Light & Verity

Light show

Lumia at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Courtesy Yale Art Gallery

Courtesy Yale Art Gallery

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The fourth-floor temporary exhibit space at the Yale University Art Gallery is unusually dark this spring—all the better to highlight a haunting series of sculptures in color and light by Thomas Wilfred (1889–1968). Wilfred, whose papers are in Yale’s Manuscripts and Archives collection, began experimenting with machines to produce compositions in light as early as 1919. The exhibition Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light, the first major retrospective of Wilfred’s work in 46 years, is at the gallery through July 23. (It will be on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, from October 6 to January 7.) “Lumia’s slowly unfolding compositions and constantly morphing patterns evoke something different to everyone,” says curator Keely Orgeman, “whether it be deep space, the Northern Lights, or psychedelic light shows.”

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