James Lee Byars

Is. 1989

Marbre doré. 60 x 60 x 60 cm

Collection Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

© The estate of James Lee Byars © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

James Lee Byars, Is (1989)

Matthew Barney, Water Cast 6 (2015)

Collection Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

© Matthew Barney © The estate of James Lee Byars

© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

James Lee Byars produces and arranges simple forms and fine materials, which for him represent perfection and eternity.

The Halo is a shining golden ring, while Is is a perfect sphere of marble which the artist has produced in several versions – steel, wood, gilt brass. The quest for the absolute, especially the search for artistic perfection, is at the heart of a work that brings together poetic and mystical preoccupations, Eastern influences (including Japanese Shintoism) and minimalist art.

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James Lee Byars

Born in 1932 in Detroit (United States), died in 1997 in Cairo (Egypt)

Influenced by Marcel Duchamp, minimalist art and Fluxus, as well as Eastern culture, Byars’ work incorporates writing, performance, film, sculpture and drawing in hybrid forms. The effect is astonishing: partly ironic, partly serious.