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).
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