The dynamic interplay between light and space has shaped the artistic output of Adolf Luther, who was born in 1912 in Uerdingen and died in 1990 in Krefeld. Originally trained as a legal academic, Luther subsequently became one of the leading exponents of kinetic and optical art in Germany's post–war art scene. In the early 1960s he began experimenting with materials such as optical lenses, prisms and reflective convex and concave surfaces from which he fashioned geometric–constructive glass objects to explore the physical expansion of light as an autonomous, de–materialised form of energy in a spherical space. Through the prismatic refraction of light and reflective surfaces, Luther deploys his meticulously conceived apparatus to render light sensually and visually experiential to the viewer as an immaterial substance in space. In this present work “Spherical Object" from 1973, six curved concave and horizontally aligned concave mirrored strips grant a translucent view of a mirror mounted onto the rearside of a plexiglass box in the background, which in turn casts the reflected light back into the ambient space, transforming it into an associative projection. This generates a highly nuanced, yet powerful and complex effusion of real light and disorientating reflections within a real space, and evokes a highly charged atmosphere in which light, space and movement fuse into an energetic, luminous continuum. In common with his contemporaries from the avantgarde group "ZERO", Adolf Luther recognised in the phenomena of light and movement new, spectacular artistic fields of action and an innovative resource for experimenting with entirely new modes of perception. Thus Luther's "strip objects”, which inhabit the liminal realm between installation, relief and sculpture, derive their inherent fascination from the intriguing synthesis of the irrational and analytical and their intuitive lyrical charm.
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