Originally trained as an architect, Barry Le Va began creating horizontally dispersed sculptures while he was a student at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Though seemingly random—and emblematic of chance-based operations—these radical works are rigorously planned and arranged for each site-dependent installation.
This survey of Le Va’s floor-based installations from the 1960s includes two of his rarely seen powder dispersals, which are reconfigured specifically for Dia Beacon. These installations are based on Omitted Section of a Section Omitted (1968–69), which was first presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials exhibition in 1969, and Le Va’s series of Brown Line chalk sculptures (also from 1969). Le Va’s dispersals push the notion of sculpture to its formal limits and challenge the stark, industrially fabricated forms of Minimalism. The presentation also includes several of Le Va’s signature floor works that utilize felt, ball bearings, and broken glass. In an adjoining gallery, the artist conceived an installation from his Cleaver series.
Barry Le Va is made possible by generous support from the Ampersand Foundation and Susan and Larry Marx. Additional support provided by Eileen and Michael Cohen; Ulysses de Santi; Jill and Peter Kraus; Alice and Nahum Lainer; Simon Lee; Markus Michalke, Germany; Gail Monaghan; and David Nolan Gallery.
Barry Le Va
Barry Le Va was born in Long Beach, California, in 1941. He lives and works in New York City.