Press Release
James Lee Byars: Two Sculptures
1 July 1999
PDF Version v

James Lee Byars: Two Sculptures
The Rose Table of Perfect and Slit Moon

July through August 1999 

Michael Werner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of two sculptures by the late American artist James Lee Byars (b.1932 - d.1997).

This exhibition will feature works which have never before been shown in the United States. The focal point of the exhibition, “The Rose Table of Perfect” from 1989, is a large sphere of 3,333 long-stem red roses, which are fresh at the outset and die slowly while the piece is on view. Versions of this ephemeral work have been exhibited in Europe, most recently at the opening of the new Serralves foundation museum in Portugal, and at the IVAM in Valencia. The second work, “Slit Moon” from 1994, is a small, exquisite marble crescent conceived during Byars’ travels to Greece.

Throughout his career, Byars sought to preserve a clear, pure ideal. Both works in this exhibition symbolize his continued search for the beauty and simplicity in materials and form: the sphere and its 3,333 red roses and the seamless white Kavala marble of the crescent moon.

A major work by James Lee Byars is featured in the 1999 Venice Biennale and he was awarded the prestigious Ludwig Prize in 1996. His work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions and retrospectives, including the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Castelo di Rivoli/Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin, Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Documenta IX in Kassel, Wüttenmbergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain in Paris, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Henry Moore Foundation in Leeds, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, The Arts Club of Chicago, and the Serralves Foundation in Porto.

For further information, please contact the gallery.