November 18th openings

November 18th openings

Whitney Museum of American Art

November 17, 2004

November 18th openings
18 November 2004 - 06 March 2005

Bill Viola
Five Angels for the Millennium

James Lee Byars
The Perfect Silence

945 Madison Avenue @ 75th Street
New York, NY

James Lee Byars, ‘The Death of James Lee Byars‘, 1994/2004 Composition gold, five crystals, and plexiglass, pedestal 11 5/8 x 23 5/8 x 70 7/8 in. (30 x 60x 180 cm) overall 110 1/4 x 94 1/2 in. (280 x 280 x 240 cm) Collection of Walter Vanhaerents   

Bill Viola: Five Angels for the Millennium
NOVEMBER 18, 2004-MARCH 6, 2005
Five Angels for the Millennium, a major work by American video pioneer Bill Viola, is having its New York premiere at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Jointly acquired in 2002 in a landmark three-way partnership between the Whitney, London’s Tate, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, this is the first internationally shared purchase of a major contemporary artwork. Recognized as one of the world’s leading figures in video art, Bill Viola uses image, sound and music to create projective narrative environments that explore universal human experiences, such as birth, death, and the nature of consciousness. The artist’s subject matter is rooted in the history of Western and Eastern art, as well as in such spiritual traditions as Sufism and Zen Buddhism.

James Lee Byars: The Perfect Silence
NOVEMBER 18, 2004-MARCH 6, 2005
The Perfect Silence is the first solo presentation of the work of the late American artist James Lee Byars (1932-97) by a New York museum since 1970. The exhibition spans the length of Byars’ career and includes large-scale black ink drawings, a floor sculpture composed of 333 hand-blown red glass spheres, a group of carved marble sculptures in wooden vitrines, and The Death of James Lee Byars, a spectacular room clad entirely in gold leaf that is being presented in its American premiere. Byars’ concern with immateriality and lightness is reflected in his use of these materials: slivers of gold leaf, delicate red glass, and the dense purity of white marble and black ink. Like Bill Viola’s Five Angels for the Millennium, with which it is presented concurrently, The Perfect Silence speaks of the artist’s preoccupation with the great themes of death, transformation, and the transience of all things.

November 18, 2004-February 6, 2005
Small: The Object in Film, Video, and Slide Installation is an exhibition of seven small-scale installations by John Baldessari, Matthew Higgs, Sol LeWitt, Jonathan Monk, Alan Phelan, Michael Snow, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. While much video art of the past decade has taken the form of large-scale installations and spectacular environments, this group of projections and monitor presentations made from the 1960s to the present explores the sculptural possibilities of film and video installation on a small scale. The works in the exhibition favor magnified detail over cinematic space, examining the relationships between the three-dimensional object and the ephemeral moving image, between the geometric or sculptural form and projected light, and between physical material and its documentation over time.

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Whitney Museum of American Art
November 17, 2004

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