Ian Brill: Circuitry and Form

Ian Brill's "Currencies" at Ragioni Tecniche, Venice



Maria Elena Morganti






Ian Brill, Current 1, lithograph on archival paper, 2023. Photograph by Valentina Viva.

Ian Brill

Venetian Adaptation

Ragioni Tecniche opened its doors to Ian Brill’s first solo show in Italy called “Currencies“, inaugurating an exhibition that is small in size but demonstrates the potential of this internationally-renowned artist.

The Exhibition features a site-specific work – Bloc – and five prints (Current 1 – 5), which Brill says were born out of admiration for Venetian culture: “I wanted to demonstrate respect and humility by communicating with a native language, so I chose to make prints.” It is interesting that Mr. Brill chose the term “native language” to describe the inspiration for his prints because Venice has historically been one of the most important centers of book and print publishing for nearly 600 years. Indeed one can enter these lithographs and the installation with an awareness of the artist’s appreciation for Venice’s identity as a progenitor of the printed word and image.

Standing out within the exhibition space is the installation in dialogue with the works on paper, based on the large interactive domes typical of his production; it is a dialogue between the installations and sculptures and the two-dimensional representations of his work. Both the prints and the installation allow the viewer who enters this space to step into an environment where lights, colors and technology meet and take center stage.

Made of modules containing lights, each mounted specifically according to the dimensions of one gallery wall, Bloc is a work of spectral and illuminative grandeur, an installation-which in all its technological complexity creates a rhythmic pattern of colored lights operating in flow that appears to be random but is actually programmed by the artist. Indeed, behind this installation lies a complicated programming that aims to accompany the viewer in an interactive and multisensory experience to discover a meditative world. It is this computer programming that lies at the heart of Brill’s sculpture work.

Ian Brill, Currencies 2, lithograph on archival paper, 2023, Photograph by Valentina Viva. 

Ian Brill, Currencies 3, lithograph, 2023




The Musicality of Light

Brill proposes a meaningful relationship between figure and external environment, a coexistence of form and space that obliterates the single focal point and allows the viewer’s gaze to sweep in concentric circles, segmented domes, in a collision of flamboyant shapes and colors.

The artist’s intention behind these works is to induce a whole new set of emotional spectra in a manner very similar to that of music and media linked to the concept of time, but in this case through the use of only seemingly static forms juxtaposed with great compositional skill. Through the creation of environments that are interactive, performative and multi-sensory, the artist puts under the spotlight that boundary that has come between the future, becoming, and our deep relationship with technology.

His is a relentless research work that relies on personal tools for the purpose of externalizing, empowering and reproducing his ideas. Through the use of the immersive medium he attempts to give unambiguous meaning to those boundaries and to those illusions that exist between the self and the other, between the world and the private, between what is familiar and real and what is the real, impossible, unknown and infinite. Brill himself states in an interview that “my work has been a meditative dance with technique and perspective. With failure and growth. I have tuned my aesthetic inquiries, circumnavigating my bounds.”