CODA Gallery presents the exhibition, Light Traps & Contained Radiance: Coachella Valley, featuring Laddie John Dill, a central figure in the California Light and Space movement. Dill's work has been shown worldwide over the course of his fifty-year career, including recent shows in Europe and the United States. The CODA Gallery exhibition will be on view through April 28, 2017.
A Los Angeles-based artist, Dill has been crafting light and earthy materials like concrete, glass, sand, and metal into luminous sculptures, wall pieces, and installations since the 1970s. Referring to his choice of materials, Dill explains, “I was influenced by [Robert] Rauschenberg, Keith Sonnier, Robert Smithson, Dennis Oppenheim, and Robert Irwin, who were working with earth materials, light, and space as an alternative to easel painting.”
In the late 1960s Dill produced and exhibited a hefty number of delicate and eccentric “lines of light” made out of forged glass and agitated gas. Dill calls his reed-thin, ramrod-straight objects “Light Sentences.” They are composed of discrete coloured segments arranged in sequences, as if they were words comprising distinct phrases. They play with our tendency to ‘read’ such alignments, whether or not we take them in as whole entities. We scan them left to right when horizontal, top to bottom when vertical. When hung on walls near one another, they assume the configuration of paragraphs.
Notably, Dill’s work has been on display as part of the Exhibition of Five Best California Artists in the Seoul Olympics, and collectors of his art by major corporations include IBM, Bank of America, Eastman Kodak, and others. His work has been reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, Time Magazine, Boston Globe, and numerous other national mainstream and arts publications.
A graduate of the distinguished Chouinard Art Institute (which later become the California Institute of the Arts), Dill’s first solo exhibition was in New York City with Illeanna Sonnabend Gallery in 1971, notably the first artist to exhibit “light and space” work in New York. He exhibited the Light Sentences and Light Plains in institutions across the United States and globally, and has enjoyed a resurgence of interest in these pieces in the last decade as well, including a recent acquisition of a Light Plains sculpture by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work is in the permanent collections of national and international renowned institutions such as Museum of Modern Art, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; High Museum, GA; The Phillips Collection, DC; Chicago Art Institute, IL; Smithsonian, DC; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Pio Monte della Misericordia, Italy; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; and Museo Jumex, Mexico.