Lot 120
  • 120

JULIO LE PARC | Continuel mobil, transparent sur blanc

250,000 - 350,000 USD
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  • Continuel mobil, transparent sur blanc
  • signed, titled, dated 1960-1969 and numbered 1/9 on the reverse
  • acrylic and wood construction
  • 61 1/2 by 23 1/2 by 6 1/4 in. 156.5 by 60 by 16 cm.
  • Executed in 1960-1969, this work is number 1 from a planned edition of 9, of which numbers 2-9 have not been executed.


Collection of Marcel Armstrong and Thomas Clay, France
Collection of Jean Clay and Christiane Duparc, Paris (acquired from the above) 
Sicardi Gallery, Houston
Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above in 2014) 
Acquired from the above by the present owner


New York, Leon Tovar Gallery, Shadow, February - April, 2016
New York, Leon Tovar Gallery, Gravitas, November 2016 - February 2017


This work is in very good and sound condition overall. The media layer on the white panel is tightly bound. Very minor soiling and a few very faint handling marks are present at the extreme edges of the board. All of the hanging plastic elements and filaments are accounted for, stable and secure. The work presents a lightly aged appearance overall which is appropriate. The five wire clips that hold the filaments in place present a layer of rust, which is consistent with the materials and the age of the work; these clips are all stable and secure. A few faint minor surface scratches are present to the surfaces of the plastic elements.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

In October 1963, Julio Le Parc’s Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel asserted: "We think of the viewer as a being who is capable of reacting…We propose to engage the viewer in an action that sparks their positive qualities in a climate of communication and interaction” (Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel, “Enough Mystifications,” Paris, October 1963). A student of Lucio Fontana in Buenos Aires in the late 1940s, Julio Le Parc traveled to Paris in 1958 on a grant, where he quickly became immersed in the Opto-Kinetic avant-garde. Disenchanted by the purely visual work of many of his peers, in 1960 he founded the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel alongside Francisco Sobrino, François Morellet, and others, dedicated to democratization of access to art and aesthetic experiences for all people. GRAV staged free, spontaneous public installations that engaged the spectator not just physically but emotionally, their reactions and movement through the installations completing them as artworks.

This ethos of dialogue between the spectator and the work of art has been the driving force in Le Parc’s work, and is in clear evidence in Continuel mobil, transparent sur blanc. Originally intended as a multiple, as were many of his works from the 1960s, it is the only work from the edition that Le Parc has executed to date. Unassumingly rendered in uniform white, Continuel mobil, transparent sur blanc is comprised of a single board and hanging clear acrylic panels that hang loosely and twirl nonchalantly with the currents in the room, reflecting and refracting ambient light in an ever-changing stream. The experience of this work is inherently unique to each viewer, and indeed requires their presence and engagement to exist; ephemeral and impossible to capture, it is at once a time-based experience and an enduring object.

Recently celebrated with his first United States career retrospective at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, Julio Le Parc’s work is held in museum collections worldwide including the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne Georges Pompidou, Paris, and the Tate Modern, London. A lifelong researcher and activist, his work has had visible influence on following generations of socially-engaged artists like Olafur Eliasson and “speaks to a turbulent world where the lights of his installations become a metaphor for the fireworks of resistance, activism and unstable sociopolitical contexts of our current time.” (Emily Nathan, “Julio Le Parc and Art That Won’t Stand Still,” The New York Times, 16 November 2016, Section C, pg. 1).