September 10 –
November 21, 2015
Sam Lewitt: More Heat Than Light

To make fire, you need friction—our ancestors discovered that long ago. More recently, thermodynamics has taught us that the hotter something gets, the more erratically it behaves and the more unreliable it becomes. To guarantee the stability of any system, therefore, means to follow one basic formula: minimize friction and maximize flow.

Sam Lewitt switches that around. His work adds weight and materiality to systems that would otherwise prefer to run smoothly and invisibly. This exhibition generates heat—it maximizes friction and minimizes flow.

The artist has redirected the building’s energy use from light to heat. On the ground are flexible heating circuits Lewitt has had fabricated, which are much larger versions of Kapton/copper composite heaters that are used to maintain and regulate highly targeted temperatures inside communication devices. The objects draw their power from long cords coming down from the gallery’s lighting track. The electricity usually used by light bulbs now runs into the sculptures and along the lines etched into their surfaces, generating heat. (AH)

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This exhibition is made possible by Thea Westriech & Ethan Wagner; Christopher Bass; Norah & Norman Stone; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin.

This exhibition is curated by Anthony Huberman and co-organized with Kunsthalle Basel.

Press:

San Francisco Chronicle, by Christian Frock
Artforum, by Gwen Allen
Texte Zur Kunst, by Gareth James
The New Yorker
Artforum, by Tyler Curtis
ARTnews, by Alex Greenberger
Forbes, by Alina Cohen
Interview Magazine, by Emily McDermott
The New York Times, by Martha Schwendener
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light (detail), 2015. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light (detail), 2015. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light (detail), 2015. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light (detail), 2015. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.
Sam Lewitt, More Heat Than Light, 2015; installation view, Wattis Institute. Courtesy of Sam Lewitt. Photo: Johnna Arnold.