It’s been a huge month for OLED’s recognition by the art world. From the Guggenheim in New York City to Art Basel in Switzerland, we’ve witnessed just how strong this display technology’s appeal is for artists seeking new canvasses that can capture their imaginations.
Art, Glamour, and Tech
June opened with the five-year LG Guggenheim Art and Technology Initiative. As well as seeing LG Display sponsor the lavish Young Collector’s Council (YCC) Party at the Guggenheim in New York City for the duration of the collaboration, the initiative will spur further creativity in realms that we can barely imagine. That’s because the LG Guggenheim Award will present $100,000 to one artist every year from next spring for their work in tech-based art.
A Digital Canvas with Maximum Design Flexibility
So, what would artists be able to achieve with OLED display technology? You could probably answer that with another question: how vast is the human imagination? OLED displays have tremendous range both in terms of size and form factors. For instance, an OLED display can be opaque or transparent, and it may bend, fold, or roll. This is because OLED technology is based on self-emissive pixels, allowing thinner and much more flexible designs than other kinds of screen. And those pixels also present colors and contrasts in a way that’s not only suited to home TVs – but also art because OLED displays can show what the artist intended.
Inspiration for New York’s Rising Young Artists
Coming back to the Guggenheim, we had a pretty stunning demonstration at the YCC Party on June 1 as the event featured perhaps the most innovative photo wall the Guggenheim has ever seen. Nine 55-inch Transparent OLED displays were set up in a 3×3 arrangement to stand behind – becoming part of a dynamic installation as on-screen visuals shifted while guests had their photos taken. Given the influence of the YCC Party on New York’s rising young artists, it’s exciting to see what inspiration might come from that Transparent OLED Photo Wall, in addition to other displays like the 83-inch OLED TV by the DJ booth.
Marking History on OLED Through Art
But this is not the first time we’ve seen OLED used to exceptional effect in the art world.
After working with OLED displays for his MACHINE HALLUCINATIONS exhibition at the König Gallery in Berlin last October, media artist Anadol became a leading proponent of OLED as an art medium, describing it as a “new canvas that allows all artists working in this digital space to form their digital paintings in the highest quality, to the highest standard and with the best presentation.” Earlier this year, Anadol’s NFT collection An Important Memory for Humanity used Transparent OLEDs to portray data gathered from the first all-civilian spaceflight. And this was around the same time that Frieze New York featured NFT works by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy – again on Transparent OLEDs.
I was also delighted to be at BULGARI Colors in Seoul, as various OLED displays depicted the bright and vivid colors Bulgari is known for, in addition to some pretty mesmerizing modern art installations. Another particularly strong example of OLED in art that stands out in my memory is a’strict’s Morando, which was presented at 180 The Strand in London last October. This installation featured two 55-inch Transparent OLED displays in a dark setting, creating a glowing depiction of the life cycle of a peony and bringing Morando to life in a manner that wouldn’t be possible through traditional art.
A Gateway to Futuristic Visuals
Having witnessed OLED’s art potential, it does not surprise me that more creators are working with OLED displays. But it’s impossible not to be impressed by the involvement of American cultural icons like the Guggenheim and the Smithsonian, as we also saw with the FUTURES exhibition. Of course, the Guggenheim has additional museums in Bilbao and Abu Dhabi, potentially further globalizing the OLED art trend through its initiative with LG. And it’s really exciting to see where collaborations like this could lead – both for art and for OLED.