Past Exhibitions
Art House Santa Fe & Orange Door Chicago

Exhibitions at Art House in Santa Fe and Orange Door in Chicago change annually. Information about past exhibitions is available below.


Second skin

Leo Villareal, Particle Field, 2017, Generative software animation on three OLED monitors

September 22, 2017 – September 20, 2018

Second Skin proposes that an artwork’s surface is an interface (to use a digital metaphor) or a membrane (to use a biological one) created to express a shared, social identity. Bringing together artworks in a range of media from 1970 through 2017, including costumes, flags, paint on canvas and digital illusions, Second Skin shows how virtual selfhood is communicated and manifest in material, real time and place.

Artists included: Matilde Pérez, Harold Cohen, Elias Sime, Nick Cave, Jon Rafman, John Gerrard, Jim Campbell, Kenneth Young, Daniel Canogar, Guillermo Galindo


Color games

Karl Benjamin, #7, 1994, Oil on canvas

September 22, 2017 – September 20, 2018

Color Games features six artworks with color palettes generated by random processes—including computer algorithms, user participation, and the element of chance—across six decades of hard-edge, kinetic and digital art. The use of chance as a creative strategy liberates artists from the formal rules of art and generates serendipitous art encounters. Color Games includes paintings by California Hard-Edge artist Karl Benjamin, Op artist John Goodyear, Victor Vasarely—who allowed collectors to choose his sculpture’s design with a do-it-yourself sticker package—and digital artists Jason Salavon and Leo Villareal.

Artists included: Carl Benjamin, Jason Salavon, Leo Villareal, Victor Vasarely, John Goodyear


CYBERBODIES & Code as form

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Deep Contact, 1984-1989, Interactive touchscreen installation

October 20, 2017 – October 12, 2018

Cyberbodies explores the ways in which emerging technologies extend, distort, and disrupt how bodies—especially women’s—are viewed as objects of desire in digital culture. The technologies include interactive videodisc and touchscreen, a pre-internet Minitel system, and customized generative software. On view are works by Ken Knowlton and Leon Harmon (Experiments in Art and Technology), Lynn Hershman Leeson, and Eduardo Kac.

Code as Form is a presentation of visual, optical, and abstract art generated from biometric data, acoustic signals, music and Morse Code, revealing data itself to be a wellspring of artistic forms. Works by Guillermo Galindo, video art pioneers Beryl Korot and Steina Vasulka, Brigitte Kowanz, Vera Molnar, and Laura Splan are included.



Frank Stella (1936 – ), Jablonow II, 1971, acrylic and felt on shaped canvas.

September 15, 2016 – September 8, 2017

Shadow and Space brings together painting and sculpture in which artists use unconventional materials to find new forms. Inspired by the Light & Space movement of Southern California in the 1960s, the exhibition dovetails on that genre’s innovative use of lighting effects for the purpose of producing optically sensitive content. For the artists in this exhibition, atmospheric phenomena such as ambient light, shadow, translucent plastic, reflected color, as well as industrial materials like nails and moving parts, were used to evolve the expressive range of abstraction.

The exhibition features a fluorescent installation by Robert Irwin, shaped canvas paintings by Frank Stella and Manfred Mohr, a sculptural work by Anne Truitt, and a fluorescent sculpture created by Dan Flavin.

Artists included: Peter Alexander, John Goodyear, Dan Flavin, Robert Irwin, Manfred Mohr, Frank Stella, Luis Tomasello, Anne Truitt, and Günther Uecker.


Eduardo Kac, Tesão, 1986/2016, software animation on vintage Minitel terminal. © Eduardo Kac.

September 15, 2016 – September 8, 2017

This micro-exhibition of six contemporary digital artworks reveals what happens to obsolete, aging or antiquated communications technologies after artists resuscitate them. The artworks propose that creative interventions in mass media such as the internet, film, television and music recordings can emulate the power structures of mass-media communications, but also their ephemerality.

Artists included: Guillermo Galindo, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Eduardo Kac, Matthew Kluber, Jon Rafman, and Jason Salavon.


Mouse in the Machine: Nature in the Age of Digital Art

Marina Zurkow, Mesocosm (Wink, TX), 2012, real-time computer program

June 10, 2016 – May 31, 2017

Mouse in the Machine: Nature in the Age of Digital Art features 15 digital and software-based artworks by 12 artists from the Thoma art collection to examine the intersection of technology and nature. Using customized software and code, the artworks simulate lifelike biological and ecological systems to emulate the passage of time, seasons and lifecycles.

