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Radiant fold (…the Illuminating Gas) (2017/18)

Cerith Wyn Evans


Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Cardiff

© Cerith Wyn Evans Photo Credit: Amgueddfa Cym







403 x 475 x 398 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society and the artist through Great Works, supported by the Sfumato Foundation, 2018

Ownership history:

Purchased from the White Cube by the Contemporary Art Society, with its Great Works scheme, supported by the Sfumato Foundation, March 2018; presented to Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Cardiff, March 2018


Wales, Duchamp, Light
Radiant fold (… the Illuminating Gas) was created specifically for Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales by the internationally acclaimed artist Cerith Wyn Evans. It is the second donation made through the Contemporary Art Society’s Great Works scheme. The Great Works scheme, generously supported by the Sfumato Foundation, aims to tackle the absence in UK museums of works by major British artists of the last 20 years. This will be the first large-scale neon sculpture by Cerith Wyn Evans placed in a UK museum collection, and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales is significant to the artist as one of the first places he experienced art as a child. Wyn Evans first came to attention as a film-maker producing experimental films and collaborative works. He has subsequently expanded his practice to incorporate sculpture, photography, film and text to communicate his interest in language and communication, and in the process of translation. Raised bilingual in Wales, he has made work consisting of Latin palindromes and transmitted text by John Cage as Morse code through a glass chandelier. Neon is the medium for which he has become best known.

Radiant fold (… the Illuminating Gas) draws inspiration from the mysterious forms in Marcel Duchamp’s iconic work The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (1915–23). Three vast discs in bright white neon recreate the forms of Duchamp’s original into multi-dimensional objects. Suspended from the ceiling at an angle and developed with reference to the architecture and history of the museum, the work imposes a foreshortened perspective, evoking unfamiliar registers of perception and creating a rupture in the visual field.

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