The work was created for the Sarasota Art Museum’s inaugural exhibition, “Color. Theory. & (b/w)” and is currently on display in the Jonathan McCague Arcade on the museum’s third floor.
In line with Sampson’s responsive site practice, “Vita in Motu” integrates the architecture of the building with the rotation of the sun throughout the day, creating an immersive experience in which colors change and melt as the day is progressing, according to a press release from the University.
“We are extremely grateful to this special group of donors for their generosity, which enables us to preserve and continue to exhibit this one-of-a-kind, site-specific work of the museum,” said Dr. Larry Thompson, president of the college. . “We are thrilled that this extraordinary facility will continue to be a part of Ringling College and will continue to inspire and excite generations of Sarasota students and community members.”
The museum’s executive director, Virginia Shearer, called the piece “a beautiful, resonant reminder to be present as the day goes on.”
She added, “We are thrilled to offer our visitors to the Sarasota Art Museum the chance to bask in the colors of the artwork throughout the day. I especially love watching our visitors explore the work trying to understand how it works and how their interactions can affect the light projections.”
Based in Los Angeles, Sampson holds a BFA from Ringling College and an MFA from Hunter College. He works with tangible and intangible materials — plexiglass, polymers, wood, dyes, light, reflection and shadow — to explore space and perception, the college said.
His works are often site-specific, uniquely responding to the architectural spaces in which they reside. “Vita in Motu” is inspired by Sampson’s childhood experiences on the west coast of Florida.
“From an early age, the play of light and color on the water and in the sky has shaped my imagination. West Coast sunsets are so beautiful and spectacular, and it really gives a sense of their place in the universe,” Sampson told Ringling College.
Constructed with dichroic film, acrylic and glass, Vita in Motu draws on the artist’s deep interest in 18th century “American Sublime” landscape painting, as well as his decades-long practice of experimentation with paint, color, reflection and projection of light in his work.