Culbert turns on lights in lead-up to his Venice Biennale show

Bulb Box Reflection II

Bill Culbert, the London and Provence based artist who will represent New Zealand at this year's Venice Biennale, has been busy in the months leading up to the exhibition.

In September last year he was one of the artists in the show Constructive Parallels: British and Brazilian Concrete Art in São Paulo, Brazil, which was part of the São Paulo Biennial.

His projecting light constructions, light fields and constructivist paintings were next to the leading concrete Brazilian artists. He is also featured in the Light Show at London’s new Hayward Gallery.

The exhibition explores the experiential and phenomenal aspects of light by bringing together sculptures and installations that use light to sculpt and shape space in different ways.

The exhibition showcases artworks created from the 1960s to the present day, including immersive environments, free-standing light sculptures and projections.

Culbert is represented by Bulb Box Reflection II (1975), one of a series of visually puzzling lightbulb sculptures using magician's props such as two-way mirrors.

The work appears to present nothing more than an incandescent light bulb and its reflection in a mirror.

The mystery is that the bulb’s reflection is alight while the actual bulb itself is not.

Culbert is featured along with 21 other artists, including Cruz-Diez, Bill Culbert, Olafur Eliasson, Fischli and Weiss, Dan Flavin, Jenny Holzer, Ann Veronica Janssens and Anthony McCall.

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