January 22–February 23, 2020
Fridman Gallery is honored to present Light Shop, Jan Tichy’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Light Shop is an explorative study of light — its collection and dissemination, formation and commodification — taking place in the gradually fading Bowery Lighting District. Reflecting on the disappearance of the neighborhood lighting stores, the exhibition is in dialogue with the works of the photographer Berenice Abbott: Changing New York (1937) — a documentation of a city in transformation, and Documenting Science (1958) — an examination of the formal and material qualities of light.
Bowery Prints is a suite of photograms made with glass objects the artist purchased from the few remaining light shops on the Bowery, layered with images of the shops’ interiors. Throughout the gallery, a series of neon sculptures bent and blown by the artist resonate with the commodified light sold in the nearby shops.
Installation no.38 (lightshop), is a manifestation of light inflation in a lab-like setting, re-projecting light collected from the storefront window of the gallery. The work aims to explore the relationships among the digital, analog, and natural light systems and the implications of light pollution.
Bowery Raw, presented in the downstairs media room, is a two-channel video installation that composes a photographic portrait of the evolving Lighting District. The photos are made audible by translating the underlying RAW image files into sound, and in doing so calling our attention to the untold and invisible story of light.
Jan Tichy (Czech, b. 1974), was born in Prague and studied in Israel before earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is now an Associate Professor at the Department of Photography and Department of Art & Technology Studies. Tichy has had solo exhibitions at the MCA Chicago, Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, CCA Tel Aviv, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), and the MSU Broad Museum of Art. Tichy’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Israel Museum, Magasin 3 Stockholm Kunsthal, Museum of Applied Arts (Frankfurt), Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago).
Jan Tichy and Thomas Dyja in conversation
(January 22, 2020)
Jan Tichy and award-winning author and New York historian Thomas Dyja discuss Jan's exhibition, its context within the Bowery Lighting District, and the politics of light:
Installation no.38 (lightshop), installation view
Two-channel video, three neon sculptures, three microprocessors, light sensor
Bowery RAW [excerpt]
Two-channel video installation with sound
Bowery Raw is a two-channel video installation that composes a photographic portrait of the evolving Lighting District. The photos are made audible by translating the underlying RAW image files into sound, and in doing so calling our attention to the untold and invisible story of light.
In contrast to Tichy’s photographic works, which examine collection of light, and video projections, which are based on reproduction of light, the new neon sculptures can be understood as the artistic means by which he creates and shapes physical light with his own hands and breath.