Skip to content

Laddie John Dill

Intimate Light

Curated by Anna Valverde

December 6, 2022 – February 18, 2023

Laddie John Dill installation view
Laddie John Dill installation view
Laddie John Dill installation view
Laddie John Dill installation view
Laddie John Dill installation view

Press Release

Malin Gallery is pleased to present Laddie John Dill's second solo exhibition with the gallery: Intimate Light, curated by Anna Valverde.

Intimate Light assembles new works, including drawings and sculpture, by Los Angeles-based artist Laddie John Dill. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a new installation from Dill’s Silica Lightscape series, which the artist first conceived in 1970. Aptly titled EST, it is the largest Silica Lightscape work exhibited on the East Coast to date. It also corresponds to a work Dill made in 2011 titled PST that was exhibited in downtown L.A. in conjunction with the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time initiative, Art in L.A. 1945 - 1980. IntimateLight also marks the first formal exhibition of the artist’s drawings outside of a museum, and the first time these particular drawings have ever been shown.

Intimate Light pulls its title from an interview between Dill and the late art historian and critic Merle Schipper on the occasion of the artist’s museum debut for his Silica Lightscape series in 1980, humbly titled An Installation, at CSU Dominguez Hills’ University Art Gallery. In this interview Dill comments: “The light has an intimacy with the shape and defines it in terms of light, shade and shadow...’’ In over 50 years of working with neon, Dill wields it to provide viewers with a phenomenological experience of light. It is through his intimacy with the material properties of argon and mercury, as well as his romantic, ever-curious outlook with the medium itself, that has enabled him to create a uniquely beautiful and profound body of work.

Intimate Light will be on view at 515 West 29th Street through February 18th, 2023.

Laddie John Dill was born in Long Beach, CA in 1943. His step father worked in the aerospace industry and encouraged his interest in technical innovation and the sciences. After graduating from Chouinard Art Institute in 1968 with a BFA, Dill  became a printing apprentice at Gemini G.E.L. and worked closely with artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. Rauschenberg would become a lifelong friend and mentor and Johns would allow him to live at his loft when Dill was in New York. While working at Gemini, Dill gained notoriety through working with materials such as glass, metal, neon and cement. He was inspired by the work of Peter Alexander whose work he sanded while he was still a student. By the time he was 28, he had his first solo exhibition in New York at Sonnabend Gallery. Working and exhibiting alongside notable artists such as Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, and Mary Corse, Dill became known as a central figure in the Light and Space movement. Dill lives in Los Angeles and maintains a daily studio practice.

Dill has enjoyed solo exhibitions at Sonnabend Gallery (NY); James Corcoran Gallery (CA); Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art (CA): Long Beach Museum of Art (CA): Sun Gallery (Seoul); Di Donato (Naples); Whitestone Gallery (Taipei); Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Naples); and Wiesbaden Gallery (Germany). He has participated in group exhibitions at institutions including Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA); Walker Art Center (MN); Pasadena Art Museum (CA); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA); Rose Art Museum (MA); Otis Art Institute (CA); Seattle Art Museum (CA); Albright-Knox Art Gallery (NY); Corcoran Gallery of Art (DC); Museum of Contemporary Art (Sao Paulo); Contemporary Art Museum (TX); Museum of Contemporary Art (CA); Pace Gallery (NY); David Zwirner Gallery (NY); Hammer Museum (CA); and Hauser & Wirth Gallery (CA). Laddie John Dill’s work is in the permanent collections of national and international institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art (NY); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA); Museum of Contemporary Art (CA); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA); High Museum (GA); Phillips Collection (DC); Chicago Art Institute (IL); Smithsonian (DC); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Denmark); Museum of Contemporary Art - San Diego (CA); and Museo Jumex (Mexico).

Anna Valverde is a New York-based art advisor and curator with over 15 years of experience in the contemporary art world. Valverde has built one of the most important private collections on Light and Space in the American Southeast and her exhibitions often focus on artists she feels are under-recognized, primarily from her home state of California. This is her ninth show with Malin Gallery and second with Laddie John Dill. Her exhibits have been favorably reviewed by Artforum, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Cultured Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Hyperallergic, HuffPost, ARTnews and Artnet News.

Back To Top