‘edge’ by hans kotter (2009) polished stainless steel with colour-changing LEDs

german artist hans kotter works at the intersection of photography, design, and technology, creating sculptures and installations that give physical form to light. constantly exploring new materials and techniques, kotter has a body of work that ranges from lightboxes of painting-like macro photography to optical-illusion-like LED sculptures to room-sized installations that envelop visitors in emotive and visually stimulating washes of colour.

the streaming beams of coloured light in many of kotter’s works are in actuality enlarged photographs of murano glasswork of the 1950s and ’60s, at times collaged with other highly saturated photos. some of kotter’s lightboxes showcase these images on their faces, while others incorporate them along their sides, with warped mirrors as their front surfaces. pieces like ‘colour code’ and ‘edge’ integrate LEDs to actually shift the tone of the backlighting, so that the sculpture itself pulses through a range of colours.

art historian dr. markus wimmer reflects:

‘the luminous bodies transform into autonomous beings: sculptures of light changing not only the color of space, but also restructuring it, dividing, delimiting, blocking, opening, tilting it and giving it new rhythm. the use of montage gives the colored surface, the stripes and patterns and the scintillating effects an autonomy which detaches them from the object of representation. the object is neither documented, nor is there any suggestion of traces of it left behind in memory. the art of photography stands at the service of a multicolored light-painting.‘

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view ‘colour code’ on exhibition at galerie viltin, budapest (2011)

‘colour code’ utilizes LED lighting to transform the sculpture video © debuck gallery

other recent works integrate LEDs for the formation of sculptures that interrogate depth and perspective. when observed from a certain angle, ‘tube’ presents what appears to be an infinitely deep curve, although from other viewing positions it appears only an interesting array of light and colour. more recent renditions of the project, like ‘down under’ offer views of seemingly infinite tunnels from a range of viewing points.

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view tunnel views of ‘down under’

visitor footage of ‘tube’ seen from changing perspectives, during the kinetica 2011 exhibition in london

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view ‘replaced’, installation view from the show ‘transformations’ at priveekollektie (2010) light boxes, stainless steel rod and perforated sheet

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view ‘chromatic plants’ aluminum-dibond with diasec face

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view ‘macro landscape’ (2005) 8-booth large-scale installation of photographic works

kotter also creates wall and room -size installations from compositions of his light boxes, envisioning even his finished works as continually in development, capable of changing with their context or lighting parameters.

in ‘balance’, installed at shunt vaults in london bridge station for the kinetica museum, the artist suspends a thin band of a newly developed luminescent film along the walls of the space, effecting a juxtaposition of old and new, light and dark, and physical and immaterial.

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view ‘balance’, in the shunt vaults of london bridge station, london (2008) image courtesy kinetica mueseum london

a range of kotter’s most recent works, including ‘tube’ and ‘cliffs’, are on exhibition in ‘point of view’, a solo show for the artist running september 11th  through october 9th, 2011, at the netherlands-based gallery priveekollektie. an extension of the 2010 show ‘transformations’, the exhibition interrogates how the physical or mental position of both artist and viewer affect the ways we can interpret a work of art.

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view ‘light block’, plexiglass with LED light

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view ‘cliffs’ (2010) aluminum dibond with diasec face

hans kotter: light boxes and point of view detail on ‘cliffs’