Night (1947-2015)

Guest Curated by Jordan Stein

Tauba Auerbach, Gnomon/Wave Fulgurite I.I, 2013
May 2 – August 28, 2013

Fulgurite is a natural glass formed spontaneously when lightning strikes sand. Also known as petrified lightning, fulgurite is light made tangible. A gnomon, on the other hand, is the shadow-casting arm of a sundial, silently transforming light into shadow. It reveals by interrupting.

Like Giacometti’s Night, the original tabletop gnomon, Tauba Auerbach’s Gnomon/Wave Fulgurite I.I isn’t a timekeeper. Both works have more to do with appearance and disappearance than the slow, steady movement of minutes.

Auerbach’s recent “Weave” paintings–not on canvas so much as of canvas–are patterned backgrounds interrupted at odd and impulsive angles by rippling wave forms. The elemental works are meant to mutely evoke the play of light across a surface. For Night (1947-2015), the artist isolated one of those waves and made it physical, using roughly 25 pounds of sand—a material, like light, marked by its particulate and unstable nature.

Deftly crafted, the grainy wave appears to have formed itself. Watch it hover, timeless, somewhere between a paradox and a riddle. The principle component in common glass forms a light-wave that casts a shadow on and through a clear, glass table in a clear, glass house.