Impossible Shadows: The Art of Larry Kagan
September 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020
As a long time, and now emeritus, Professor of Art at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, Kagan maintains his studio in Troy, New York. Since the early 1990s he has created abstract welded metal sculptures which cast mysteriously realistic shadows, provoking questions about how their seemingly magical effects are achieved. Kagan’s work encourages discussions about the dualities of light and dark, drawing and sculpture, abstraction and representation, the two-dimensional and three-dimensional.
Kagan creates his unique shadow-based art by starting with a simple pencil drawing on a wall. He then mounts the basic shape of his steel wire sculpture on the wall and shines a light on it, downward from the ceiling. Finally, he manipulates the sculpture until the shadow it throws traces the lines he’s drawn on the wall. Creating a range of images from Andy Warhol and Barack Obama to more anonymous figures and objects, Kagan sees himself in the pop art tradition, working with popular imagery that he is exposed to.
Larry Kagan (b. 1946). Box II, 2001, ed. of 10. From Tallix Foundry Silicon bronze wire and shadow. Museum purchase; Collection Forum Fund. 2006.14
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