This device is too small to view this website properly
Try to rotate your device
By Lita Albuquerque & Jean de Pomereu
Lita Albuquerque is an internationally renowned installation, environmental artist, painter and sculptor. She has developed a visual language that brings the realities of time and space to a human scale and is acclaimed for her ephemeral and permanent art works executed in the landscape and public sites.
She was born in Santa Monica, California and raised in Tunisia, North Africa and Paris, France. At the age of eleven she settled with her family in the U.S. In the 1970s Albuquerque emerged on the California art scene as part of the Light and Space movement and won acclaim for her epic and poetic ephemeral pigment pieces created for desert sites. She gained national attention in the late 1970s with her ephemeral pigment installations pertaining to mapping, identity and the cosmos, executed in the natural landscape.
In 1980 Albuquerque garnered international acclaim for her pivotal installation, The Washington Monument Project, as featured in the International Sculptural Conference. The recognition this work gained, led to awards and commissions at major sites around the world, including the Great Pyramids, where she represented the United States at the International Cairo Biennale with her installation and exhibition Sol Star which won the prestigious Cairo Biennale Prize.
Albuquerque, with architect Mitchell De Jarnett, installed Golden State, the largest public art commission in California State government history, a plaza design spanning two city blocks at the center of the Capitol Area East End Complex in Sacramento. Albuquerque completed Celestial Disk, a star map, sculpture and waterfall in collaboration with architect Robert Kramer, which provides the main entrance to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles. She worked with architect Cesar Pelli on a sculptural floor installation for the New Minneapolis Central Library, and with architect David Martin, has completed a glass pathway, star map and water wall disk for the Wallace Chapel at Chapman University in Orange, CA. She recently created a site-specific work for the California Institute of Technology. Her latest large scale ephemeral Earth Art work Stellar Axis: Antarctica, a star map of blue orbs on ice installed on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in 2006 combines art with science and examines the human connection with the cosmos and the possibility of light as that link.
She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including: A National Science Foundation Grant in the Artists and Writers Program; the Cairo Biennale Prize at the Sixth International Cairo Biennale; Arts International award for U.S. Artist Representative for the Cairo Biennale; National Endowment for the Arts Art in Public Places Award (1983, 1984, 1990), a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship Grant and the esteemed Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship in the Visual Arts, Perugia, Italy (2002). In June 2004 she was honored by the MOCA Los Angeles for their 25th anniversary celebration for her contributions to the museum. Her work is featured in their anniversary catalogue and permanent collection.
Lita Albuquerque’s work is also included in The Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution and is collected by prominent Museums and Foundations, such as: The Whitney Museum Of Art, The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Getty Trust, The Frederick Weisman Foundation, The Los Angeles County Museum Of Art, The Orange County Museum, The Laguna Art Museum, The Palm Springs Desert Museum, as well as numerous embassies and corporations, on an extensive world wide basis.
Beyond numerous solo worldwide exhibitions Albuquerque is also a noted educator and has been on the core faculty of the Fine Art Graduate Program at Art Center College of Design for the last twenty years. She recently completed working in collaboration with astrophysicists from the Spitzer Science Center at California Institute of Technology for OBSERVE, an exhibition at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, and most recently in Alaska in collaboration with architect Christoph Kappeler for “Freeze” an exhibition of Ice, Snow and Light in the city of Anchorage.
Albuquerque’s work questions our place in the enormity of infinite space and eternal time. Despite a rising flood of new data and interpretive theory, the most elemental concepts of an emerging scientific cosmology are simply not imbedded in everyday culture. Conversely, the meaning of this cosmology does not seem implicit in the science. Lita Albuquerque has not flinched from the scale of such a challenge. She is one of the rare artists and humanists who are responsible for thoughtfully and imaginatively placing the elemental concepts for a living, functional cosmology for 21st century culture within public consciousness.
Jean first visited Antarctica in 2003. He has returned on numerous occasions as a member of different artistic and scientific expeditions. Photographs from his expanding body of Antarctic work have been exhibited in galleries in Paris, Shanghai, Brussels, Madrid, and New Zealand.
In parallel to his photographic work, Jean writes about polar science for SciencePoles.org, the scientific news and information website of the International Polar Foundation.
In 2008-09, he was the first foreigner to accompany a Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition, within the context of the 4th International Polar Year. His reports were published by the International Polar Foundation and in the printed press.
With a background in art history and a Masters degree from the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, Jean sometimes also lectures on the visual interpretation of Antarctica, and is involved in editorial projects focusing on early Antarctic photography.
Stellar Axis Project
In December 2006, he was photographer for Lita Albuquerque's Stellar Axis Antarctica: the largest and most ambitious arts project ever undertaken in Antarctica.
Designed in collaboration with astronomer Simon Balm, 'Stellar Axis Antarctica' was intended to mirror, or map the southern constellations as seen at 12 noon on the day of the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. It was realized through the alignment of 99 blue spheres across the Antarctic ice cap - the size of each sphere echoing the brightness of the corresponding star.
Articles on Stellar Axis were published in newspapers and arts magazines internationally. A documentary film on the project was produced and directed by Sophie Pegrum.