The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Exhibition of paintings, sculptures and installations by Julio Le Parc opens at Palais de Tokyo
A visitor looks at "Serie 15, n°8", works of Argentinian artist Julio Le Parc, a pioneer of Op Art (Optical art), aged 85, at the Palais de Tokyo museum in Paris on February 25, 2013. The exhibition dedicated to the artist will run from February 27 to May 13, 2013. AFP PHOTO PIERRE VERDY.

PARIS.- An artist of historical importance and an influential figure in contemporary art, Julio Le Parc’s work will be presented in a large exhibition in France for the first time since the 1980s. His socially committed art is an immersive art, in which, through Le Parc’s study of light and movement, the visitor is invited to discover new ways of interacting with the world. We discover a practice that rejects psychologism, an art that participates in a social utopia and which, following an industrial model, participates in the constant reconstruction of our environment. Spread over 2,000 square meters, this exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo allow us to apprehend all facets of an oeuvre constituted of paintings, sculptures and monumental installations.

A visionary and engaged artist
A precursor of kinetic art and Op Art, founding member of G.R.A.V. [Visual Art Research Group] and recipient of the Grand Prize for Painting at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966, Julio Le Parc (b. 1928 in Argentina, lives and works in Cachan) is a major figure of art history. The socially conscious artist was expelled from France in May 1968, after participating in the Atelier Populaire and its protests against major institutions. A defender of human rights, he fought against dictatorship in Latin America. An uncompromising personality, in 1972 he refused to hold a retrospective exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, after flipping a coin to make the decision.

An influential figure for the young generation
Julio Le Parc’s examinations of the visual spectrum, of movement, light, and of the relationship between the work and the spectator, remain highly relevant today. The visitor’s physical involvement and visual disturbance, as well as the reduction or expansion of shapes, are foremost concerns for the many artists who continue to build today on Le Parc’s research. The exhibition illustrates the extent to which the work of this artist, still young at 84 years of age, remains current, to convey his spirit of investigation and experimentation, and to allow the public to discover, or rediscover, his generous, playful and visionary work.

The artist’s first large-scale monographic exhibition in France
This important monographic exhibition of Le Parc’s work, including large-scale installations in the Palais de Toyko’s entrance hall, features a selection of landmark works ranging from the 1950s to today. Certain of them are adaptations, scaled to their environment, of historical works, thereby endowed with a new life. The exhibition also presents the opportunity to move beyond the seductive appearance of Julio Le Parc’s work, in order to confront his more political, even utopic, works. The layout of the exhibition plays on the contrast between dark and bright areas, with certain works floating in space: a sensory experience combining light, energy and movement.

Amongst his most noticed exhibitions of the past few years, we can note “Le Parc Lumière” presented in Zurich (Switzerland) in 2005 by the DarosLatinAmerica Foundation (then traveling in Mexico and Bogota); “Suprasensorial, Experiments in Light, Color and Space” (group exhibition) in 2010-2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington (United States); and “Erre, variations labyrinthiques” in 2011 at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (group exhibition). He was invited to participate in the Nuit Blanche on October 6, 2012, with two installations: the first on the Obélisque of the Concorde and the second at the Centre Beaugrenelle. Works by Le Parc will be presented in the exhibition “Lumineux! Dynamique! Espace et vision dans l’art, de nos jours à 1913,” which will take place from 10 April to 23 July at the Galeries Nationales of the Grand Palais, Paris.

Selection of works in the exhibition


The Alchimies are a series of works initiated in 1988, which Julio Le Parc describes as his most experimental. Beginning with small sketches, the artist plays with the theme of metamorphosis and the change of physical state. Veritable color explosions, changing from a gaseous to liquid state, these simple geometric figures are seen through the lens of a certain kind of spiritual chemistry. This premise has been present in the artist’s work since in the end of the 1950s, when he resided in Argentina.

The Contorsions are a prime example of optical art, due to the stark contrast between black and white, but also of kinetic art with the play on a shape in movement. The deformed metal ribbons—contiguous or intertwined circles, vertical or horizontal curves —on stripped, two-toned backgrounds, create a visual disturbance, or even the semblance of an illusion, in the viewer. These very simple devices, creating a slow and cyclical action, produce almost hypnotic works, recurrent in Le Parc’s production since the second half of the 1960s.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Julio Le Parc decided to create works whose appearance would alter according to the viewer’s movements. The viewer is directly involved in the artist’s creative process, as his proximity to the work literally endows it with life. In Cloison à lames réfléchissantes (1966-2005), an image and/or the image of the spectator as he/she passes behind the work are fractioned and multiplied, creating a feeling of confusion. The chosen themes are very simple: geometric forms, whose uniform repetition improves the possible variations and deformations.

