|I C A N E W S R E L E A S E|
Contact: Jill Katz
Director of Marketing & Communications
Institute of Contemporary Art
University of Pennsylvania
118 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3289
Tel. (215) 898-7108/5911
Fax: (215) 898-5050
Accumulated Vision, Barry Le VaJanuary 15 - April 3, 2005
Exhibition Walkthrough: Friday, January 14, 5-6pm, ICA Members Only, join on-site
Opening Reception: Friday, January 14, 6 - 8pm
November 1, 2004
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 artist's 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.
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.
This is an extremely ambitious exhibition for ICA. It corresponds to the museum's artistic objective to mount major monographic exhibitions of influential but perhaps under-recognized contemporary artists. It will rank with past ICA exhibitions of work by Agnes Martin (1973), Richard Artschwager (1979), Robert Mapplethorpe (1988), and Vija Celmins (1992).
The Opening Reception, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Friday, January 14 from 6 to 8pm. The reception will be preceded by a gallery walkthrough at 5pm, for ICA Members only.
Image: Barry Le Va, Bunker Coagulation (Pushed from the right), 1995, Cast black hydrastone and neoprene, 15 x 30 feet, Courtesy of the artist and Sonnabend Gallery, New York
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.)
Resistance: Spiegel Symposium 2005March 17 - 18, 2005
Labeled "anti-form" or "scatter art," Barry Le Va's aggressive, room-scale installations of felt and glass challenged the art of the late-sixties and seventies. This symposium explores themes of "resistance" in the culture and politics of the period, from Vietnam protest to punk and the furthest reaches of contemporary art, music and literature. Don't miss this lecture by Barry Le Va and keynote address by cultural historian Greil Marcus.
Greil Marcus author of "Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music" (1975), "Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century" (1989), "Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession" (1991), "In the Fascist Bathroom: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992" (1993), "The Dustbin of History" (1995), "The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes" (1997, first published as "Invisible Republic"), "Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives" (2000, 2001) and "The Manchurian Candidate" (2002), and the editor of Lester Bangs's "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung" (1987) and, with Sean Wilentz, "The Rose & the Briar: Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad" (2003); his "Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads" will be published in May 2005 by PublicAffairs. He has written columns for Artforum, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Salon, Esquire, the Village Voice, and other publications, and spoken often at universities and museums in the U.S, and Europe.
The Emily and Jerry Spiegel Fund to Support Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts will create and support a series of coordinated interdisciplinary courses, programs, and events at the University. "Resistance" is the first annual Spiegel Exhibition Symposium in Contemporary Culture. It is being organized in conjunction with an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Jointly planned by ICA and Penn's departments of architecture, cinema studies, fine art and history of art, it addresses a cross-disciplinary theme.
Founded in 1963 as part of the University of Pennsylvania, ICA presents a year-round exhibition schedule that defines, analyzes, and explores the contemporary visual arts. A non-collecting museum, ICA offers one-person, thematic, and group exhibitions, including commissioned works. ICA diversifies its examination of art to include interdisciplinary work such as film, video, performance, architecture, and design. ICA plays a vital role in introducing American audiences to rising international artists and is also committed to the regional arts community. ICA has been at the forefront of contemporary art for 40 years, presenting the first museum solo exhibitions of artists Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Lisa Yuskavage, Charles LeDray and many others.
ICA is located at 118 South 36th Street at the University of Pennsylvania. ICA is open to the public, except during installation, from 12:00pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday through Friday and from 11:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for students over 12, artists, and senior citizens; and free to ICA members, children 12 and under, PENN card holders, and on Sundays from 11:00am to 1:00pm. For more information, call 215-898-7108/5911.