Galería Javier López is pleased to present the first solo show in Spain by artist Leo Villareal (1967, Albuquerque, New Mexico). The exhibition will be on view at both gallery spaces: his most recent works, “Landscapes”, will be displayed at Manuel González Longoria, and a site-specific installation will be on show at José Marañón.
Villareal, who lives and works in New York City, uses light to create pieces that play between sculpture and painting. His broad range of art spans from: his earlier simple works, produced with light bulbs inserted in painted Plexiglas boxes controlled by uncomplicated electronic devices; down to his more recent and complex works, which respond to the ever-changing cutting edge of technology. Influenced by the Mathematician John Conway and his ‘Game of Life’, Leo Villareal has developed, during this last years, an encoded software to manipulate tubes filled with LED lights (light emitting diodes) to create sculptures in different colours - red’s, green’s and blue’s. Each of these LED tubes is individually modulated to produce a range of 16 million colours. The encoded computer programs work within specific parameters to govern a series of autonomous agents limited by a given matrix. As these agents explore their grounds encountering each other, a complex system emerges that manifests itself as a more extensive organism in operation. Sometimes, the final abstractions recall the low-resolution graphics of primitive video games; other times, the movement suggests something more organic, like the reflections on quivering water surfaces. The layers of these multiple systems manifest optical effects that are almost hypnotic, generating a push and pull sensation on the flat surface. Gradually, the viewer obviates the LED containing tubes and lets himself go with the rhythms and the moving forms that the diodes generate. The result is full of poetic content and bears strong organic resonances. “Landscapes”, his latest work currently at display, echoes his characteristic earlier boxes but now blurring the LED emissions, producing a landscape effect.
Leo Villareal has received numerous public commissions and has produced many site-specific installations, in places like: Toulouse (France), as part of the Printemps de Septembre; the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art in Florida; or Grand Central Station in New York. His latest installation, “Supercluster”, produced in 2004 for PS1 - Contemporary Art Center MoMA, in Long Island, comprises a monumental structure composed of 640 LEDs that cover up the exterior of the building. This coming February Villareal’s work will be included in ‘Visual Music 1905 - 2005’, the exhibition that will be inaugurated at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, CA, will then travel to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of Washington D. C. in June.