The contemplation of this ephemeral weather that caused the world in front of his eyes to alter so radically from moment to moment led Holl on a journey from the macro to the micro, and to science, including “an inquiry into physics and ancient philosophies” – this quote from his new book All the Living Things. He became interested in how atoms interact with each other. From there he delved into the subatomic, the universe inside the atom, to the nucleus, its quarks, protons, neutrons, and the electrons that surround the nucleus, each particle tinier than the other – for scale, a mote in the sunlight that you can barely see is millions of atoms wide. This, in turn, led him to the investigations being conducted with the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, and that observatory’s discovery of new particles and entities such as the Higgs Boson through speed-of-light accelerated collisions. Holl writes about how the collisions produce electromagnetic particle showers that create light: “The particles cannot be seen but the traces of their trajectories can be measured. These traces are the subject of my paintings.” So, Holl is still working from nature and the natural world or, at least, imagining it; he is still searching for that beauty and truth. I can’t speak for the truth in his paintings bereft as I am of a science education having been schooled by nuns for an Mrs., but I can speak for their beauty. Holl is a master colorist – there are no false notes in these paintings. The works have a lyricism to them that one can easily imagine are traces of light flying across their surfaces; they have a feeling of truth.
See Claire Lambe’s complete review in Roll Magazine at the link above.