The Light III
72 x 60 inches (182.9 x 152.4 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated on reverse
Liliana Porter’s new painting/assemblage, “The Light III” uses the simplest of means to explore large topics. The piece is a cleanly and uniformly painted blue/gray canvas measuring 72 x 60 inches (183 cm x 153 cm). Attached, off-center, to this large canvas is a small shelf (fabricated from mere inches of frame molding), on which stands a found, minute, worn and vintage figurine of a train conductor holding a lantern above their head. The artist has casually painted highlights onto the figure and on the large canvas, as if the lantern’s light is actually reflecting off the surfaces and yet her technique is never trying to “fool the eye” but gives a viewer a way to see a scenario in both real-life and imaginary ways.
The small figure is surrounded by the massive quantity of dense blue/gray background. The scenario perhaps allows a viewer to identify with the “conductor,” to stay aware of oneself as the art-viewer and/or to be someone involved in the scenario in relation to the conductor. Maybe a viewer is an innocent child playing with the toy or perhaps is needing guiding light and yet knows that guiding light is more concept than actual thing…
No matter how one engages with “The Light III,” the visual, conceptual and emotional leaps that can occur show how much Porter has been able to use light and lightness as tools for seeing, feeling, understanding and accepting.