It's tempting to joke that Robert Perry incorporates everything but the kitchen sink into his art. Then again, he may well be working on a piece that throws in the sink, along with who knows what else. Perry, a self-described "lighting sculptor" whose delightful work is now on view in "Structures of Light" at Art Expressions Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, has a background in theatrical lighting design that clearly influences his hybrid creations. Sure, the 20 or so pieces here technically qualify as lamps, but most are first and foremost sculptures that make use of found objects. Take Wheelie, for instance, a sort of deconstructed bicycle that includes a chain, pedals, handlebars, and a small wheel outfitted with eight small glass tubes, each containing ten tiny white light bulbs. Or Anatomy, a vaguely ominous-looking conglomeration of tubes, metal pipes, coils, and what looks to be a chunk from a car's engine, all interconnected and set off by a single flashing red light bulb. Cardio combines a stethoscope and a blood pressure gauge with a big, old-fashioned globe bulb. The wall-mounted Dinner serves up a clocklike wheel of alternating forks and etched spoons, dramatically backlit and resting on a black square panel. And Toast, a more elaborate variation on some of the artist's earlier toaster-based pieces, substitutes half a dozen pale, slender light tubes for the toast, then projects a stem upward into another light fixture, with two upside-down, concentric metal colanders forming a shade. Perry's literalism occasionally borders on the precious as in the overwrought baseball motif of Play Ball but more often, it's ingenious. (Through September 29 at Art Expressions Gallery, 1212 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-527-7700.)
Now on Display
You may finally understand the afterlife desire to go into the light once you see Matthew Schreiber's "Platonic Solids." As you ascend the stairs to the Museum of Art's second floor, Pipeline pulls you into its sanctuary as if with a divine tractor beam; its purply-blue columns of light form a majestic hall as they arc across a huge darkened gallery. A site-specific work, the installation's curve follows the lines of the museum, designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. The installation inspires viewers to continue into the ever-narrowing space, to see what secrets lie at the tunnel's end. But it also guards the mystery, since the space between the columns becomes too slender to allow passage. From the far side of the gallery, the "backstage" view is lovely too the bluish-purple light contrasts with the orange light filtering up the stairwell from the museum's lobby and the yellow light of the gallery that displays the Highwaymen exhibit. In a second installation, "Garnet Cross" (inspired by an earlier Egyptian exhibit), the Miami-based artist uses pyramids to create a kind of sacristy in an adjoining gallery. A docent's guiding flashlight will help you navigate the pitch-black "ante-chamber." Red lasers shine from ceiling to floor and create two pyramids, the top one inverted so that its point balances on the other. (Through October 16 at the Museum of Art, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-525-5500.)
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the South Florida art and theater scene.