because they encourage us to view even the simplest things in an artistic way.

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