Spotlight: A New York Exhibition Showcases Artist Anthony James’s Optically Dazzling, Cosmically Themed Sculptures
"My intention is for people to witness infinity, divinity, within themselves," the artist says.
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What You Need to Know: British-American artist Anthony James has earned international acclaim for sculptures that create dazzling optical effects, often creating the illusion of infinite reflections. The artist situates his practice at the intersection of art, philosophy, and mathematics, and blends traditions of Light and Space art, while often incorporating the use of mirrors and reflections. “Divine Infinity,” an exhibition of the artist’s recent works at Opera Gallery in New York, sprawls across the gallery’s three floors and includes numerous large-scale sculptures and installations made specifically for the exhibition.
Why We Like It: James channels his interests in Euclidian geometry and Platonic solids into three-dimensional polyhedron sculptures made with cutting-edge technologies. Considered the ideal shapes by the Ancient Greeks, these forms are transformed, in James’s practice, into futuristic totems. Opera Gallery likens the experience of looking at James’s mirror-and-light sculptures to looking into the cosmos. The exhibition also includes new works in the artist’s “Portals” series, which began in 2008. These dazzling works seek to transport viewers from the here and now into a contemplation of the divine. Also on view are recent works in the artist’s “Rain Paintings” series, for which James captures the look of condensation on a metal surface in hyperrealist detail. The artist considers these works as screens that conceal, reveal, and protect; the works’ incredibly detailed surfaces bring to mind sci-fi novels and movies.
According to the Artist: “I’ve tried to visually demonstrate the colossally vast and the infinitesimally small—the cosmos and the divinity inside oneself. I’ve tried to give infinity an objective existence by making it tactile. My intention is for people to witness infinity, divinity, within themselves. The work is by its very nature pluralistic and multi-layered, inviting a depth of viewing outward as much as a depth of viewing inward.”
See additional images from “Divine Infinity” below.
“Anthony James: Divine Infinity” is on view at Opera Gallery, New York, through April 27, 2022.
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