Artworks That Shine in New York Museums - NYTimes.com
La lumière dans l’art [enngénéral] ...
With New Year’s hoopla behind us, we begin to turn a corner on the season of long nights and short days. But there’s still a good stretch of darkness ahead, and New York City museums have their lights on bright.
Illumination has been a subject and condition of art since prehistoric painters at the Lascaux caves positioned their images to catch the rays of the sun at winter solstice. Great classical cultures across the globe spun visions of the universe around the presence of solar and lunar deities. To designers of stained-glass church windows in medieval Europe light was divine benevolence in sensible form. To the Muslim creators of lusterware in the Arab world radiance as a decorative property helped bind together the widely dispersed faithful.
Painted dawns and sunsets carried spiritual, political and personal messages for Romantic landscape artists in America and Europe. Light was scientific data to the French Impressionists, the raw material of an optical sublime. In our own era, when art has no center or has centers everywhere, light as a medium has atomized into countless forms and meanings, from fluorescent tubes and video screens to glittering magpie-eye scraps and painted rainbows.