New York

Stephen Antonakos

John Weber Gallery

Prettiness is also a problem with Stephen Antonakos’ neon pieces at the John Weber Gallery. In choosing warm reds and softly cool greens, Antonakos accentuates the visual attractiveness of his medium. The designlike reflections cast on the wall by Red Neon Box Off the Wall, Sides Not Touching, in particular, reinforce a decorative reading of the work. Because Antonakos outlines such clear shapes with the neon tubes, the light defines objects which have a fragile, almost precious, existence because of the actual insubstantiality of the medium. For example, in the open red box the red lines of the tubes establish the edges of planes which are filled in by light. Although one is always aware that there is only air within the defined area, the light seems physically material, making the planes appear simultaneously transparent and solid. That this tangibility of light is confined within the

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