Library Street Collective: “Lightworks" by Phillip K. Smith III

4 / 1 / 2022

This weekend in downtown Detroit, Library Street Collective held the opening reception for Lightworks, a solo exhibition of works by Southern California-based light artist Phillip K. Smith III.

Smith’s light “paintings” are three-dimensional canvases made of light that he creates through the meticulous selection of color, brightness, and pace of change. The colorful, glowing sculptures are not only themselves a beautiful sight to behold, but bathe the space that they are hung in light, creating an atmosphere that envelops the viewer.

Smith’s work, along with others in the Light and Space art movement, is ethereal and atmospheric while at the same time geometric and analytical, and requires active and multi-sensory participation from the viewer when inside the space. That is to say, you can’t simply view Smith’s work as a painting on a wall, you have to see what each piece does does to the space that it lives in.

“Meditatively paced, the color choreography is the heartbeat of the lightworks, allowing them to breathe color and inviting us to slow ourselves down to focus our perception. As colors shift, the forms themselves appear to expand and contract–at times, seemingly pulling away or pushing towards the wall–creating dynamic spatial conditions within the work as well as the space in which they are sited.” - Library Street Collective

Phillip K. Smith III: Lightworks will be on display at Library Street Collective from May 14 through June 22, 2022.

Photography by:

Lance Gerber