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Bill Viola

American, b. 1951

7,643 followers
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Bill Viola

American, b. 1951

7,643
Followers
Biography

Widely regarded as a pioneer of new media art, Bill Viola creates works that combine filmed images and music in what he calls “total environments that envelop the viewer in image and sound.” With roots in both Eastern and Western art and spiritual traditions, Viola’s visual and sound installations impart a transcendental experience of their own, alternating between electronic scores and silence, and pursuing timeless themes like birth, death, and extremes of emotion. For example, in the soundless Quintet of the Astonished (part of the “Quintet” series, 2000), five figures in the throes of a powerful feeling are filmed in ultra slow motion, resulting in tableaux reminiscent of Renaissance painting. A similar technique is at work in “The Passions” (2000-), an ongoing series that draws in part from the conventions of sacred Christian frescoes to create filmed scenes of great suffering and redemption.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Biography

Widely regarded as a pioneer of new media art, Bill Viola creates works that combine filmed images and music in what he calls “total environments that envelop the viewer in image and sound.” With roots in both Eastern and Western art and spiritual traditions, Viola’s visual and sound installations impart a transcendental experience of their own, alternating between electronic scores and silence, and pursuing timeless themes like birth, death, and extremes of emotion. For example, in the soundless Quintet of the Astonished (part of the “Quintet” series, 2000), five figures in the throes of a powerful feeling are filmed in ultra slow motion, resulting in tableaux reminiscent of Renaissance painting. A similar technique is at work in “The Passions” (2000-), an ongoing series that draws in part from the conventions of sacred Christian frescoes to create filmed scenes of great suffering and redemption.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 4 more
Articles Featuring Bill Viola
The Many Faces of Ecstasy in Art
Jul 18th, 2019
The Many Faces of Ecstasy in Art
The Avant-Garde Art That Was Made for TV
Jan 23rd, 2019
The Avant-Garde Art That Was Made for TV
In Bill Viola’s Videos, Bodies Battle Storms of Biblical Proportions
Jan 14th, 2016
In Bill Viola’s Videos, Bodies Battle Storms of Biblical Proportions
The 1990s
Aug 24th, 2015
The 1990s
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