SAO PAULO.- Galeria Nara Roesler
presents A Constant Quest, a historic survey of works by Julio Le Parc (b. 1928 Mendoza, Argentina, lives and works in Paris), a central figure of Kinetic art and arguably one of the most influential living Latin American artists. Organized by independent curator Estrellita Brodsky, the exhibition features a meticulous selection of works from the artist's six-decade-long career, including early geometric studies many of which are exhibited to the public for the first time. Also on view are new works especially produced for this occasion, such as Sphère bleue (Blue sphere, 2001/2013), a monumental globe measuring over four meters in diameter constructed of hanging translucent blue Plexiglas sheets. Taking up over 5,000 square feet throughout the gallery's indoor and outdoors spaces, A Constant Quest is one of the most ambitious exhibitions presented at the gallery. The show will be on view until 30 November.
Borrowing its title from an early artists statement, A Constant Quest (Una Búsqueda Continua) explores Le Parcs continuous search of an unmediated artistic experience and pursuit of a direct encounter with the viewer. From his 1950s and 60s geometric studies, light boxes and street interventions with fellow members of the Groupe de Recherche dArt Visuel (GRAV) to his signature immersive environments and most recent installations, the exhibition traces the artists consistent attempts to engage the public and to turn spectators into active participants. As the exhibition curator Estrellita Brodsky notes, Whether playing with viewers sensory perception or inciting the spontaneous response from the public, Le Parc has always given the spectator an active role.
A pioneer in the use of movement and participation, Le Parc has consistently sought to redefine the very nature of the art experience, undermining what he considers the artificial constraints of institutional frameworks. Driven by a deeply-rooted utopian ethos, Le Parc conceives his interactive or immersive works as a social laboratory to generate unpredictable situations and elicit the viewers response. As Brodsky notes, For Le Parc, the goal is nothing less than the interrogation and restructuring of ones immediate surroundings. He seeks a total complicity that demands of the viewer not only active participation but also self-awareness.
Born in 1928 in Mendoza, Argentina, Le Parc moved to Paris in 1958 where he co-founded the Groupe de Recherche dArt Visuel (GRAV) an artist collective he established with Horacio García Rossi, Francisco Sobrino, François Morellet, Joël Stein, and Jean-Pierre Vasarely (Yvaral) in Paris in 1960. While Le Parcs early geometric paintings were first informed by the Constructivist tradition of Arte-Concreto Invención in Buenos Aires, works produced soon after his arrival in Paris also reflect a growing interest in the work of Mondrian and Vasarely. By early 1960, Le Parc began incorporating movement and light into his research. Interested in the possibilities of movement, and the participation of the viewer, he developed his signature kinetic sculptures and light environments, which would ultimately bring him international recognition as a leading exponent of Kinetic Art.
Le Parcs works have been the subject of numerous solo shows in Europe and Latin America, including Instituto di Tella (Buenos Aires), Museo de Arte Moderno (Caracas), Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico), Casa de las Americas (Havana), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Daros (Zürich), Städtische Kunsthalle (Düsseldorf). Le Parcs works have also been included in numerous group exhibitions and biennials, including the Museum of Modern Arts controversial exhibition The Responsive Eye (1965), the Venice Biennale in 1966 (where he was awarded the Grand International Prize for Painting), and the São Paulo Biennial (1967). He has actively participated in political activities and acts denouncing totalitarian regimes, including the May 1968 Paris uprising which led to his temporary expulsion from France- and boycotts against the 1969 São Paulo Biennial and the military regime in Brazil. He became an important conduit between activist Latin American artists and the Paris art scene, most specifically through the Paris publication ROBHO, for which he covered the events of the artist collaborative Tucumán Arde in Argentina, and he participated in anti-fascist movements in Chile, El Salvador and Nicaragua.