January 15 - April 3, 2005
Barry Le Va
Opening Reception Friday, January 14, 6-8 PM
This Spring, the Institute of Contemporary Art will present Accumulated Vision, Barry Le Va on view through April 3, 2005. American artist Barry Le Va (b. 1941, Long Beach, CA; lives in New York, NY) is among the most important figures to emerge during the late 1960s. Named for a series of installations from the 1970s, Accumulated Vision, Barry Le Va will survey the artist's work from the 1960s to the present. This is the first major American presentation of Le Va's art in over ten years and the very first to bring together not only the artists well known large-scale sculptures and drawings, but also his works in other media, including photography, sound, and books, for which he is less known.
Since the late 1960s, the American artist Barry Le Va has used broken glass, meat cleavers, wool felt, ball bearings, powdered chalk, cast concrete, paper towels, linseed oil, a typewriter and a gun, among other things, to make his art. Part of a generation intent on knocking art off its pedestal, Le Va claimed the floor as his field of operations by scattering massive amounts of materials, or forms, to create works which he called "distributions." Apparently random, even chaotic, these installations are in fact premeditated and executed according to plan. Not surprisingly, drawing plays a significant role in the work of this artist whose formative training is in architecture. Le Va's distributions make him one of the leading practitioners of Post-minimalism and Process Art. But his own, preferred frame of reference comes not from recent art history, but from mystery novels. He has likened his installations to crime scenes and invites viewers to look for clues to reconstruct the, often violent, act or concept that underlies them.
Also See spiegel symposium 2005
Installation views at ICA. Photos by Aaron Igler > click to enlarge
Le Va's art is synonymous with the scatter—a Postminimal gesture now ubiquitous to Postmodern art—but it has been largely unseen by the critics and artists (Polly Apfelbaum, Karen Kilimnik, Jason Rhoades, Jessica Stockholder, among them) whose work references it. In retrospect, the late 1960s strategies of "dematerialization," which Le Va's art advanced, were so effective that his work has been known chiefly through reproduction, as opposed to museum representation. This show will be an opportunity to experience the work first-hand and to bring Le Va's achievements in line with new thinking about parallel movements (Arte Povera and Architectural Deconstructivism, for example) and peers (including Eva Hesse, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, and Richard Serra). A 256-page full color monograph will be published in conjunction with the exhibition. Essays by exhibition curator Ingrid Schaffner, philosopher Paul Virilio and art historians Pamela Lee and Rhea Anastas will be accompanied by an illustrated chronology of Le Va's exhibitions, an extensive bibliography and over 100 works.
ICA is grateful for the generous support of the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative (PEI), funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by the University of the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; The Henry Luce Foundation; Mari & Peter Shaw; The Fifth Floor Foundation, and Robert J. Dodds, III. Additional support has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Dietrich Foundation Inc., the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art, friends and members of ICA, and the University of Pennsylvania. (Information complete as of 10/26/04.)
Top: Barry Le Va, Bunker Coagulation (Pushed from the right), 1995.
Cast black hydrastone, neoprene.