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Pace Gallery opens an exhibition of new works by New York-based light artist Leo Villareal
Leo Villareal, Evanescence, 2018, OLED monitors, custom software and electrical hardware 57-1/8" × 97-7/8" × 6-1/2" (145.1 cm × 248.6 cm × 16.5 cm), overall installed, [3] 65" OLED monitors 57-1/8" × 32-5/8" × 6-1/2" (145.1 cm × 82.9 cm × 16.5 cm), [1] 65" OLED monitor. © Leo Villareal, 2018. Courtesy of Pace Gallery.

HONG KONG.- Pace Gallery is presenting an exhibition of new works by New York-based light artist Leo Villareal. Installed in Pace’s recently-opened gallery in Hong Kong’s new H Queen’s Building, Escape Velocity is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Asia and his second exhibition with Pace since joining the gallery in 2016. Villareal works with pixels and binary code to create rhythmic, non- repeating and random compositions in light. Firmly rooted in abstraction and the psychology of perception, his work is purposefully open-ended and ethereal, encouraging viewers to draw their own interpretations. Escape Velocity i on view July 20 through September 7, 2018.

The exhibition features three large Cloud Drawings and an edition of small Cloud Drawings, and three new triptych works, similar to Villareal’s Signature of the Invisible, recently exhibited by Pace at Art Basel. Composed on a square array of LED lights arranged in columns, each Cloud Drawing has its own unique, randomized sequence that evokes natural phenomena through abstract patterns and emergent, unexpected behaviors of monochromatic light. Villareal’s three 4K OLED triptychs, Evanescence, Floating Bodies, and Corona, stretch over 8 feet wide and display high-resolution particle animations created with the artist’s custom software that allows him to further extend the clarity and manipulation of light. A delicate black scrim will hang in the gallery, creating a porous boundary between the two series and enhancing the immersive quality of the installation.

Leo Villareal (b. 1967, Albuquerque, New Mexico) works with LED lights to create complex, rhythmic artworks for both gallery and public settings. He focuses on identifying the governing structures of systems and is interested in base units such as pixels and binary code. His installations use artist- created code, which constantly changes the frequency, intensity, and patterning of lights through sequencing. Villareal has created temporary and permanent lightworks and sculptures for public spaces and museums including the Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C; and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Villareal's winning submission for the Illuminated River International Design Competition will use light and color in an integrated composition to enliven the bridges of the River Thames in London. The first phase of the project, including four of London’s bridges, is scheduled to be unveiled in spring 2019, with the entire project anticipated for completion in 2022.

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