David Zwirner is pleased to present a new installation by American artist Doug Wheeler (b. 1939) at our 537 W. 20th Street location. This will be the gallery's second solo exhibition of the artist's work. Known for the seminal light environments that he developed in the 1960s and 70s, Wheeler will present a new type of installation that he calls a "rotational horizon work," which will occupy the ground floor gallery. Connected visually and conceptually to his previous works, this immersive environment will emphasize the viewer's physical experience of space, focusing attention on the way light almost imperceptibly changes along the horizon as the earth turns.
An avid flyer since childhood and an eventual pilot himself, Wheeler has long been fascinated by the illusory quality of landscape as glimpsed from the vantage point of an airplane. Approaching an ever- receding horizon, passengers are able to watch the terrain shift rapidly as though it were a stage set laid out flatly in front of them when, in actuality, their flight path traces out the contours of the globe. By mimicking the sensation of the earth's rotational pull and curvature, Wheeler alters the traditionally static viewing experience of a work of art, thereby destabilizing our innate sense of equilibrium and imparting the feeling of moving with the earth towards an unreachable horizon.