Julio Le Parc (Argentinian b. 1928)
Julio Le Parc (Argentinian b. 1928)

Serie 23 (No. 3-14)

Julio Le Parc (Argentinian b. 1928)
Serie 23 (No. 3-14)
signed and inscribed with title 'Le Parc, SERIE 23 No. 3-14' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
67¼ x 63¼ in. (171 x 160.6 cm.)
Painted in 1970.
Galerie Denise René, Paris.
Anon. sale, Catherine Charbonneaux, Drouot, Paris, 12 October 1986.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Lot Essay

Julio Le Parc, born in Mendoza, Argentina in 1928, is recognized as a key contributor to the development of postwar abstract, optical and kinetic art. He trained at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires from 1943-1947 and in 1958 he settled in Paris, traveling there thanks to the support of the French government. His interest in the work of abstract artists working in Argentina, among them the Madí and Arte-Concreto/Invención groups, as well as Lucio Fontana was important for his artistic development. In Paris, he met Victor Vasarely and other artists who shared his goal of creating alternatives to what they viewed as the limitations of concrete art. These artists, many of who formed groups that exhibited together in international exhibitions during the 1960s, "endorsed a nonfigurative visual language that used color, space, light and movement as its means."[1] In addition, according to Valerie Hillings:

They felt that motion, achieved variously through the play of light, optical illusions, and motors, could generate visual vibration that would involve the viewer in the completion of the work as well as providing an apt metaphor for the world in flux.[2]

Le Parc was one of the founders of the Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel (GRAV) in 1960; its members included Hugo García Rossi, Francisco Sobrino, Yvaral (Jean Pierre Vasarely), François Morellet and Joël Stein. It was active until 1968. Le Parc's Marxist political views shaped his artistic goals to work in a collective fashion. The group created works in various media, including interactive installations and a series of public interventions in Paris that created situations designed to incorporate the spectator.[3] As Jacqueline Barnitz has explained:

The GRAV artists believed that art should be based on "scientific" investigation of the physical properties of vision and statistics and probabilities, as the means through which they would best achieve their political and philosophical goals.[4]

Le Parc's solo work as well as his production dating from the period when he was active in GRAV has been included in countless exhibitions internationally. During the 1960s, the group showed at the influential Galerie Denise René in Paris. Le Parc's work was included in the landmark 1965 exhibition The Responsive Eye at The Museum of Modern Art and the following year, he was awarded the Grand Prize for International Painting at the Venice Biennale.

His work is included in many museum collections internationally, among them the Museo de Bellas Artes y Fundación Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Tate Gallery, London, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Musée d'Art Modern de la Ville de Paris, Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Dr. Miriam Basilio, Assistant Professor of Art History and Museum Studies, New York University

1) Hillings, Valerie, "Concrete Territory: Geometric Art, Group Formation, and Self-Definition," in Lynn Zelevansky, Ed. Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-70s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, The MIT Press, 2004, pp. 49-75, p. 59.
2) Hillings, op cit, p. 59.
3) Jacqueline Barnitz, Twentieth-Century Art of Latin America, Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2001, p. 211.
4) Barnitz, op cit., pp. 210-211 and Hillings, p. 63.


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