About the Medium: Polage® Art

Polage is an art form invented by Austine Wood-Comarow in 1967. This colorful artwork is made with absolutely no pigment of any kind. Just as a prism breaks white light into a brilliant rainbow, Austine’s materials–cellulose and polarizing filter–create her palette of pure light colors.Without a lightbox or a polarizing viewer, a Polage might look as it does at left — areas of color, but mostly gray, like etched glass.

But dramatic changes appear when you view the piece through a polarizing filter or place it in a special motorized lightbox. Instantly, the Polage comes to life. All the colors of the rainbow make up each intricate image. It morphs gently, the colors’ change giving you a continuous flow of imagery.

On this page you see Living in Harmony, first without a filter, and then at two different orientations through a filter.Polage is painting with light, but the method of making these works of art is more like sculpture. Each piece is painstakingly hand-built, capturing light and structuring its changes into images that relate to and complement one another.

This multidimensional aspect of Austine Wood Comarow’s work brings a third dimension of meaning into the work in time, rather than in space. Museums all over the world have commissioned and collected Austine’s Polages including: The Boston Museum of Science, La Cite des Sciences et des l’Industrie, Paris, Technorama, Switzerland, Singapore Science Center, Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland, and Disney’s EPCOT Center in Orlando.