10.12.19 – 02.16.20
Bridge Projects is pleased to present 10 Columns, Phillip K. Smith III’s immersive light installation created specifically for the 7,000 square foot exhibition space.
The faceted surface of the San Bernardino mountains and surrounding desert both frame Smith’s studio and inform his practice; perpetually shifting light and color refracting across the landscape inspires the artist’s exploration into phenomenology, optical theories, and color. As a result, change has become fundamental to the experience of his work. Through the use of reflective, geometric forms just larger than human scale, Smith has distilled something as monumental as a sunset to an intimate encounter.
Commissioned for the inaugural exhibition of Bridge Projects, 10 Columns features Smith’s signature mirrored surfaces and dynamic light program. Expanding on past site-specific installations, the artist adjoined mirrored rectilinear forms to the colonnades of Bridge Projects’ site at Santa Monica Blvd and Highland creating an architecture inside the existing one. The modular structure consists of thirty forms of equal heights and three distinct widths, adhering to the ten concrete columns in unique combinations of 90 and 180 degree angles that shift between aligning with and disrupting the grid of columns. The forms are animated by Smith’s patented light program. As the surfaces emit gradations of light and color, the dimensions and experience of the room shift and blur, evoking the changes of light in the Los Angeles atmosphere throughout the day. Recalling both LA’s Light and Space movement and ancient cosmologies, light is a resonant image for the beginning of Bridge Projects.
Smith is known for large-scale temporary installations such as Lucid Stead in Joshua Tree, CA, The Circle of Land and Sky at the inaugural 2017 Desert X exhibition, and Open Sky at the Salone del Mobile, Milano, in 2018. His public artworks are sited throughout the United States, and he was included in the exhibition Unsettled organized by the Nevada Museum of Art and artist Ed Ruscha. Recently, Smith transformed a defunct bridge in downtown Detroit, Michigan into Skybridge, a pulsing rod of color high above the streets that has since become a favorite feature of the downtown cityscape. Born and still residing in in the Coachella Valley, Smith received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Bridge Projects’ collaborative public programs will offer opportunities to engage Smith’s installation and the subject matter of light from diverse sources including: color workshops led by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, a “Light in Sacred Space” speaker series with rooftop receptions on topics such as the temples of Mesoamerica, the cathedrals of Chartres and St. Denis, and the California Light and Space movement, and a catalogue and commissioned poem by LA-based poet Mandy Kahn.
On October 12, 2019, from 3:00 - 7:00 PM, a reception will be held to mark the opening of Bridge Projects and the installation of Phillip K. Smith III’s new work. To mark the occasion, the Los Angeles-based collective Bridge to Everywhere has been commissioned to curate and perform a program of cross-cultural contemporary music.
Phillip K. Smith III
American; b. 1972
From his Southern California studio, Phillip K. Smith III creates light-based work that draws upon ideas of space, form, color, light and shadow, environment, and change.
Smith is known for creating large-scale temporary installations such as Lucid Stead in Joshua Tree, CA, Reflection Field and Portals at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, ¼ Mile Arc in Laguna Beach, CA, The Circle of Land and Sky at the inaugural 2017 Desert X exhibition, and Open Sky at the Salone del Mobile, Milano, in 2018. Many of these installations are featured in his latest catalog titled Five Installations published by Grand Central Press (2017). His public artworks are sited in Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Detroit, MI; Kansas City, MO; Nashville, TN; Oklahoma City, OK, and beyond; the artist was recently commissioned to create permanent, light-based works for the cities of West Hollywood, CA, and Bellevue, WA. Smith’s work was also included in the recent exhibition Unsettled organized by the Nevada Museum of Art and artist Ed Ruscha. After growing up in the Coachella Valley, Smith received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design.