Purchase, New York | On View: Jan - June 24th 2018
Situated on Campus at SUNY Purchase College is The Neuberger Museum. Named after the late art collector Roy Neuberger, it currently has two shows featuring neon lights. In one room rests many different neon pieces that take form both in an abstract manner, and in recognizable symbols and letters. This first room features the work of several different artists and is titled "Bending Light:Neon Light 1965-Now"
The next room is a large exhibition by Stephen Antonakos entitled "Proscenium". This is a site -specific piece, that is, it was designed specifically for the room in which it is being exhibited. The artist planned it specifically with this location in mind. On the wall opposite of the central piece, one can observe the preparatory sketches of Atonakos.
Both rooms are powerful exhibitions with the overhead lights dimmed and the brightness of the neon lights, the viewer is captivated by the pieces in front of them. Their only distraction? The piece glowing and buzzing several feet away, beckoning for their attention next. This juxtaposition of light in the dark creates an emotional atmosphere of longing and desire. Each piece seems to have a distinct message different from the last.
When entering into Proscenium, the space is so vast and the work so large that you as the viewer feel almost swallowed whole into the belly of the whale. You are surrounded by the work, lost in the middle of it and totally fixated upon it's glow. The sheer size is impressive and daunting all at once and completely bewitching.
The exhibition is definitely doable in an hour or less if you are looking for something to breeze through. If you want to spend more time, there are benches and the work is stunning enough to trick you into spending your spring day inside contemplating the effects of neon.