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Lichtschleuse (Light Trap)

Adolf Luther

"Lichtschleuse (Light Trap)", ca. 1970

Silkscreen-photograph by Lothar Wolleh on a mirror in plexiglass case with a wooden rear

19.09 x 19.09 x 2.17 in

signed verso, labelled


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Über das Werk

Adolf Luther had been pre-occupied with the subject of light since the 1960s. Holding a doctorate in law, he resigned from his position as judge at the age of 45, and in 1962 created his first light objects from broken glass fragments. In the ensuing years, he used highly sophisticated materials such as optical lenses, prisms and convex and concave mirrors to render light visible in space. In the 1970s and 1980s, this autodidactic artist developed a comprehensive design concept, which entailed fusing the static structures of architecture with the dynamic, moving element of light in his mirror, glass and light installations. His most important sculptural material, glass, was applied in order to represent energy in the form of light. In his quest to render the invisible visible, Adolf Luther became one of the chief exponents of kinetic art and optical art.

This present work "Light Trap" shows a frontal view of Adolf Luther taken by Lothar Wolleh. Wolleh, who at the time was one of the best-known artist photographers, having already completed portraits of Joseph Beuys, René Magritte or Gerhard Richter, among others. The presentation of Luther's image in a mirror box in front of Luther's signature light-refracting glass strips portrays the artist as a spectral illuminated figure in an open, intangible and delimited space reflecting the immediate environs and the observer.

A year after Wolleh's death in 1979, Adolf Luther offered a description of friend: "His visual passion was overwhelming. It was as if his entire sensory energy ran through his eyes. This is illustrated in his every shot - which speak to the sensitivity of the artist. They were the basis of our friendship. How strange now to realise that such uniqueness was so clear and irrefutable."
(quoted from: Günter Herzog: "Heiner Stachelhaus", in: ZADIK (ed.), Heiner Stachelhaus, Nuremberg 2009, 27)
(Eva Müller-Remmert)

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