Lukas, who shows at New York’s Sperone Westwater Gallery, first begins with building a box like frame as each piece’s base. Set on a neutral base, the artist begins criss crossing fine threads of different colors across the canvas. As the threads overlap and build up, they create ghostly yet gentle shadows that gradate from one color to the next.
The edges of each piece bear the thicker concentration of threads, forming a gentle circular vignette around the rectangle. The threads slowly peter out as they approach the center, where each thin strand stands alone as it stretches to the other side.
The crossing threads have a glowing effect, as if a spotlight is being shone on the center of each piece. Lukas builds up threads to create more colorful pieces, while some use very little, creating stark images with thick shadows in the corners. The network of rainbow threads can be seen built up around the piece’s edges, as it heads to the back of the picture to be fastened into place.
Using only this fine and whispy material, Lukas is able to create the effect of paintings and drawings without picking up a brush or pencil.
+ Emil Lukas
Images © Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York and Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat