Autumn Knight: In Rehearsal

Light and Movement in Sculpture

January 27 through May 6, 2017

Curator: Amy L. Powell
With assistance from Hayan Kim, doctoral candidate in Art History

Sculptors in the 1960s and 1970s experimented with light and optical illusion, reflecting mid-century fascination with speed, the materials of technology, and structural systems. Artists and artist-engineers built on previous decades of experimentation by such figures as László Moholy-Nagy and György Kepes, demonstrating artist Willoughby Sharp's call for "an art of greater energy" to "unite us with the real rhythms of our era." Systems theorist Jack Burnham, writing in 1968, found in contemporary sculpture the desire to prepare humans for radically new futures, even while many works mesmerize with their seemingly magical properties

KAM's small but strong collection of light and kinetic sculpture produced in the United States reflects the museum"s history as a vital participant in the University of Illinois's Festival of Contemporary Arts (1948–1974), a campus-wide presentation of lectures, performances, and exhibitions by avant-garde artists. Many of these works were purchased after the festival exhibitions while others were gifts made in recognition of the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration fostered by the university.

Artist featured include: Fletcher Benton, Chryssa, Max Finkelstein, Richard Hunt, Josef Levi, James Libero Prestini, and Earl Reiback.


Ricker Library of Art and Architecture has created a library guide for this exhibition, containing information on the artist's life and work. It contains bibliography, images, and online resources.
Exhibition Library Guide

Select programming for this exhibition:

Opening Night | January 26, 2017

Celebrate with us and get a first look at the season's new art exhibitions. The evening will feature live music, refreshments, and the company of Champaign-Urbana art enthusiasts.

Private Preview & Reception for Museum Members | 5–6 pm Reception catered by Michaels' Catering

To attend, please RSVP to Chris Schaede by Friday, January 20 via email or by calling 217-244-0516.

Public Opening Reception | 6–7 pm
With opening welcome by Acting Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts and Museum Director Kathleen Harleman at 6 pm.

Public opening reception hosted by the Krannert Art Museum Council.

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Fletcher Benton
Rolling Discs
ca. 1975
Polished steel and
colored Lucite
Gift of Robert D. Kleinschmidt
©Fletcher Benton/
Artist Rights Society (ARS)