JAMES LEE BYARS. LEBEN, LIEBE UND TOD: DAS WERK VON JAMES LEE BYARS
The Schirn dedicates a comprehensive critical retrospective to the great “magician of silence” James Lee Byars (1932–1997). The American artist has been present internationally with his performances, objects, sculptures, and spaces since the early 1970s.
The exhibition sketches Byars’s development during his nomadic life in Japan, Europe, and the United States: from his performances, his paper and textile works centering on existential issues to his exalted late gold and marble sculptures dealing with death as an expression of perfection. Pieces such as “The Rose Table of Perfect,” a sculpture comprising 3,333 red roses slowly wilting during the show numbers among the highlights of the presentation. The work is only one of several examples reflecting Byars’s lifelong endeavor to grasp the transitory character of beauty and perfection.
Edited by Max Hollein and Klaus Ottmann, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. With a preface by Max Hollein and texts by Viola Michely, Klaus Ottmann, and Martina Weinhart. German/English, 160 pages, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern-Ruit, ISBN 3-7757-1368-9