La frontiera della luce. Alcune esperienze storiche

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] The frontier of light. Some historical experiences

Cecilia De Carli Sciume

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The essay for the catalog of X Biennial of Sacred Art, organized by the Stauròs Foundation on the theme of light, starts from the cosmogony and anthropology which originally supported the theme bringing out the need for a critical position that does not regard only the historical-documentary reconstruction, even if it is contemplated, but rather a process of interpretation. The sub specie lucis interpretative horizon, which relates to the work of H. Sedlmayr, refers to the history of light in art as an historic structure where can be showed phenomena even more important than in the history of space, which has dominated the artistic culture from Riegl onwards. The essay analyzes the process of the light of the Impressionists in which the light-color dissolves the unity of the object in the becoming of pure phenomenal datum. From the acceptance of scientific research, the avant-guard starts to use the artificial light as a protagonist of the modern city. This that gave birth to the figure of the artist-inventor, from the interlacing of the Futurists to the inventions of the Russian Constructivists, to the experiments of Bauhaus, to Fontana Spatialism. From the use of light as a sign in the space start different experiences such as those of D. Flavin, Fibonacci, M. Merz, B. Nauman, J. Kosuth, J. Holzer. Light is also the protagonist of many video installations such as the first of N. J. Paik, C. Moormann or W. Wostell up to the elaborations of W. Staehle that reveal the annulment of the space-time categories produced by new technologies. Beside science and technology, other artists returned to explore the natural signs connected to the spiritual and cosmological such as R. Smithson, M. Heizer, R. Morris, R. Long, W. De Maria, J. Turrel for whom it is otherwise obvious the dissolution of a still area of reference of the transcendent thought. After the more general excursus , the essay deals with the development of the theme in the path of the ecclesial client in the specific choices of the architecture and associated with the production of stained glass windows in many famous examples that come to the present day. From the most famous works in churches of F. J.Bazaine Leger and A. Manessier, Le Corbusier to the most recent of P. Soulages, D. Flavin, C. Ruggeri, V. Vago, T. Ando, ​​where the artistic experience and the experience of faith enter into a mutual recognition.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] The frontier of light. Some historical experiences
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationDecima Biennale d'Arte Sacra. Nel segno della luce
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Biennale Arte Sacra
  • arte contemporanea
  • contemporary art
  • light
  • luce


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