Holt artworks on view in "Shadow and Light" at New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary

The New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary in Santa Fe, New Mexico launches this month. Its inaugural exhibition Shadow and Light features three works by Nancy Holt that explore address the materiality of light and shadow: a drawing relating to Holes of Light (1973) acquired by the museum for its collection last year, Mirrors of Light II (1974), and Light and Shadow Photo Drawings (1978). Santa Fe is the home base of the Foundation, and Holt lived just outside the city, in Galisteo, from 1995 until her passing in 2014.

Holes of Light and Mirrors of Light II are room-sized installations Nancy Holt made in the first half of the 1970s that explore the qualities of reflected light. Whether emanating from the stars or plugged into electricity grids, the perceptual qualities of light fascinated Holt. Mirrors of Light II was first presented at the Walter Kelly Gallery in Chicago, and this is the first time it has been exhibited since. 

In Light and Shadow Photo Drawings Nancy Holt created twenty-two experiments with light and shadow. Holt shined a light through various curved cutouts and photographed the light and shadow that became projected on to the opposite wall, echoing her process of making light material in Mirrors of Light. Here she distills the photographic medium to its essence: projected light. With no recognizable object of reference, the images invite us to observe the interplay of light and shadow, and grapple with the processes of our own perception.

The exhibition is on show through April 28, 2024.

Archived News

Chapter Six of Tuesday Texts

We are happy to announce that throughout January we will be publishing a sixth chapter of our Tuesday Text Series as part of our ongoing Scholarly Text Program, which invites thinkers to focus on a single artwork by Holt and/or Smithson. This chapter of Tuesday Texts will focus on artworks by Robert Smithson.

Every Tuesday we will publish a text to our website that includes images selected by the author, a short bibliography, citation reference, and endnotes pointing to the author’s references.