After almost two decades of collaborations Galeria Nara Roesler | New York is pleased to announce the opening of Julio Le P arc: 1959 – 1970
Through his study of light and movement, Le Parc has for over 60 years relied on the participation of public to activate his work. Inviting them to discover new ways of interacting with the space through his playful, visionary and simple works which remain timeless. Presented at Galeria Nara Roesler is a small group of works representative of Julio Le Parc’s highly intense oeuvre. As early as 1950, Julio began working three dimensionally, researching notions of movement, instability, and probability. Forming a series entitled Continuels - Mobiles
, the title emerges from the artist’s intention for the artwork to remain in motion. Mobile rouge sur blanc
is composed of 250 pieces of 70mm red transparent acrylics suspended on nylon threads vertically in evenly spaced rows from a metal plate that projects from the top of a white square backboard. The nylon threads hang loosely for the red pieces to move independently with the air current creating optical effects against a static whiteness. The specific work introduces the early manifestation of the artist’s determination to expand the role of the spectator in the works in consideration of external contingencies.
Following this, Le Parc begins to address light in his body of work; carrying out numerous experiments using projected light in various ways in a darkened room. For this occasion, Galeria Nara Roesler has installed Lumière en movement
which is assembled in a dark space with an artificial light source placed in the middle of the room, projecting light to suspended disks hanging from the ceiling on nylon threads; receiving light rays from the bottom allowing their reflections to move freely on the walls. Forming an immersive light environment that mesmerizes the viewer. As the red acrylics with the whiteboard, these squares hanging from the ceiling are encouraged to take all sorts of positions since they each rotate independently from one another. His wish to distance himself from the idea of the work of art as stable, unique and definitive can be fully experienced in these two works.
At the center of Le Parc’s practice is his desire to make the viewers and their experience an integral part of his work. His series salle de jeux, started in 1964, invited the spectators to participate and observe as the works enable a game between the participant, the work, and the observing audiences. The game room composes games to be played by groups of people. Some of these games were designed for fun and some to encourage social interaction. The piece Jeu Visuel
in the exhibition fans its fins in opposite directions in circular movement upon activation by the viewer.
Simultaneously in the 1960s, along with developing light and mobile, Le Parc started a series of relief designs and further extended with the movement of the viewer. He focused on the play of light, shadow, and reflection for pieces composed of metals plates as they slowly start to lose their presence and merge as one with the forms produced by the reflections, shadows, and changes. This work has a mid partition reflecting plate and the image in the back is fractionated in multiples, the work activates in movement as the viewer becomes astatic. The experience of multitudes and movement are magnified by his selection of basic geometric shapes. As many his other works, the work has various sheets interchangeable by the audience.
about julio le parc
Julio Le Parc (b. 1928, Mendoza, Argentina) lives and works in Paris, France. Le Parc attended the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires in 1943 where he became interested in Arte Concreto-Invencion and the Spaziliasmo movement. In 1958, Le Parc went to Paris on a French government scholarship and settled there working on works of art related to research into three dimensions, movement and light as it pertains to the kinetic arts. Victor Vasarely’s 1958 exhibition in Buenos Aires became an important catalyst for Le Parc’s career, while in Paris Le Parc pursued collaborative work with fellow artist friends of Vasarely and studied the writings of Mondrian, evolving his practice to reflect on the tradition of Constructivism. Le Parc represented Argentina at the 1966 Venice Biennale, he won the Grand International Prize for Painting as an individual artist. Le Parc had begun working on two-dimensional compositions in color and black and white as early as 1953, while he was still an art teacher in Buenos Aires. From 1960, however, he began to develop a series of distinctive works that made use of ‘skimming’ light: these objects, usually constructed with a lateral source of white light which was reflected and broken up by polished metal surfaces, combined a high degree of intensity with a subtle expression of continuous movement.
Celebrated for what he calls “disturbances in the artistic system,” Julio Le Parc is among the progenitors of the Op Art, or Kinetic Art, movement, who posits a utopian vision for art and society through his perceptually illusory paintings, sculptures, and immersive installations. As co-founder of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (Visual Art Research Group) (1960-68), he worked to break down the boundaries between art and the viewer. In his words: “I have tried […] to elicit a different type of behavior from the viewer […] to seek, together with the public, various means of fighting off passivity, dependency or ideological conditioning, by developing reflective, comparative, analytical, creative or active capacities.” Parc accomplishes this through color, line, light, shadow, and movement, composed to make still forms seem to move, solid structures seem to dematerialize, and light itself seem plastic.
Le Parc’s works have been the subject of numerous solo shows in Europe and Latin America, including Instituto di Tella (Buenos Aires), Museo de Arte Moderno (Caracas), Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico), Casa de las Americas (Havana), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Daros (Zürich), Städtische Kunsthalle (Düsseldorf). Le Parc’s works have also been included in numerous group exhibitions and biennials, including MoMA’s controversial exhibition The Responsive Eye (1965), the Venice Biennale in 1966 (where he was awarded the Prize), and the São Paulo Biennial (1967). As acts of protest against the repressive military regime in Brazil, he joined artists in boycotting the 1969 São Paulo Biennial and published an alternative Contrabienal catalogue in 1971. Le Parc’s later collective works included participation in anti-fascist movements in Chile, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Recently, he has been the subject of major retrospectives including Julio Le Parc (Serpentine Gallery, London, UK, 2014); Soleil froid (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France); Le Parc lumière (Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2013; MALBA, Bueno Aires, Argentina, 2014); A constant quest (Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil, 2013); and included in the group exhibition Dynamo (Grand Palais, Paris, France, 2013).
about galeria nara roesler
Galeria Nara Roesler is one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Brazil, with locations in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and most recently, New York. Founded in 1989 by Nara Roesler, the gallery has consistently fomented curatorial and artistic practice through an ambitious exhibitions program, created in close collaboration with its artists and invited curators; and has participated in major international art fairs. Firmly committed in advancing the career of its artists, Galeria Nara Roesler consistently supports its artists’ institutional and experimental projects beyond the gallery space, as well as the publication of important monographs.
Press release courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.