statements

What do I do?

Experimental studies with colour and light

As I see it, an experiment means precise physical actions set in accordance with a theory that describe their interaction. These actions refer to a question or to a hypothetic result, embedded inside the setup. An experiment requires a theory, a modus operandi, a setup, and a hypothesis.

My “cup of tea” is to make visual experiments with a scientific method. By studying the physics of coloured materials and lights, I invent ways to materialize abstract objects – or mathematical “concepts” of visual objects – without knowing in advance how the outcome will look.

As a way of working that generates otherwise impossible results, can inventing a process of “making” be, but a technical issue, an artistic research per se? Could my personal interest in physics, computer programming, digital printing, and painting become instruments for making visual experiences in a way that hasn’t been tried yet?

Traditional painting – as well as print-making – often ignore the light parameter: of course, a material picture is always the result of the illumination of coloured materials, but this very aspect is not much taken into account, and not studied for itself. The physical measurement of lights and coloured materials allow me to predict their interaction and thus, allow me to work on colour-perception with an original approach: I investigate how to “paint with lights plus paints.”

So far, I focused on creating a methodology, and the tools for an original visual language where the interaction between colours and light is key. In this context, I realized several series of studies and installation prototypes where I accumulated sets of experiments, the specificity of which is that they were formulated in a modern scientific language of colour theory:

Colorimetric pictures series, 2014 – the latest works, printed

– D65 series, 2011-2014 – hand-made paintings on paper

Light Transformer prototypes, 2010-2014 – installations

The common specificity of each series is that they were attempts to formulate visual objects in a modern scientific language of colour theory. These attempts have been my first step toward an artistic medium that blends light and coloured materials in a single form.

Adrien Lucca, Oct. 16, 2014

 

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Prix Art Contest, Bruxelles, 2012

 

EXPLICATION

Série : Études D65, 2011-2012

 

Les études D65 sont des dessins grand format à la peinture et au crayon sur papier, réalisés à la main.
Ces travaux sont issus d’un fantasme personnel : à savoir le désir d’être capable de « jouer » avec la couleur et la lumière comme un compositeur de musique organise l’énergie sonore – et ce avec une précision mathématique comparable.
Comme leur titre pourrait l’indiquer à une personne qui a des liens avec l’industrie graphique (« D65 » étant le nom d’un éclairage standardisé servant à valider les couleurs des matériaux à l’usine), ce sont des tentatives expérimentales qui visent à créer un langage visuel via l’utilisation de méthodes scientifiques de mesure et de production colorimétrique.
Elles contiennent des séries d’objets visuels qui suivent un développement logique (une variation perpétuelle autour du gris), et elles adressent à qui veut les comprendre un défi qui peut entrer en conflit avec le plaisir visuel qu’elles peuvent lui offrir.
Ce sont enfin des « palettes de possibilités » : en tant qu’études, elles ouvrent la voie vers un au-delà d’elles ; en tant que documents, elles enregistrent le passé d’une recherche artistique qui peu à peu se déploie, se redéfinit, se précise et tend vers un futur.

 

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Prix Médiatine – 2012

études

Depuis 2009 et sans savoir exactement où cela me mènerait, je me suis consacré à des recherches géométriques sur la couleur qui ont à peine commencé à porter leurs fruits. J’ai voulu inventer un langage visuel qui mette en relation des éléments logiques et chromatiques, d’une manière analogue aux relations qui existent entre le son et l’écriture musicale. Pour ce faire, j’ai développé un ensemble d’outils optiques, mathématiques, géométriques et graphiques qui se conjuguent pour former des ensembles d’expériences visuelles, d’abord sur papier et plus récemment en trois dimensions et dans l’espace. J’ai nommé ces ensembles d’expériences des « études », voulant par-là affirmer leur caractère expérimental, la fragilité de leur statut d’œuvres d’art, le doute méthodique qui accompagne leur conception et leur construction.

La couleur peut parfois s’épuiser, devenir invisible, transparente. J’explore pour le moment la multiplicité des configurations possibles aboutissant à son extinction. La relation logique qui rattache l’apparence visuelle aux éléments qui la produisent semble alors pleine de contradictions. La vision elle-même s’éteint avec la faculté de séparer ce qui est différent, de discerner des variations — tout s’équivaut comme dans : 2 + 2 = 4 = 3 + 1 = 4 – 3 + 2 + 1 … etc.
Je m’intéresse en outre à une limite du visuel où se confondent la présence, l’absence, l’apparition et la disparition. Où un signal visuel ne signale plus que la vision de celui qui y porte son attention, comme le ferait un miroir qui ne reflèterait que la mécanique de l’esprit de celui qui s’y regarde.

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L’Oursin, Antwerpen, 2011

Interview Beta

A self-conducted interview with 2 characters, English / French, foreword by Haseeb W. Ahmed

> download the digital edition here > adrien lucca interview beta

> VERSION FRANCAISE ICI : https://adrienlucca.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/interview/

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Jan van Eyck academie – 2011

Highly efficient concentration devices 

There are two ways I can best describe my research project: by referring to the history of art, or by referring to the relation between ‘theory and practice’, which my artistic work engages in.
Following the first approach, in brief, I am reinvesting (or better, ‘reinventing’) the project of ‘colour music’, initiated by modernist painting, that is to say, abstract’ or ‘concrete’ painting, which – following Kandinsky – are finally one and the same.
Following the second one, I am designing pictorial objects which display a process of research, while also constituting – in the most traditional sense – a series of artworks on paper, whose function is to focus the attention of an interested viewer who may (I hope) patiently enter into the visual logic that takes place in these works.

An original ‘great’ failure

At the beginning of the 20th century, a fascinating project – promoted by a branch of so-called ‘abstract art’ (notably Kandinsky, Klee, Kupka) – was embodied in the desire to establish painting as an artistic practice, which would at the same time be ‘as scientific’ and ‘as abstract’ as music ‘already was’.
While, in Europe, musical tones were already mathematically determined in antiquity, supposedly by Pythagoras, painting still hadn’t established its ‘modern grammar’. At the same time, ironically, while some painters wanted to construct such a grammar (with all the dogmatic attitudes that such a project fatally involves – perhaps best represented by the influence of ‘de Stijl’ on Bauhaus pedagogy –), modern composers were deeply involved in deconstructing their traditional rules.
A collective movement placed colour in the centre of this ideal, as the visual equivalent of sound (an idea that Newton defended).
Colour (and especially colour mixing principles) thus became (once more) the object of a systematic research. Goethe’s colour theory was still influential, while Maxwell’s and Helmholtz’s views on the phenomenon were almost ignored by artists (except, importantly, by Seurat). An important consequence of this story (which I strongly reduce here) has been the exclusive production – by the modernist painters interested in ‘visual science’ – of colour mixing theories using only a subtractive synthesis of colour (Itten’s book is the most famous example in this regard).
Since colour mixing was reduced exclusively to subtractive synthesis and because of the erroneous idea that colour and musical tones are phenomena obeying similar laws, the project of a ‘composition’ of colours, whether abstract or not, which was to be ‘as scientific in its methods as music already was’, could only fail, though possibly a beautiful failure.

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