James Lee Byars: Leben, Liebe und Tod

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Hatje Cantz, 2004 - Art - 155 pages
In 1956, James Lee Byars rented a sod farm for a midnight, full moon exhibition of his abstract figure sculptures; guests viewed the work from sleds pulled over snow. In 1959, he abandoned durable materials for paper and fabric. In 1965, a nun performed his A 1,000-Foot Chinese Paper at the Carnegie International. The wondrous story of James Lee Byars begins in 1932 and ends in 1997, and its unique synthesis of Conceptual art, Minimalism, and Fluxus reflects an unending striving for beauty and perfection. The story passes by way of Japan, a place where Byars lived for many years, and where he combined the formal and symbolic aspects of Noh theater and Shinto rituals with elements of Western science, art, and philosophy, developing an appreciation for the transient, ceremonial character of performance as an essential quality of his art. Over his lifetime, he was known for works characterized by an extreme simplicity of form and material that simultaneously appeared astonishingly luxurious. Life, Love, and Death presents a critical review of Byars' oeuvre and traces his development as an artist from his formative period in Japan to his later years in New York--ranging from his performances and works on paper and fabric devoted to the theme of life, to his splendid late sculptures in gold, marble, and velvet which deal with death as the embodiment of perfection.

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Contents

VORWORT PREFACE
9
EPIPHANIEN DER SCHÖNHEIT UND DES WISSENS
15
DER KÜNSTLER MIT DER MASKE
121

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About the author (2004)

Klaus Ottmann is a philosopher, writer, and curator based in New York. He has written numerous essays on art, design, and philosophy, and is the author of The Genius Decision: The Extraordinary and the Postmodern Condition; The Essential Michelangelo; The Essential Mark Rothko; Wolfgang Laib: A Retrospective; and James Lee Byars: Life, Love, and Death.

Max Hollein is the director of the Schirn Kunstahalle, Germany, and was the United States Commissioner to the 7th Venice Architecture Biennale.

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