Carol Prusa | DARK LIGHT | Boca Raton Museum of Art
On view August 19, 2019 - January 19, 2020
Cosmic events are affecting us all of the time still when something as profound and grand as a total solar eclipse occurs; it can affect you on multiple levels. “Dark Light” Carol Prusa’s solo show at the Boca Raton Museum of Art will also affect you on various levels.
The Big Bang, Black Holes, and the mysteries of the cosmos have fascinated Prusa since childhood; they continue to inform and inspire the art that she creates today.
In her solo exhibition “Dark Light,” Prusa Exhibits her love for both art and science with a new body of work created after she traveled to Nebraska in 2017 to experience the total eclipse of the sun along the banks of the North Platte River.
Speaking at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in September, Prusa states, “I seek to communicate what cannot be seen but felt, the vibrations that are part of us all, including echoes from billions of years ago..”
The works on show reflect the different stages of the eclipse, as well as the effects of scotopic vision, which Prusa explains is the vision of the eye under low light levels.
A master in the craft of silverpoint drawing Prusa works through a painstaking process of layering gesso, pouring pigment washes, and thousands of hours of hatching with silverpoint to capture the quality of light, creating a fleeting experience.
In the piece titled Between Day and Night, intricate organic shapes form an outer ring for an ever darker middle. The beauty of this darkness manifests when those same organic shapes become visible to your eyes as they adjust to the darkness, and the total eclipse is revealed.
Those same effects are apparent as a tree emerges from the darkness in Luna (guardian).
The vibrations that Prusa had explained in her talk became convincing to me as I stood before her large scale piece DarkLight (Elegy For Rebecca Elson). As I stared into this large black void, the pulses of energy indeed bounced back, I felt myself looking into the iris of the universe, and it looked back at me.
There is not always a dark abyss; some of the works on view are the inverse with light bursting from the darkness as in Interstellar and Cosmic Dust.
Experimentation is also a part of Prusa’s process; other pieces in this show include drawings on small orbs and convex domes that may incorporate LED lights and video.
Prusa recently delved into the craft of etching and working with master printmaker Kim Spivey she created a series of 7 etchings in homage to American Women Astronomers. This series is also on view along with the portfolio of 7 prints displayed in an acrylic box with letterpress colophon. Working with new materials and on a much smaller scale was a challenge for the artist. The challenge was a successful one; the prints continue to bear the same intuitive marks as the silverpoint works enticing you to explore them more in-depth.