KEWENIG presents the exhibition “The Palace of Perfect” with works by James Lee Byars (1932 – 1997). Without a doubt, James Lee Byars is considered one of the most distinguished personalities of 20th century art. In particular with his performances, he opened up new terrain for his time and ahead of present- day contemporary art, crossing artistic boundaries that had thitherto prevailed. Comparable only to Andy Warhol or Joseph Beuys, his work was inextricably linked to the appearance of his person. Byars, the man in the gold suit, with black gloves and a black top hat, his eyes – sometimes his whole face – cloaked behind the veil of a black silk scarf; the artist as a magician, as a magician of things in a world of everyday life, a strange solitaire who, in the dazzling exposition of himself, not only attracted attention but at the same time was able to ignite the attention for the present moment in others, creating presence and presence of mind. James Lee Byars stands in the mask of his artistic concealment anonymized as a human being in the center of his work, as a seeker of meaning in a world full of questions.
- 'Hear the First Totally Interrogative Philosophy around this Chair', New York 1977 Photo: Maria Gilissen