Brigitte Kowanz »12igh20«

01 brigitte kowanz 12igh20 c Simon Veres all three

16 x 36 x 8,5 cm
Socket ca 45 cm in width
Edition of 15 + 3 AP

on request

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02 brigitte kowanz 12igh20 c Simon Veres warm

Brigitte Kowanz, 12igh20, 2021; Ed 1/15, 4/15, 7/15, 10/15, 13/15 (3500 K warm white)

03 brigitte kowanz 12igh20 c Simon Veres neutral

Brigitte Kowanz, 12igh20, 2021; Ed 2/15, 5/15, 8/15, 11/15, 14/15 (5500 K neutral white)

04 brigitte kowanz 12igh20 c Simon Veres cold

Brigitte Kowanz, 12igh20, 2021; Ed 3/15, 6/15, 9/15, 12/15, 15/15 (7500 K cold white)

12igh20, 2021

Making the medium of light visible is central to the work of Brigitte Kowanz. Light makes everything visible, but itself remains mostly invisible or unnoticed. We believe that we see things. Physically, however, we are only able to perceive light rays reflected from the surface of objects. Brigitte Kowanz's work offers a tipping moment in this context, making light, which is not only the basis of all life, but also the basis of perception and cognition, visible and tangible.

Her edition 12igh20 spells out the word "light" as if to describe itself. The word is however partially coded and therefore not easily readable as the first and the last letter has been replaced by numbers that refer to their corresponding position of each letter in the alphabet, that is 12 for "l" and 20 for "t".

Self-reference is a pervasive aspect in Brigitte Kowanz's work, such is the act of coding her works. Some of her work groups use morse code – often spelling out the title of the work itself – that is then translated into lines of light interrupted by black space. In other works the artist translates words into a numeric language that she then adds or subtracts in order to derive new mathematically calculated words.

A secondary meaning of the word "light", as in "weightless", imposes itself, by which Brigitte Kowanz questions the seemingly intangible and fleeting character of the medium of light.

The edition consists of 15 light sculptures using the lettering "12igh20", of which five each are using one of three different light warmths (Kelvin): 3.500 K warm white, 5.500 K neutral white, and 7.500 K cold white.

03 Bkowanz

Brigitte Kowanz

Brigitte Kowanz (*1957) was one of Europe's most important light artists, taking a distinctive position in the most recent history of art. Since the 1980s, light as a medium, which she explored in relation to space and in combination with signs, codes and language, has been at the center of her work. Light served the artist as both a medium of transgression and of specification in order to question conventional concepts of image and painting in creating a new, integral relationship between the work, space, and the viewer. Light thus become both a material and a metaphor for her in her search for new forms in which to represent visible reality.

Since 1997 Brigitte Kowanz had been Professor at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. In 2009 she was awarded the Great Austrian State Prize for Fine Arts. In 2017 she exhibited at the Austrian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale.

Read our studio story with Brigitte Kowanz.

Edition photos: Simon Veres
Portrait photo: Maximilian Pramatarov

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