Bill Viola

Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami

Bill Viola, Three Women, 2008.*

November 20, 2012

Bill Viola
Liber Insularum
Knight Exhibition Series

December 5, 2012–March 3, 2013

Opening: Tuesday, December 4, 7–9 pm

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami
770 NE 125th Street, North Miami, Florida 33161

T 305 893 6211


The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami will present a major exhibition of work by Bill Viola, recognized as one of the leading practitioners of video art. Bill Viola: Liber Insularum will begin its sole presentation in the United States at MOCA, North Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach.  The exhibition at MOCA marks the first public presentation of Viola’s new piece Ancestors, a recently completed video work that explores the layers of reality and illusion in the physical world, as well as the dimensions between and beyond it. The exhibition Bill Viola: Liber Insularum is presented as part of MOCA’s Knight Exhibition Series. It was first shown last year at Sala de Arte Contemporaneo del Gobierno de Canarias (Spain). The exhibition is organized in collaboration with Bill Viola Studio and was curated by Roc Laseca.

An iconic contemporary artist who draws from Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, Bill Viola is known for creating immersive video installations that explore such universally human subjects as birth, death, and the nature of consciousness. His exhibition is inspired by The Book of the Islands of the Archipelago, authored by Florentine ecclesiastic Cristoforo Buondelmonti in the 15th century. The works featured in Liber Insularum (The Book of Islands) use this historic text as a reference point to engage with distinctly modern themes of spiritual isolation in a 21st-century global landscape.

Works in the exhibition
Ancestors, 2012
Three Women, 2008
Addie, 2008
Darrow, 2008
Howard, 2008
Lenny, 2008
The Raft, 2004
Observance, 2002
Catherine’s Room, 2001 
Four Hands, 2001
Surrender, 2001
Unspoken (Silver & Gold), 2001
Ascension, 2000
The Quintet of the Astonished, 2000
The Reflecting Pool, 1977–79

Exhibition funding
Bill Viola: Liber Insularum is made possible by MOCA’s Knight Exhibition Endowment.
Lead Exhibition Sponsor: Phillips de Pury & Company.  
Exhibition Supporting Partner: Art Net Worth.  
Exhibition Sponsor: Stella McCartney.

Bill Viola
Bill Viola was born in Queens, New York in 1951. He received a BFA in Experimental Studies from Syracuse University and later worked at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, one of the first American museums to establish a video art department. As the technical director of production at art/tapes/22, the influential video art studio in Florence, Viola was part of an emerging generation of 1970s video artists that includes Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, and others.

Bill Viola is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1989.  His work has been displayed in solo exhibitions at museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; National Gallery, London; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, the Art Institute of Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and many others.

Exhibition opening reception
MOCA & Vanity Fair / Vanity Fair International Party
Tuesday, December 4, 7–9 pm
For information: / T 305 893 6211

MOCA’s Knight Exhibition Series is made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  Exhibitions and programs at MOCA are made possible through grants from the City of North Miami.  Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and National Endowment for the Arts.  With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.  The Museum of Contemporary Art is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Media Contacts:
Donna Fields / Valerie Ricordi
MOCA North Miami  
dfields / vricordi [​at​] / T 305 893 6211                                                                      
Elizabeth Chapman / Aga Sablinska
Resnicow Schroeder Associates
echapman / asablinska [​at​] / T 212 671 5150

*Image above:
Bill Viola, Three Women, 2008. Color High-Definition video on plasma display mounted on wall,
61 x 36.25 x 4 inches (155.5 x 92.5 x 12.7 cm). Performers: Anika, Cornelia, Helena Ballent. Photo: Kira Perov.

Bill Viola at Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
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Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
November 20, 2012

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