The New American Sublime: The Art of Light and Space

This course provides an overview of The Light and Space movement of the 1960s, a minimalist art form expressing a uniquely Californian sensibility—with a keen attention to the interaction of light and space and a desire to push the boundaries of perception and experience. Ethereal and atmospheric, the experiences of the Light and Space movement present a striking contrast to a world filled with noise, distractions and chaos. The genesis of the movement occurred in the late 1950s and lasted through the 1970s, with a wide array of Los-Angeles-based artists following similar conceptual philosophies. Chief among them are Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Larry Bell, Mary Corse, and Helen Pashgian––all of whom are still producing their best work. For each of them, the sublimity of the Light and Space experience does not reside in the physical object or even the space where the work is situated, but in the ethereal phenomenon of light itself. Such careful attention to transparency, reflection, light and space evokes the definition offered by German philosopher Emmanuel Kant who describes the sublime as "found in a formless object insofar as limitlessness is represented in it." Questions? Contact us at The Center for Applied Liberal Arts (CALA). Email sps.cala@nyu.edu or call 212-998-7289.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of the history and legacy of the Light and Space movement of the 1960s
  • Familiarity with famous conceptual American artists

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Prospective and practicing art professionals
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.