Choose your dates:

  1. Sunday, May 19, 2024

  2. Monday, May 20, 2024


Linear Sky

  • Luftwerk (German, American), Linear Sky, 2018. Powder-coated aluminum, LED lights.

About the Exhibition

Responding to the form and function of the entrance hallway at 21c Kansas City, Luftwerk’s Linear Sky features light fixtures that vary in length, producing an anamorphic optical illusion of an expanding, outward pattern of line and color upon both entering and exiting the ramp. The hues from one direction differ from those in the opposite, acting like a multi-colored mirror of each other and differentiating the experience of moving into or out of the hallway. The LEDs are programmed with a lighting sequence inspired by the changing hues of the outdoor skies above the urban landscape of Kansas City: the palette of bright morning saturates the walls that greet visitors, while the glow of waning daylight colors envelop those en route to the outdoors. Evoking the span from dawn to dusk and back again, Linear Sky juxtaposes day and night, nature and technology, past and present, welcoming visitors into a space of the future. The vertical light fixtures installed on monochromatic walls reference the aesthetics of Minimalism, and create a strong, contemporary contrast to the historic patterning on the floor and the ornate pilasters on the walls.  The geometric interplay of the vertical and the horizontal within this narrow, ramp leading to and from the lobby both highlights and transforms the architecture, offering visitors views of a new horizon from either direction.

Luftwerk is the artistic collaboration of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. Since its founding in 2007, Luftwerk has amassed a significant body of work ranging from site-specific installations to experimental projects that interpret data. For each project, Luftwerk focuses on the context of a site by applying their own interpretive layer, and integrating the physical structure, historical context, and embedded information. Their interest lies in the power of light as a crucial element to sight, exploring its dynamic relationship with the perception of color. By employing various modalities — video projection, shadow casting, the creation of custom sculpture — the artists integrate light into every project in order to explore its ephemeral and shifting nature. Luftwerk has amassed a significant portfolio of work interacting with iconic architecture by architects including Renzo Piano, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe. In each project, they draw from the surrounding environment to interpret and expand on the context of the site. Luftwerk is represented by Volumes Gallery, Chicago.