Light it up for Lumiere: artists who worked with neon

Lumiere London is an annual light festival that highlights the capital’s spectacular architecture and streets, with over fifty works created by visionary UK and international artists. The aim is to transform the city and change the way we think about public space. This year Lumiere is taking place over four evenings, from Thursday 18 to Sunday 21 January 2018.

To celebrate the return of this light extravaganza, join us in looking at the 20th and 21st centuries’ leading artists who worked with neon lights – a difficult and even dangerous medium to master.


Bruce Nauman


Run from Fear, Fun from Rear, 1972 (tubular lights and glass), Bruce Nauman (b.1941) / Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany / Bridgeman Images

Keith Sonnier


Elevation with neon by light artist Keith Sonnier, Kunsthaus, Bregenz, Austria (photo) / Richard Bryant / Arcaid / Bridgeman Images

Dan Flavin


Untitled (to Lucie Rie, master potter) 1u, 1990 (pink, yellow, blue and green fluorescent light), Dan Flavin (1933-96) / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images

Joseph Kosuth


Four Colors Four Words, 1966 (neon and transformer), Joseph Kosuth (b.1945) / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images


James Turrell


The Light Inside, 1999 (mixed media), James Turrell (b.1943) / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA / Museum commission, funded by Isabel B. and Wallace S. Wilson / Bridgeman Images


Gyula Kosice


Estructura lumínica Madí 6, 1946 (neon gas, Plexiglas, and wood box), Gyula Kosice (b.1924) / Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA / Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund / Bridgeman Images

Mario Merz


Zebra or Fibonacci, by Mario Merz, 1973, 20th Century, stuffed animal and twelve numbers in neon, animal, Mario Merz (1925-2003) / Museo del Novecento, Milan, Italy / Mondadori Portfolio / Electa / Luca Carrà / Bridgeman Images

Robert Irwin


Untitled, 1969 (acrylic paint on cast acrylic), Robert Irwin (b.1928) / The Art Institute of Chicago, IL, USA / Barbara Neff Smith and Solomon Byron Smith Purchase Fund / Bridgeman Images

Jason Rhoades


Quivering Mound of Love, 2003 (neon lights, light green translucent Plexiglas, wire, string and transformer), Jason Rhoades / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images


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