Bright Golden Haze
Aug. 26, 2020 - Jan. 4, 2021
Presented by Annie Bohanon and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in memory of Marilyn Myers
Oklahoma Contemporary’s new downtown location opened with the inaugural exhibition Bright Golden Haze. This insightful group exhibition explored the ways in which artists use light to create place, both geographic and conceptual, inspired by both the uniquely influential quality of light and space in the state and the new building itself. The exhibition, which takes its title from the first line in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic musical Oklahoma!, presented a thematic grouping of new, recent and site-specific works.
Bright Golden Haze presented works by artists from around the world and in Oklahoma, each providing a unique perspective on how environment, identity and perception are shaped through the medium of light. The exhibition took viewers on a visual journey exploring varied manifestations of light in artistic practice, beginning with traditional landscape images and ending in immersive, technology-driven installations that rupture the boundaries between physical and digital realities.
Highlights of the exhibition include included Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s Black glass eclipse, which emits a golden light that cancels all color; Tavares Strachan’s neon installation I Belong Here (White), which asks who gets to decide who belongs where in America; a specially commissioned version of Leo Villareal’s newest work, Star Ceiling; and Alicia Eggert's The Sun, a celebration of poetry of the Flaming Lips.
The exhibition featured recent works by originators of the Light and Space Movement James Turrell and Robert Irwin as well as works by the current generation of artists exploring light technology such as Camille Utterback, whose interactive installation invites viewers to respond to one another’s movement to create a digital “place” on a shared screen.
Integral to the exhibition were indigenous perspectives on light and place, from a site-specific installation by Marianne Nicolson (Dzawada'enuxw First Nation) that provides an alternative view of the Milky Way to a new landscape painting commissioned from Oklahoma artist Yatika Fields (Osage/Cherokee/Creek).
The exhibition continued in works around the building, including an interactive installation by Jen Lewin on view in adjacent Campbell Art Park, and Robert Montgomery's THE STARS PULLED DOWN FOR REAL, on the North Lawn..
Images Installation view, Bright Golden Haze, featuring Lucky You by Robert Irwin and I Belong Here (White) by Tavares Strachan. In the background are works by Josh Tonsfeldt, Eva Schlagel and Yatika Fields. Photo by Alex Marks. Alicia Eggert, The Sun, 2015. Photo courtesy of the artist. Olafur Eliasson, Black glass eclipse, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles. Robert Irwin, Lucky You, 2011. © Robert Irwin, courtesy of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. Photo by Clare Britt. Teresita Fernández, Golden (Odyssey), 2014. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul.