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Sprüth Magers
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Nancy Holt at Sprüth Magers


You’re likely familiar with Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels (1973–76), but a new show at Sprüth Magers offers a look into the full breadth of the practice of the self-proclaimed “perceptionist.” The act of looking was paramount for Holt and serves as a guiding focus across the variety of media on view. For her Locator series, Holt painted or projected shapes in the gallery that, when viewed through rudimentary viewfinders, coalesce into perfect circular shapes — the viewer’s own perspective becomes a crucial aspect of the work.

Two of these are on view at the gallery alongside a series of black-and-white photographs that similarly use simple means (flashlights, cardboard, camera) to create perceptual, eclipse-like compositions. This logic expands into an atmospheric installation upstairs, Electrical System — a modular piece that adapts to each location it is shown in. The installation uses industrial electrical materials to create a rolling matrix of curved pipes and light bulbs that undulate to create a densely-networked rhythm. Across the exhibition, and Holt’s practice, simplicity becomes a gateway to the perceptual and the sublime.

On view: October 28 – January 14

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Photo: Nancy Holt, Locating Perception, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, October 28, 2022–January 14, 2023. © Holt/Smithson Foundation, licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer