samedi 20 juin 2009

Robert Barry

Robert Barry
Word Lists
22 mai - 18 juil. 2009
« Yvon Lambert Paris présente l’exposition "Word Lists" de l’artiste américain Robert Barry. Robert Barry collabore avec Yvon Lambert depuis plus de 35 ans, il s’agit de sa douzième exposition avec la galerie. Pionnier de l’art conceptuel et minimal, le travail de Robert Barry (né en 1936) a toujours été focalisé sur l’espace et l’espace entre : entre les objets, entre le temps, entre l’artiste et l’observateur. Pour lui l’“idée” d’une œuvre est aussi importante que l’objet d’art lui-même. »

« Robert Barry (né 1936 à New York) appartient à la première génération des artistes conceptuels avec Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, On Kawara, Douglas Huebler… En Europe, Robert Barry a participé dès la fin des années 1960 à des expositions majeures d'art conceptuel : en 1969 Op losse schroeven à Amsterdam, When Attitudes Become Form à Bern, Konzeption à Leverkusen et Prospect 69 à Düsseldorf.
Parmi les artistes conceptuels qui travaillent plus particulièrement à partir du langage, Robert Barry occupe une place importante à la frontière de l'art visuel, de la poésie et de la philosophie. L'art conceptuel est – bien plus qu'une révolution des formes visuelles de l'art moderne – une repensée fondamentale de la fonction de l'art et des artistes dans un contexte culturel changeant. C'est dans la définition de cette nouvelle appréhension de l'art que les idées et les œuvres de Robert Barry apportent une contribution essentielle. Après avoir examiné systématiquement plusieurs phénomènes physiques à partir de 1968 et de 1969, en expérimentant les champs électromagnétiques, les gaz inertes, les fréquences électromagnétiques d'ultrasons (Inert Gas Series, 1969), Robert Barry travaille depuis plus de trente ans à partir de mots et de pensées, qu'il disperse ou projette de façon très méthodique sur des supports et des surfaces différents : papier, toile, miroir, mur, sol… »

Robert Barry, Untitled, 1978, ink and pencil on transparent graphic paper with a blue grid, 29,5 x 21 cm / 11.6 x 8.3.
“Robert Barry, who lives in New Jersey, is, like Dan Graham, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth or Lawrence Weiner one of the most important protagonists of American conceptual art. Always a contentious term amongst artists themselves, "conceptual art" denotes neither a uniform style nor a common theory. The term was coined by Sol LeWitt who proposed that an idea is already a work of art in 1967 in his essay "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art". Since then conceptual art has come to be used for strongly abstract works that express an idea or a thought process that the beholder takes in and then uses productively according to his own ideas.
Ever since 1967 Robert Barry has been extremely consistent about taking his work to the limits of immateriality and invisibility. He created room installations with wire and nylon thread, performed actions with inert gases and radioactive material and went on to work with acoustic frequencies, sounds and language. Alongside this, slide projections with single words, photographs and text fragments have arisen since 1970. Robert Barry published several artist books and from the early seventies worked almost exclusively with the medium of language. According to Barry, words removed from all syntactic context are not art in themselves but they refer to connected concepts that are communicated by language. One of these concepts is the exploration of spatial experiences and dimensions, which Barry has always pursued, from the paintings and colour objects created between 1963 and 1967 through to the word spaces he is known for today.”

Robert Barry, Untitled, 1975, ink and transfer type on cardboard, 15,7 x 21,4 cm / 6.2 x 8.4.

“Though Barry set out on his artistic career as a painter, he has been interested from the beginning in investigating the relationships of surface and space/volume, of positive and negative, present and absent forms, and in void form being completed by the onlooker. By the late 1960s, Barry was pushing his work to the limits of immateriality and invisibility with utmost rigour, creating site-specific installations with wire and nylon thread or with inert gas and radioactive material, moving on then to works using acoustic frequencies, sound and language. Projections and text pieces came about that articulated a thought process or listed concepts. In the early 1970s, he began working almost exclusively with the medium of language. Now, the terms, liberated from any syntactical context, were not in themselves art but took one to concepts beyond and which were communicated by means of language. Examples are the fathoming of spatial experiences and dimensions which Barry has been pursuing consistently all the way to the word spaces known today, his Wallpieces, Floorpieces, Windowpieces etc. He operates with the media of painting, drawing, sculpture, video and photography. Throughout the host of different working strategies that Robert Barry applies, the principle of invisibility, his crossing of spaces, the serial principle, reversals of letters and his use of transparent and reflecting surfaces, his appeal to the viewer is that first perceptions not immediately bursting with evident meaning or which do not result spontaneously in an identifiable image, should be questioned; that we look again, look carefully, look through the space we are in, look for connection, links, associations in order then to participate in the radical reconstruction of the lost art of seeing.”
Paraphrased parts of the catalogue texts of the Kunsthalle, Nuremberg and the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, Switzerland. Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer. Düsseldorf .

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