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David Summers: Nothing but Light

841 Wolf Trap Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22911

  • Presented By: Les Yeux du Monde
  • Dates: August 29, 2020 - October 3, 2020
  • Recurrence: Recurring weekly on Saturday
  • Location: Les Yeux du Monde


Les Yeux du Monde is pleased to present

David Summers: Nothing but Light
29 August – 4 October 2020

David Summers: Nothing but Light will initiate the fall season at Les Yeux du Monde, opening on Saturday, August 29 and running through Sunday October 4, 2020. In this unprecedented time of worldwide pandemic and social injustice, this show seems particularly relevant. Summers, Professor Emeritus Professor of Art Theory and Italian Renaissance art at UVa, is well known for his scholarship, such as his 2003 tome, Real Spaces. World Art History… and his more recent “Manifesto to a World Art museum” for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, that levels the differences between and among civilizations and diverse histories to reveal what is common to them all. His preoccupation with Light and his vast knowledge of history and philosophy inform not just his writing but every painting he makes. For example, his Net of Indra paintings which consist of rows of reflecting bottles and surfaces repeating across the canvas, reference the ancient Buddhist/Hindu story about the Net of Indra—a net of jewels that hangs over Indra’s palace (symbolic of the center of the universe) and in each jewel are reflections of the others.

Summers' still life paintings range from wonderfully humorous recreations of ancient myths such as Narcissus seeing its reflection in shiny coffee cans, to impressive paintings of paintings within paintings, as in Sunny Studio Still Life with Still Life. They are exquisitely painted oils on canvas or panel of seemingly ordinary objects or bottles or items often discarded or recycled (Mondrian’s Recycling wittily combines his chosen subjects combined with the early modern pioneer of geometric abstract art, Piet Mondrian). His seemingly everyday characters and objects of observation, be they gourds on a reflective surface or vases of flowers, sprouting onions, bottles and orbs all acknowledge the Light and, even if performing as humble characters in a play, may be seen as symbolic of the interpenetration and interconnectedness of all phenomena and humanity. Also in his rare land and waterscape paintings, such as The Light in my own Backyard, Light is the central character.

The gallery will be open by appointment throughout the exhibition’s run. There will be a Celebration and Reception on Saturday, September 19 from 2 – 5 p.m., with timed entry to the gallery by appointment. Please email or call 434-882-2620 to make appointments to see the exhibition or to attend the reception.