James Lee Byars The Monument to Language. The Diamond Floor

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Publication Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris

Bilingual English / French version

Hardback, 16 × 21 cm, 104 pages, 19 color and black-and-white reproductions

Texts by Roland Barthes, Jean-Michel Ribettes, Heinrich Heil

ISBN: 978-2-86925-055-X

Publication: September 1995

About the publication

Performance artist, sculptor, conceptual artist: James Lee Byars was above all an artist of perfection, beauty, purity, and immoderation. Inspired by the light and the transparency in Jean Nouvel’s building, James Lee Byars created two monumental works for the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in 1995, which formed the quintessential representation of the quest for perfection and the absolute he strove so forcefully for in his art.
The exhibition catalog offers thoughts on the artist’s work, with 100 quotations by Roland Barthes and two original texts by Jean-Michel Ribettes and German philosopher Heinrich Heil. The three men ask questions about the deep meaning of the artist’s installations as well as the ceremonial quality that invites the public to commune with them and join James Lee Byars’s determined quest for beauty and perfection.