Julio Le Parc began to experiment with light in 1959. Originally, light was the means of giving a concrete form to several of his concerns, including the desire to create works in perpetual transformation. The result is “a constant and unpredictable game of light and shadow.” For the artist, the aim of these incredibly beautiful yet simple works is to “initiate or pursue the destruction of traditional notions about art, its elaboration, presentation and appreciation.”

Julio Le Parc has constructed two large mobiles, large works interspersed in the exhibition space, from the entrance hall to the heart of the Palais de Tokyo. With a great economy of means, the artist explores the notions of movement and instability. He relies on the reflection of neighboring images and of light in movement on small forms made of Plexiglas or of metal, connected simply with string. Through his immersive practice and by eliminating reference points, he alters our perception of and our relation to the scale of the space.

The Modulations are a striking example of the great diversity of Le Parc’s work. The artist seeks out the ways in which he has revised or abandoned theories he had promoted previously. First in black and white, then in color from the end of the 1970s, paintings of grids, undulations or light beams, evoke a ghostly intuition: “an immaterial presence floats there, a few centimeters from the painting, or occasionally behind it, in a world that must be entered.”

The artist describes his research on reliefs, initiated in 1960, as a “trap of lights.” The multiplication of points of view is central to grasping these works, made of wood or plastic, whose shape changes constantly in a game of reflections and variations. Simple drawings at first, then paintings in relief or even veritable sculptures, works in this series were constructed as part of Le Parc’s research on light and mobiles, and manipulate the viewer’s gaze.

Salle de jeux
The Salle de Jeux [Game Room] presented at the Palais de Tokyo combines different formats used by the artist. An unstable ground, a spring seat, distorting glasses from the 1960s, but also deduction board games from the 1970s with political overtones such as Faites tomber les mythes [Let The Myths Crumble], Choisissez vos ennemis [Choose Your Enemies] or Frappez les gradés [Shoot The Officers] are gathered in this space. They call for active and thoughtful participation on the part of the visitor, in whom the artist attempts to elicit a different kind of behavior, transforming him into the conductor of the exhibition.

Julio Le Parc began to work on the painting’s surface in 1958, with the aim of limiting as much as possible the expression of the artist’s subjectivity on the canvas. At the time, he established “unitary systems for governing the surface and shapes, and their relation on the surface, according to a determined program.” In 1959, he pursued this research with color, to which he applied the same treatment as he had with shapes: he chose a unique scale of fourteen colors, which he has not modified to this day.

Today's News

February 27, 2013

Exhibition of paintings, sculptures and installations by Julio Le Parc opens at Palais de Tokyo

Foul-up on Afghan footage brings Tacita Dean back to blackboard in exhibition at Marian Goodman

The "Secret of Life' letter, written by DNA co-discoverer, to be sold at Christie's on April 10

"At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston" opens at Metropolitan Museum

From a unique Gentileschi to a rediscovered Reynolds, the Weiss Gallery at TEFAF Maastricht

Oil heirs discover old vases are million dollar czarist relics to be sold by the Dallas Auction Gallery

Australian tycoon Clive Palmer unveils plan for new Titanic, plans to launch in 2016

Philadelphia Museum of Art appoints Dirk H. Breiding The J.J. Medveckis Associate Curator of Arms and Armor

The Question of Classicism: Jeu de Paume exhibits photographs by Laure Albin Guillot

Antique advertising and general store antiques line up for Morphy's March 30 auction

Color Rush at the Milwaukee Art Museum exposes color in American photography

Largest number of full armours to be offered at a London auction in a century

More than 30 international artists and collectives of the 5th Auckland Triennial announced

"Scratching the Surface: Contemporary Wood Sculpture" opens at The Craft and Folk Art Museum

Paris Chagall show bewitches with flying horses, brides

Solo exhibition by Syrian artist, Mohannad Orabi opens at Ayyam Gallery Jeddah

Spectacular sculptures by Contemporary Cambodian artist go on view at Met Museum

Roland Hick's lates works on view at Eleven in London

Art Show shake-up near Armory

Artsy raises $5 million as EarthLink founder Sky Dayton joins

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful