January 24–March 21, 2020
David Zwirner is pleased to present a new light installation by American artist Doug Wheeler (b. 1939) at the gallery’s 519 West 19th Street location in New York.
Over the past five decades, Wheeler has become known for his innovative constructions and installations that engage with the perception and experience of light, space, and sound. On view will be an immersive environment by the artist that further expands on his groundbreaking investigations of the possibilities of luminous space.
This is Wheeler’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery and coincides with the release of the first major monograph devoted to his work. The most comprehensive overview of the artist’s career to date, this publication includes new scholarship by art historian Germano Celant and features extensive illustrations of Wheeler’s most significant works from the early 1960s to the present, as well as never before published images, drawings, and other archival material.
Image: Doug Wheeler, Eindhoven Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Installation (Environmental Light), 1969. Installation view, The Panza Collection, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2008–2009
March 24 – August 2
PSAD Synthetic Desert III belongs to a yet-to-be-realized series of installations conceived by Doug Wheeler during the late 1960s and 1970s. This work was originally acquired by the Italian collector Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, and is included in the Panza Collection at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
In this work, Wheeler altered the structure and configuration of a museum gallery in order to control optical and acoustic experience. Upon entering, the visitor was immersed in a hermetic realm: a semi-anechoic chamber designed to induce a sensate impression of infinite space. Wheeler likens this sensation of light and sound to the perception of vast space in the deserts of northern Arizona. While PSAD Synthetic Desert III is deeply grounded in the artist's experience of the natural world, the work does not describe the landscape. Its form is abstract.
The Guggenheim installation, produced in close collaboration with the artist, was the first time any work in this series has been exhibited.