2 parts: various dimensions
Dual-tone argon tube light, acrylic glass, particle board
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Christian Herdeg (born 1942 in Zurich, Switzerland) became familiar with the optical and physical properties of light already before he began exploring light as a phenomenon in his artworks. He worked as a gaffer and documentary filmmaker for some time before becoming a photographer, like his father Hugo P. Herdeg. Herdeg learned about the elements argon and neon, which are used in fluorescent lights, while living in Canada 1968–1971. From this time forward, these elements became the primary material of his investigations into the “states of matter of light.” After making his artistic debut in Canada, he returned to Switzerland in 1971, where he quickly earned a name as a pioneer of Swiss light sculpture.
By the time he made “Boundless I” in 1973, his style was no longer influenced by Pop Art, as in his earlier work, but had increasingly become characterized by a more geometric vocabulary of forms. “Boundless I” is in the shape of a column consisting of a darkly tinted base with a cube made of Plexiglas on top. The two-toned, diagonal fluorescent tube inside can be seen from the top and all four sides of the transparent cube. Changes of perspective result in new constellations of forms and colors through the multiple reflections of the fluorescent tube created by the Plexiglas cover. In “Boundless I,” Herdeg manages to draw beholders into a seemingly infinite virtual space using the minimal means of a single source of light and its optical multiplication.
Herdeg’s many years of experience working with light, color, volume, and space are what make light sculptures as well as his public artworks so unique. His first public intervention “Sieben stereometrische Lichtkörper auf Wasserebene” from 1982 in the vicinity of the Paradeplatz in Zurich was followed by numerous other commissions in Switzerland and abroad. Herdeg’s art-in-architecture lighting designs, which are precisely attuned to their architectural surroundings, also contributed to establishing his reputation as a renowned light artist outside the borders of Switzerland.