De Wain Valentine
LAMA set the auction record for any work by De Wain Valentine in the March 1, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction with Blue Slab from 1970 (Lot 49), which realized $175,000.
About The Artist
A key figure in the west coast Light and Space movement that emerged during the 1960s, DeWain Valentine is best known for his strikingly luminous, translucent cast polyester resin and fiberglass sculptures. An early pioneer of incorporating industrial grade resins and plastics into his work, Valentine’s sculptures are also often associated with the Finnish Fetish movement due to their jewel-toned, highly reflective, glossy surfaces that play with the space and light surrounding them. To create the pristine surfaces and monumental scale of his sculptures Valentine worked with chemical engineers to develop a polyester resin that was crack resistant. In 1966 Valentine and Ed Revay, an engineer from PPG Industries, developed the highly stable Valentine MasKast Resin, which was strong enough to exceed the 50-pound limit to which artists had formerly been restricted when creating large, resin sculptures.
Valentine, who lives and works in Los Angeles, California, often draws inspiration from the natural world of his immediate surroundings. “In Colorado, I had a love affair with the clouds and mountains,” he once said. “When I moved to California, the smog became a substance, and the quality of light had a body to it that was just thrilling.” Upon arriving in Venice Beach in 1965, Valentine became smitten with the sea and sky of his new home. He turned to creating sculpture that captured what he called the “transparent colored space” in each of these vast expanses, producing works which possess cosmic undertones, effectively transferring a slice of space directly from a landscape. Distinguished by minimalist silhouettes, diaphanous surfaces, and highly polished, sleek finishes Valentine’s sculptures engage a sophisticated interplay between light, reflections, splintering color spectrums, transparency, and surface that often dishes up a delightfully dizzying prismatic effect.
Valentine’s sculptures reside in the permanent collections of the San Diego Museum of Art, the Denver Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
“Gray Column.” Pacific Standard Time at the Getty Center. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2012. Web. 13 Aug. 2012.
“L.A. Art Scene.” Pacific Standard Time at the Getty Center. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2012. Web. 13 Aug. 2012.
Learner, Tom. From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine’s Gray Column. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 2011. Print.
Valentine, De Wain. Telephone interview. 15 Aug. 2012.