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Image rights: © Jahn und Jahn
About Barry Le Va
With unconventional materials and reductive forms, Barry Le Va redefined sculpture by introducing new subjects, formats, and modes of production in the 1960s in tandem with Richard Serra and Eva Hesse, among others. He aimed to mentally engage his audience through process-oriented works (entailing layering, crushing, blowing, and spilling) that take sculpture beyond the traditional notion of fully formed, enclosed matter. Foundational to Process art, the seemingly random arrangements of ball bearings, wooden planks, and pieces of felt that comprised his earliest large-scale installations in the late 1960s entered into a dialogue with their surroundings. Similarly, Tachycardia II (2006), large blocks of aluminum and cast resin placed around a gallery floor, drew attention to the relationship between the objects and the space containing them. Critic Saul Ostrow has noted Le Va’s pursuit of “a rational subjectivity” In his practice.
American, b. 1941, Long Beach, California