James Lee Byars
“O”, “The Chair of the Artist At Harvard”, “The Exhibition of Perfect”, “999”, “The Exhibition of Perfect”, n.d.
5 pieces of ephemera; offset print on paper
1/8h x 1w in / 2.54w cm
Round red paper printed in middle, offset gold.
Catalogue Raisonné #131- Ephemera without date
(7mm white paper printed in the middle, offset black, 4mm)
“The Chair of the Artist At Harvard”
Round black paper printed in middle, offset gold.
Catalogue Raisonné #135- Ephemera without date
“The Exhibition of Perfect”, ca 1980
Square white cardboard printed in middle, offset black.
Square black cardboard printed in middle, offset gold.
Printed at different places, distributed at different times
Catalogue Raisonné #87- Ephemera
“999 (or 666)”
Black paper, printed in gold: “999" or, upside down, "666", according to the position
No place, no date, not in catalogue raisonné.
James Lee Byars (1932– 1997) was an American visionary conceptual artist whose art defied strict categorization or description. Rooted in philosophy and theology, Byers created a broad range of work from highly extravagant, pageant-like performances to brief minimal one-act plays. The one-act plays consisted of a single poetic idea translated into a brief poetic act. Described by Byars as at once being a prayer, a poem and a play, they were for him mystical expressions of his appreciation for the world. A constant theme in his work (and his life) revolved around the concept of perfection and the word “perfect” which led to his ambiguously celebratory exploration of shapes, numbers and precious materials. Byars has been described as both “half dandified trickster and half minimalist seer.”