Gary Justis has worked primarily in the area of kinetic sculpture, often using light as an element in his pieces. His recent prints use light both as subject and material. Utilizing LED, Xenon and/or incandescent sources and a variety of reflective surfaces and objects, Justis creates mysterious figures of light and photographs them. Some images reference human or alien figures, animals, imaginary plants, natural phenomena, land or spacescapes, while others are completely abstract. These works are realized as archival pigment prints laminated to the surface of an acrylic sheet.
The subject of over 100 exhibitions, Gary Justis’ work is included in numerous public and corporate collections including: the Museum of Modern Art Library, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Fogg Museum, Boston, MA; Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA; Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, LA; Krannert Museum, Champaign, IL; and the Rockford Museum, Rockford, IL. Justis’ work has been reviewed in Art In Print, ARTFORUM, Art in America, ARTnews, Art and Antiques, Sculpture, New Art Examiner, Arts Magazine, Dialogue, Newcity Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He has completed public commissions for Illinois State University, the City of Evanston, IL and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The artist lives and works in Bloomington, IL.
Press release from Gary Justis’s solo exhibition at LACDA:
Emergence, Digital photographs and videos by Gary Justis
Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, March 16 – April 9, 2016
The photographs and videos in the exhibition are an extension of Gary Justis’s 37 years of explorations in kinetic sculpture and light. The sculptural research is complex and material-based, involving machines that move and find mechanical expression in real time by employing photography, video, projected light and images. The realization that the phenomenon of light and other artifacts from his sculpture could be utilized to create another source of visual expression has resulted in the captured still images and video seen here in the exhibition.
The photographs expand Justis’s visual language and in turn build upon photography’s historical progression. The photographs explore both abstraction and visual metaphor. Beginning with analog procedures (involving LED, incandescent, refracted and reflected light), Justis captures images that suggest simulated life forms, objects and structures, locating and recording ethereal images/entities that teeter on the edge of what we find knowable.
Forming a conciliatory relationship between themselves and the viewer, and between abstraction and recognizable imagery, the images open an unexplored world of Justis’s creation, one that contains objects and life forms that critique their own spiritual veracity or ephemerality, perched on an edge between substance and formlessness.