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The Lightworks series originated when Smith created Aperture during his artist residency in 2010 at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Organized around nine pure geometric forms across a 24’ long x 7’ high x 2’ deep internally lit topography of translucent white acrylic, Aperture created an all-encompassing experience in shifting light, bathing viewers in color. From this generative work, Smith developed his more intimate, compressed lit works focusing on two singular forms, the torus and the lozenge. These core forms of the Lightworks series were selected for their lack of corners or intersections, allowing the eye to move freely and fluidly across their surface. Additionally, the concentric reality of the Torus provided a natural focus, while the Lozenges created more linear compositions, as stretched spherical forms.
These new pieces re-engage Smith’s earlier Lozenge forms, progressing them through formal manipulations that bend light and space or that combine multiple singular forms into layered compositions of color.
Smith views the Lightworks as highly specific three-dimensional canvases that he “paints” over time. Like animated paintings experienced durationally, each work is uniquely color choreographed by the artist. As he selects the precise color, brightness, and pace of change, he is constantly shifting forwards and backwards in time experiencing and reacting to his creative choices as the choreography develops. Meditatively paced, this choreography is the heartbeat of the Lightworks, allowing them to breathe color and inviting viewers to slow down and focus their perception. As colors shift, the forms themselves appear to expand and contract – at times, seemingly pulling away from or pushing towards the wall – creating dynamic spatial conditions within the work as well as the space in which they are sited.