Transparent presents painting, photography, sculpture and works on paper spanning over fifty years from the Lannan Collection. Each artwork embodies an aspect of the word transparent, from transmitting light so that what lies beyond is seen clearly, or being fine or sheer enough to be seen through, to work that is free from pretense or deceit, or that seems to allow the passage of X-ray or ultraviolet light.
The various forms transparency takes are exemplified throughout the exhibition as in Morris Louis’s Veil series painting from 1954, in which thin layers of paint are applied to create a veil-like surface. In Peter Alexander’s 1968 untitled resin sculpture, light passes through the wedged tower, creating a similarly hued smoky shadow beyond. In Subhankar Banerjee’s Sky: Often I Look Up and Wish for Rain, 2009, one barely sees through clouds while in the photographs of Thomas Joshua Cooper and Iain Stewart it is fog that provides the filter.
Conversely, the geometry of a form becomes clear in the sculptural relief work of Fred Sandback and the empty box paintings of Kate Shepherd. Robert Moskowitz’s grand 1972 painting Yellow Circle evokes a see-through layering of space similar to collage while James Turrell’s aquatints from his Deep Sky series radiate X-ray-like light from an undetectable source. The textures of Salt/Granite/Nickel by Gloria Graham are conveyed through layers of paper while the sparse photographs of Uta Barth capture light through domestic scenes of windows and draperies.
The work assembled for the exhibition Transparent is an homage to the practice of operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed, implying openness, communication, and accountability.