Peter Bynum; Illumination of the Sacred Forms: Divine Light Mission and Sanctuary

The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art presents Peter Bynum’s “Illumination of the Sacred Forms,” a multi-media installation of illuminated paintings.


Peekskill, NY — HVCCA will present an installation of illuminated paintings by Peter Bynum, with  video projections. This is the first time an artist has been given the largest room at the museum for a solo exhibition.

“Illumination of the Sacred Forms” opens February 4th with a reception for the artist from 5-7pm, and continues through December 17, 2017.

Livia Straus, Director of HVCCA, says “Peter Bynum’s ethereal, light-infused paintings bring us into an intimate relationship with the biological structure of our oneness. Working at the intersection of art and science, he has invented a technique for illuminating paint’s innate ability to express the forms and rhythms of the living universe. Floating on multiple layers of glass, biomorphic forms spread, pool, and flow. We are visually swimming in the paint and the light. This ‘secret life’ of paint is evocative of trees and roots, capillaries and synapses — the purposeful fluidity of life on the planet.”

Purple velvet drapes at the entrance signal the immersive spiritual experience to come. The room glows with six paintings full of cosmic energy and ecstatic beauty, advancing our contemplation of the divine as well as the human threat to the biosphere.

A separate curtained booth allows visitors to sit and watch video projections of paint in action, showing its behavior under pressure as it flows and branches, a psychedelic experience of life forming and flowing before our eyes. In another booth, viewers can sit in privacy to contemplate the painting “Between us, here, now,” a work that invites us to explore our relation with the Other, whether human or divine.

Says Dede Young, former chief Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Neuberger Museum, “Peter Bynum has made one breakthrough after another, invented a new way of painting with light, and pushed the language of painting into a new place. This goes so far beyond what painting on canvas has ever been able to achieve. It changes the conversation.”

“In all life-forms, energy is circulated through a nervous system,” says Bynum. “In animals, through a coherent system of veins and arteries. In plants, through a system of roots, branches and leaves. Paint has within it this same fluid genius. The nature of paint, it turns out, is to act like nature.”

Peter Bynum’s work has been exhibited in Rome, Shanghai, Paris, Basel, Cologne and throughout the U.S. In 2011, the Rome Museum of Contemporary Art included his paintings in it’s landmark exhibition “Macro: The Road to the Future of Contemporary Art.” In 2013, New York’s Museum of Art & Design commissioned a large illuminated triptych to feature alongside renowned light artist James Turrell, naming Bynum and Turrell two of the most influential artists of the last half-century who work with glass. In 2014, he was commissioned by the New York Public Library to fill its 5th Avenue windows with 17 large illuminated paintings. That exhibition, using four tons and 2,000 square feet of glass, was illuminated day and night for eight months and seen by an estimated 9 million people. His most recent exhibition of public art is on the Hudson Riverfront in Peekskill, NY. Commissioned by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, his paintings fill ten arches, each 26 ft. high x 16 ft. wide.

Bynum’s work is in 80 private and public collections in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. He received his MFA from New York University. He lives and works in New York’s Hudson Valley.

The installation is in conjunction with the museum’s main exhibition, “Between I and Thou.”   HVCCA is open Fridays 11:00-5:00 and Weekends noon-6:00. Weekdays are by appointment.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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1701 Main Street
Peekskill, NY 10556
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Times: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event

Presenter: HV