Installation view of Heather Carson's exhibition light/WHITE, 2016, at the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Ace Gallery Installation view of Heather Carson's exhibition light/WHITE, 2016, at the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles.


Artist Heather Carson’s current show, light/WHITE is on view at the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles through Oct. 8. This is her fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. Her work draws on the traditions of East Coast Minimalism and the West Coast Light and Space movement and explores “…formal and conceptual investigations into the properties of light.”

For the current installation, Carson “…focuses on color theory in relation to light by investigating variations in proximal color temperatures of white light.” These investigations were inspired by artist and color theorist Josef Albers’ Study for Homage to the Square: Dimly Reflected (1963). In this work Albers’ “…use of shades of grey triggered the idea of exploring the use of hues of white light instead of color.”


light/Double Albers: Warm White Deluxe/Warm White/Natural White/Cool White/Sunlight/Daylight/Daylight Deluxe, 2016Fluorescent lights, aluminum pipe, speed-rail, conduit fittings
Courtesy of Ace Gallery light/Double Albers: Warm White Deluxe/Warm White/Natural White/Cool White/Sunlight/Daylight/Daylight Deluxe, 2016
Fluorescent lights, aluminum pipe, speed-rail, conduit fittings

In exploring the properties of and nuances of color in light, Carson is drawn to industrial type light sources, such as sodium vapor, metal halide, and fluorescent. As the gallery notes in the exhibition write-up, “Her [Carson’s] aesthetic is determined by her choice of materials, which emphasize the physicality, rather than the opticality of light. Embracing a heavy, industrial aesthetic, Carson does not mask the electrical components of her work. Rather, she openly displays the armatures and joints connecting the fluorescent fixtures. In the light/LINES and light/SQUARES pieces, these elements are invisible from the front, but are critical to the pieces’ architectural engagement when viewed from the side.”

For the works on display, Carson commissioned custom-made fixtures, since her fixture choice is no longer commercially available. “The fixture is as important to me as the light, it is not merely the carrier,” she says. light/WHITE is on view at the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles through Oct. 8.

light/Squares: Warm White Deluxe/Warm White/Natural White/Cool White, 2016Fluorescent lights, aluminum pipe, speed-rail, conduit hangers
Courtesy of Ace Gallery light/Squares: Warm White Deluxe/Warm White/Natural White/Cool White, 2016
Fluorescent lights, aluminum pipe, speed-rail, conduit hangers