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Exhibitions

An immersion of solid light for new Hepworth Wakefield exhibition

Solid Light Works is the first major UK exhibition from Anthony McCall in over 10 years

Anthony McCall: Solid Light Works, opening today in Hepworth Wakefield, is the artist’s first major UK exhibition in over a decade, his last being a 2008 Serpentine Gallery show. The artist has been experimenting with solid light installations since his career began in the early 70s.

Anthony McCall: Solid Light Works, opening today at Hepworth Wakefield, is the artist’s first major UK exhibition in over a decade, his last being a 2008 Serpentine Gallery show. The artist has been experimenting with solid light installations since his career began in the early 70s.

Doubling Back (2003) is the first of three works receiving a UK premiere at the exhibition. Curator Andrew Bonacina says that "is the first work made using digital technology after Anthony’s return to making work in the early 2000s."

Doubling Back (2003) is the first of three works receiving a UK premiere at the exhibition. The curator Andrew Bonacina says that it "is the first work made using digital technology after Anthony’s return to making work in the early 2000s".

Leaving (with Two-Minute Silence) is a 2009 work, one of only two of McCall’s works to include sound, two parallel soundtracks of a harbour and ambient traffic. Bonacina says: “the audible component become most apparent when the work and sound freeze for two minutes,” a two-minute silence referencing Armistice Day. This is a working sketch of the work.

Leaving (with Two-Minute Silence, 2009) is one of only two of McCall’s works to include sound, and has two parallel soundtracks of a harbour and ambient traffic. Bonacina says, “the audible components become most apparent when the work and sound freeze for two minutes”. The two-minute silence references Armistice Day. This is a working sketch of the work.

The final of the three UK premieres is Face to Face (2013, also depicted in image 1), perhaps the exhibition’s most immersive. Bonacina describes it as “a double projection that incorporates two large scale floating screens that allows the viewer to walk entirely around the work.”

The final of the three UK premieres is Face to Face (2013, also depicted in the first image), perhaps the exhibition’s most immersive. Bonacina describes it as “a double projection that incorporates two large-scale floating screens that allow the viewer to walk entirely around the work”.

Different rooms will emphasise different parts of McCall’s creative process. The circle, straight line and wave underpin his artistic practice, shown in rooms of sketchbooks, showing his original ideas before projecting them into more elaborate visuals. McCall has commented on how the unique shape of the venue has helped him realise his artistic vision.

Different rooms will emphasise the parts of McCall’s creative process. The circle, straight line and wave underpin his artistic practice, as shown in rooms of sketchbooks that depict his original ideas before they are developed into more elaborate visuals for the projections. McCall says the unique shape of the Hepworth Wakefield venue has helped him realise his artistic vision.

 “Obviously, light can’t be solid,” says the artist in a video for the exhibition. “But one’s experience of one of these installations, was to feel it was as if it were, and the membranes of light are difficult to walk through, you feel as though you’re invading something.”

“Obviously, light can’t be solid,” says the artist in a video for the exhibition. “But one’s experience of one of these installations, was to feel it was as if it were, and the membranes of light are difficult to walk through, you feel as though you’re invading something.” The exhibition Anthony McCall: Solid Light Works opens 16 Feb - 3 June 2018 at The Hepworth Wakefield.