The exhibition features a video art aquarium by Nam June Paik, realtime generative computer animations by John Gerrard and Marina Zurkow, an interactive augmented reality conveyor belt by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and drawings produced by the world’s first and most successful artificially intelligent painting machine, created by Harold Cohen.

Artists included: Alan Rath, Bruce Nauman, Daniel Canogar, Daniel Rozin, Harold Cohen, James Nares, Jim Campbell, John Gerrard, Marina Zurkow, Nam June Paik, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Stephen Wilkes.


Luminous Flux 2.0: New + Historic Works from the Digital Art Frontier

Sabrina Gschwandtner, Camouflage II, 2015. Courtesy of Shoshana Wayne Gallery. Photographer: Tom Powel.

July 24, 2015 – April 30, 2016

LUMINOUS FLUX 2.0: New + Historic Works from the Digital Art Frontier is the second iteration, and a refresh, of the original exhibition at Art House, an exhibition space in Santa Fe, New Mexico, dedicated to sharing works from the Thoma Foundation collections. The exhibition features technological artworks from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation collection spanning over fifty years of the digital art genre, including computer, light-based and electronic artworks from pioneering experimenters and contemporary innovators, such as a film quilt by Sabrina Gschwandtner, an internet-based painting automaton by Siebren Versteeg, and Leo Villareal’s animated LED sequence. Luminous Flux 2.0 is curated by Jason Foumberg, Thoma Foundation curator.

With the digital boom. artists immediately grasped the potential of electronic media, often before it became commercially available. They applied cutting-edge computer engineering and software coding skills, such as algorithms, circuits, digital video, Internet search engines and interactive biometrics, in order to create visual expressions.

The earliest works in the exhibition, drawings from the 1960s by Desmond Paul Henry, made use of a pre-digital analog computer. The artistic impulse to collaborate with machines continued through the 1970s with Jean-Pierre Hébert’s precisely coded algorithmic drawings, and into the present as digital media becomes more ubiquitous and complex. A special focus of this exhibition is how artists create images and visual experiences in the digital age. As many of these artworks heighten or alter perception using new technologies such as LEDs, custom-built circuits, and the virtual world within the computer screen, it can be said that artists invent new ways of seeing.

The title and concept of Luminous Flux comes from physics; it is the measure of light energy, or brilliance, perceived by the human eye from a light source. The exhibition adapts this term in order to highlight the interactive experience of engaging optically stimulating artworks. In other words, the artwork is complete when a viewer experiences.

Artists included: Alan Rath, Anne Morgan Spalter, Björn Schülke, Craig Dorety, Jean-Pierre Hébert, Jim Campbell, John F Simon Jr, Leo Villareal, Manfred Mohr, Paul Desmond Henry, Peter Sarkisian, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Siebren Versteeg.



Luminous Flux

Jim Campbell, Home Movies, Pause, 2014. Courtesy of Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery.

September 24, 2014 – March 21, 2016

Luminous Flux, the inaugural exhibition at Art House in Santa Fe, NM, features innovative computer, digital, interactive, video and electroluminescent art from the Thoma Foundation collection, including stimulating works by Leo Villareal, Jim Campbell, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Manfred Mohr, Anne Morgan Spalter, John F. Simon, Jr., Daniel Canogar, Sarah Frost, Teo González, Howard Mehring, Paul Reed, Jason Salavon, Peter Sarkisian, Björn Schülke, Federico Solmi and Roman Verostko.

Over the past 30 years, Carl and Marilynn Thoma have built a diverse collection dedicated to several major art movements, one being contemporary artists who embrace emerging technologies. The Thomas believe that electronic and digital art reflect the essence and progress of contemporary culture. Luminous Flux showcases significant artworks from computer and light art pioneers, as well as their optically radiant precursors in abstract painting from the 1960s. The evolution of algorithm-based visual art, from Op Art through today’s creative expressions of software, is a story not often told in art history. Notable in this exhibition are the artists who have mastered the craft of computer art, its circuitry, and coding, as an extension of the rule-based painting systems that dominated geometric art in the twentieth century.

Artworks chosen from the Foundation’s collection shed light on topics such as color perception, the abstraction of the human body via digital media, the computerization of drawing practices and the occasional anxiety induced by rapidly changing technology. In sum, the exhibition is intended to inspire viewers to think about life in the digital era.