Light Objects — Overview

Carel Balth started his career in the late 1960’s, realizing abstract Light Objects, made of crystal clear plexiglass.

(1969-1975)

In Balth’s work artistic and cultural insights are, from the early beginnings, always in pace with recently developed technologies. A minimal, yet poetic approach enhances the conceptual complexity of his issues.

All Light Objects consist of Plexiglas, a material known for its remarkable transparency (greater than glass), which allowed Balth to ‘sculpt’ with light on different surfaces and thereby make visible what it is that makes us see in both two and three dimensions. Balth thus took light as his medium and sought to concretize it as clearly as possible. In these works, he allows light and matter to flow into each other, thereby involving the viewer in the process of separating the two. The first works in the series often have shiny metal bands set into the Plexiglas, which reflect the light in poetically suggestive ways. Later works, such as the rods (long, hanging bars, which are able to turn slowly), actively play with light through the subtle movement in the refractions of the light.

Some of the works also have color, which is not always directly visible as paint, resulting in a mysterious, radiant effect around the object. The largest group consists of simple rectangles that, by way of cuts into the material, project a light-and-shadow line on the wall. They retain a remarkable luminosity, especially under lower light conditions, thereby apparently enhancing the light lines, which causes marvel at such a simple given.