James Lee Byars | ITSLIQUID

James Lee Byars

Art | August 5, 2014 |

003James Lee Byars, Untitled (Performable Scroll), 1967

James Lee Byars

The Department of Media and Performance Art, in collaboration with MoMA PS1, is pleased to present several of James Lee Byars‘s most influential performance works. Byars (Detroit, 1932–Cairo, 1997), one of the most mythic artistic figures of the last century, shaped his persona and career into a continuous performance. Transfixed by the idea of perfection, Byars produced a remarkable body of work—including sculptures, fabric costumes, “performable” paper pieces, film, ink paintings, correspondence, ephemera, and live performances – that strove to give form to his search for beauty and truth. Pursuing what he called “the first totally interrogative philosophy,” he attempted to delineate the limits of our knowledge while enacting a desire for something more.

002James Lee Byars, The Chair for the Philosophy of Question, 1996

In conjunction with the exhibition James Lee Byars: 1/2 an Autobiography, on view at MoMA PS1 through September 7, 2014, this series of performances will take place at MoMA, referencing Byars’s early history with the Museum. Byars’s relationship with MoMA began in 1958, following an encounter he had with a Mark Rothko painting in his native Detroit. Impressed, he hitchhiked to New York, hoping to meet the artist. Byars arrived at MoMA and asked for Rothko’s contact information; amused, the receptionist phoned curator Dorothy C. Miller, who came down to meet Byars, at which point he reportedly convinced her to allow him to hold a temporary exhibition in a stairwell at the Museum. Thus began a lengthy correspondence between Byars and Miller, in which the artist proposed ideas for actions or displays he hoped to realize at the Museum, including those involving a group of performable paper works that he gave to the Museum in 1966.

001James Lee Byars, The Sphere Book, 1980

Byars had moved to Kyoto in 1958, and spent nearly a decade there, periodically leaving for Europe or the U.S. to pursue various opportunities. Influenced by aspects of Japanese Noh theater and Shinto ritual, he created and performed folded paper works at sites ranging from Japanese temples to New York galleries, and made fabric “costumes” intended to join together two or more people in public performances. Byars aimed to explore social behavior, explaining, “I want people to come and develop an awareness about their perceptions, their behavioral cycles, what they eat, their lifestyle.”

more. www.moma.org

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below

RELATED POSTS


BOCHNER BOETTI FONTANA

Art | September 23, 2020

Curated by Mel Bochner in collaboration with Magazzino Italian Art, This Special Exhibition Examines Parallel Artistic Movements in the 1960s and 1970s in the U.S. and Italy through the artwork of Bochner, Alighiero Boetti, and Lucio Fontana. Cold Spring, NY – August 24, 2020 – This fall, Magazzino Italian Art opens a special exhibition examining the formal, conceptual, and procedural affinities in the work of Mel Bochner, Alighiero Boetti, and Lucio Fontana. Curated by Bochner in collaboration with Magazzino, the exhibition marks the first presentation to consider the American artist’s extensive, yet overlooked, engagement with the practices of Fontana and Boetti, as well as with Italian art at large. Bochner Boetti Fontana offers, through the artist’s perspective, a number of resonances between his work and that of the Italian and Italian-Argentine artists: an exploration of systems, language, and materials; and a sense of irony and humor, often and especially shared by Arte Povera and Conceptualism, as all these works opened the work of art onto the space of display. Read more


INTERVIEW: ELSA EGON

Interviews | September 21, 2020

"Art represents for me a 'ligne de vie'. I have been painting since my 15 years: since then, artistic practice has accompanied all my experiences as a girl, woman, mother. My only safety net in the most difficult situations, today represents the way to seek beauty in the objects and materials we use every day. I often work starting from a material that already carries a story in it, because it has been found, extracted and reused. It may perhaps be recognized by the people who had it in their hands. Somehow, it tells a collective story, piecing together, to establish bonds, but at the same time fixing my experiences." Read more


UNTITLED, 2020. THREE PERSPECTIVES ON…

Art | September 20, 2020

Punta della Dogana presents the collective exhibition 'Untitled, 2020. Three perspectives on the art of the present', conceived and curated by Caroline Bourgeois, artist and art historian Muna El Fituri and artist Thomas Houseago. Conceived specifically for the spaces of Punta della Dogana, ‘Untitled, 2020. Three perspectives on the art of the present’ is the fruit of discussion and dialogue between the three curators, who are linked by longstanding personal and professional relationships. Read more


Taoyuan Museum of Art by…

Architecture | September 19, 2020

Taoyuan Museum of Art is a new 29,000 m² cultural institution and public space located next to the main airport in Taoyuan city. The museum designed in collaboration with JJP Architects & Planners and TOPOTEK 1 draws inspiration from the city's peach flower symbol and will include a remarkable ‘Avatar’ public space that is attractive and lively for all to enjoy. Taoyuan Museum of Art is a new 29,000 m² cultural institution and public space located next to the main airport in Taoyuan city. Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!