Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Subscribe to Le Petit Salon by Email BARRY LE VA
Le Va, whose pioneering scatter pieces on the floor, started in 1966, made him 
one of the first of the so-called “Process” artists, started, in 1969, to create 
works with cleavers embedded in the wall or the floor. Three wall pieces will 
be shown, each made by thrusting a cleaver into the wall at intervals equiva- 
lent to a large side step; if located at the top of the wall, the cleaver is pro- 
pelled from the artist’s right-side-up position, if on the bottom of the wall from 
the artist’s downward-facing and back-to-the-wall position. The works are 
clear, direct, unadorned manifestations of a simple physical process, created 
without self-conscious aesthetic intention. Indeed, Le Va has said that these 
and other sculptures similarly fraught with danger and created between 1968 
and 197l, such as Within the Series of Layered Pattern Acts created by shat- 
tering sheets of glass on the floor, were more about exploring mathematical 
givens in relation to time and space than about threat of danger. In the case 
of the Cleaver pieces, those givens are the artist’s height and the fixed radius 
of the arc of his arm’s thrust. Of course, these works were originally created 
during a time of great violence in our culture. 
The configuration of the sculpture is dependent upon the space it is created in.  
Only two Cleaved pieces have previously been seen in New York, one at the 
exhibition space 112 Greene Street in 1969, and one at the Whitney Museum 
of American Art exhibition Contemporary American Sculpture, in 1970. 
The exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, will run through 16 May 2009.


Art said...

Ah, the infamous question. If you have to ask..

ArtChick1 said...

Yes, I'm asking what you (all) think about this particular artist. I intend to make this a continuing feature of this blog and want to know your thoughts...a sentence or two would be appreciated...