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  • Provenance

    Michael Werner Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    Toyko, SCAI The Bathhouse, Shiraishi Contemporary Art Inc., James Lee Byars, November 5 - December 18, 1993Hannover, Kestner Gesellschaft, James Lee Byars, The Epitaph of Con. Art is Which Questions have Disappeared ?, July 3 - September 18, 1999Santa Fe, SITE Santa Fe, Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism, July 14, 2001 - January 6, 2002Athens, Benaki Museum & The Factory, Outlook. International Art Exhibition, October 24, 2003 - January 24, 2004London, Barbican Art Gallery, Private View-Colour after Klein, May 26 - September 22, 2005Dallas, Dallas Museum of Art, Silence and Time, June 4 - August 28, 2011

  • Literature

    James Lee Byars, exh. cat., SCAI The Bathhouse, Shiraishi Contemporary Art Inc., Toyko, 1993, p. 11 (illustrated)C. Haenlein, James Lee Byars, The Epitaph of Con. Art is Which Questions have Disappeared ?, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover, 1999, no. VII, p. 29 (illustrated)Outlook. International Art Exhibition, exh. cat., Benaki Museum & The Factory, Athens, 2004, p. 110 (illustrated)Private View-Colour after Klein, exh. cat., Barbican Art Gallery, London, 2005, p. 70 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    For artist James Lee Byars, the pursuit of perfection is the driving force behind his performances and artistic manifestations. Byars carefully selected materials such as gold and marble for their intended physical radiance associated with the sacred and holy. Towards the end of his life marble from the Greek Island of Thassos served to be of great inspiration for Byars who conceived serene sculptures from the perfectly sublime medium. Perfection for Byars rests not in one material but in the unattainable moment of perfection. His sculptures have been described as “ancient relics from collapsed civilizations meant to inspire some sense of material and perfection, the meeting of reality and ideal in beauty, the realization of such making a suffering life more subtly endurable, the highest crafts of an inspired people.”(A. Berandini, “The Perfect Love Letter To James Lee Byars,” Mousse, June 2013)The present lot, Eros, 1992 has been titled after the Greek god of love who was historically depicted in Grecian marble. Love, a similarly unattainable state of perfection, is illustrated in Greek mythology by the constant struggle for trust between Eros and Psyche, the Greek god of the soul. The present lot consists of two pieces of Thassos marble, stacked upon each other in astounding balance and symmetry. The immaculate monochrome sculpture acts almost as a reflective mirror akin to Byar’s other sculptural materials of luxurious tactility including gold lame and silk. Eros stands as a stunning example of Byar’s carefully crafted forms, standing on the cusp of perfection within his sculptural repertoire.


Ο ◆23


Thassos marble, 2 pieces
each 13 1/2 x 70 7/8 x 13 3/4 in. (34.3 x 180 x 34.9 cm)
overall 27 x 70 7/8 x 13 3/4 in. (68.6 x 180 x 34.9 cm)

This work is accompanied by installation instructions.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $425,000

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Evening Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Evening Sale 14 May 2015 7pm