Sculptor of Light and Shadow

Kaya Deckelbaum at Florence Biennale 2015


Sculptor of Light and Shadow

Kaya Deckelbaum at Florence Biennale 2015

by Dr. Barbara Aust-Wegemund

Directed by the curator Professor Rolando Bellini, the 10th Edition of the Florence Biennale takes place during the 150th anniversary of Florence Capital of Risorgimental Italy, October 17-25, 2015. The international show with the theme “Ethics: DNA of Art” presents more than 25 events in public spaces in addition to the main exhibition event at Fortezza da Basso hosted in the historic center of Florence.

The Florence Biennale, an official partner of the United Nations Program “Dialogue among Civilizations”, continues to follow the principles of the Ethical Charter of the New Millennium Artists. Since 1997 the number of artists, works and quality of art has grown tremendously, making the Florence Biennale one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions in the world, recognized by internationally renowned artists such as David Hockney, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Marina Abramović, who have received the prestigious International Award for Lifetime Achievement “Lorenzo il Magnifico” at Florence Biennale.

This year Kaya Deckelbaum, living in New York State, has been selected to participate at Florence Biennale. The artist with Bulgarian, Israeli and Canadian heritage is one of the world's foremost multilevel artists and sculptors working in the public space, with a range of projects spanning the globe. The play of light and shadow, reality and mysticism is essential to her new series “En’light” created especially for the Florence Biennale 2015.

Over the past years, Kaya Deckelbaum, who is an associate member of the National Sculpture Society in the US, has produced a rich body of work, among them a sculpture for the permanent collection of the Reuben and Edith Hecht Museum, University of Haifa in Israel.

By combining conventional and unconventional materials (wire-mesh) and media (light), Kaya Deckelbaum creates hybrid works of intricate energy and psychology. Explaining the artistic concept, she mentions: “It is my intention to show the effects of light and shadow expressed through my sculptures as if you were looking at two works: you see the sculpture itself and a riveting image behind it. The title of my installation "En'Light" meaning enlightenment is shown through the play of light and shadow. This effect creates a sketch on the wall which adds a 4th dimension to my sculptures. It is a unique aspect of my art.”

The projection of light rays has long been a source of fascination for artists and scientists, apparent in Leonardo da Vinci’s interest in the semblance of life projected into the dark chamber of the camera obscura.

But Kaya Deckelbaum is fascinated by the magical, visceral power of projected light as action, as a performative medium in itself. By posing conceptual dualities in her work - inside/outside, front/back, light/dark, color/non color - she seeks to connect with the viewers on an intuitive level. Therefore it is the viewer participation and the object/viewer relationship which completes Kaya Deckelbaum's multilevel work.

No doubt, this contemporary sculptor of light, shadow, illumination sketch is creating a 4th dimension – and finally a 5th by evoking emotion, stimulating intellectual engagement in Florence.


Florence Biennale 2015

October 17 - 25, 2015


Fortezza da Basso

Viale Filippo Strozzi 1

50129 Firenze, Italy


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