William Lamson

A Line Describing the Sun

February 19, 2011 —
March 24, 2011


VIEW WORK

PRESS RELEASE

Honor Fraser, in conjunction with Pierogi Gallery, is pleased to present a continuation of the LAB series VideoRoam curated by Paul Young, with an exhibition of work by William Lamson.

A Line Describing the Sun is the latest work by the Brooklyn-based artist William Lamson. Shot mostly in the Mojave Desert, the 2-channel video documents a daylong performance in which Lamson follows the path of the sun with a Fresnel lens mounted on a rolling apparatus. As the lens focuses the sun's energy into a 1,600 degree point of light, the lake bed floor melts, leaving a black glassy substance in his wake. By the end of the performance, Lamson had imprinted a 366-foot arc across the barren landscape.

The title of the piece references Anthony McCall's classic installation, A Line Describing a Cone, where a line of solid light becomes a tangible shape when projected through a smoky, or misted room. Thus Lamson's piece enlarges on that idea, expanding the notion of drawing to an epic scale, which in turn, not only explores notions of drawing as it relates to the human body, the earth and video itself, but includes a range of additional art historical references—from Light & Space Art to Richard Long's marks on nature; from the myth of Sisyphus to Cinematic notions of the American West. A Line Describing the Sun stands as a major work by an important emerging artist.

Throughout much of his career, Lamson has explored an interest in the nature of events, much like the Swiss artist Roman Signer, were he sets up precise conditions that are completed by nature. He has, for instance, created drawing machines that are controlled by the wind or the sea, and set balloons afloat through icy or watery landscapes. In each case the mundane is transformed into something extraordinary, often with a simple gesture or minimal of means.

This is Lamson's first solo show in Los Angeles. His work is in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and numerous private collections. He has also shown at P.S.1 (NYC), Franklin Art Works (Minneapolis) and Kunsthalle Erfurt (Germany). He completed his MFA at Bard College and is a recent MacDowell Foundation Fellow. Currently, he is working on his first museum commission that will open at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in April.

--Paul Young

A Line Describing the Sun was made possible by the support of The Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Experimental Television Center, and Pierogi Gallery.