Houghton Hall set to be transformed by major solo exhibition
Cementing its growing reputation as the go-to destination for advant-garde art, and straight from the success of its current sculpture exhibition, Houghton Hall is to host another major solo event.
Contemporary British artist Chris Levine has announced a major solo exhibition 528 Hz Love Frequency.
Marking the inaugural winter show in the historic grounds of this prestigious art venue, this exhibition runs between October 22 and December 23, and is sponsored by Sotheby’s.
It will feature a series of new holographic artworks, print works and large immersive laser and LED installations.
This is a body of new work created specifically for the unique environs of the house and grounds. Each distinctive work is characteristic of Levine’s unique and cutting-edge work with the meditative and immersive properties of light and sound.
The present exhibition at Houghton is by sculptor Tony Craggs. It ends on Sunday, September 26 having been displayed all summer to much acclaim.
Levine works in pursuit of an expanded state of perception and awareness through image and form, frequency and vibration.
He describes his practice as using light and geometry to createa space where consciousness and the physical realm overlap. He is best known for his large-scale, immersive sculptural light installations that invite the viewer to be present, in the moment.
He harnesses the power of light not just as a core material of art but also something with which to create powerful collective experiences. This exhibition, his largest to date, will punctuate an acclaimed career for Chris, who in 2004 was commissioned to create a portrait of the Queen.
The iconic portrait will be exhibited alongside works of other famous sitters, including Kate Moss and Grace Jones.
The centrepiece of the Houghton Hall show 528 Hz Love Frequency is a monumental spherical structure Molecule of Light on the front lawn that emits a sound beam.
This vast new sculptural work with 3D ambisonic sound will come to life as darkness falls over an imposing landscape.
The audience, one at a time, can immerse in modulating sound frequencies on the solfeggio scale which numerically relate to sacred geometry and correlate to the energy nodes in the body known as chakras.
It is the artist’s intention that people would be drawn into a brief meditative state that is both uplifting and purifying by bathing in this sound beam.
By day, the sphere uses natural light to generate more patterns giving it a vibrational quality, and at night it becomes the centre of an immersive field of laser light forms that transform the grounds of Houghton unlike anything seen before.
The high-powered lasers are precisely calibrated with the rotation of the earth, and by using the geometry and configuration of the architecture and natural topography of the Hall, the object of the work is to draw the audience into a meditative state where light and sound harmonise with the forces of nature within and around us.
Levine is perhaps best known for producing light portraits of notable cultural figures, most famously his depiction of the Queen in Lightness of Being (2012) – described by the National Portrait Gallery as the most evocative image of a royal by any artist. Along with his celebrated royal portrait, his acclaimed iconic meditative portraits of Banksy, and Grace Jones, amongst others, will be shown in the South Wing gallery.
On the upcoming major solo exhibition and his Houghton debut, Levine said: "It’s a great honour to be showing at Houghton. All my endeavours to create work that is truly experiential and transformative have brought me to this defining moment.
"I’ve always sought to create art that draws the viewer to stillness and into a meditative expansive state.
"The more the work can be accessed through the heart and not needing to be mentally processed allows for a deeper sensory experience and something that moves us emotionally and with a positive impact on our physiological state."
Lord Cholmondeley, owner and occupier of Houghton Hall, said: “This is our first autumn/winter show at Houghton, and it is exciting to be showing Chris Levine’s mesmeric laser art in the grounds, as well as a selection of his iconic light portraits.
"We look forward to seeing how his work will interact with the historic landscape and the architecture of the house.”
Since 2013, Houghton Hall has become a must-see destination for contemporary art and sculpture.
The Grade I-listed house was commissioned by the de facto first British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, in 1722.
Following in the footsteps of acclaimed artists such as Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor and Henry Moore, Levine will be the seventh artist to hold a major show at the grand historic setting and one that promises to offer a fresh and expansive context to his ground-breaking art.