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The Built Environment

The Built Environment

(p.109) Four The Built Environment
Barry Le Va
Michael Maizels
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines Le Va’s work from the end of the 1970s to the early 2000s, a period in which the artist has turned to ever more rigid and heavy materials. It examines these increasingly architectonic works through the lens of Le Va’s early training in architecture, putting his work into dialog with that of his slightly younger contemporaries, Gordon Matta-Clark and Bernard Tschumi. It argues that Le Va’s turn to obdurate sculpture in fact makes explicit a longstanding strategy of using architecturally-inflected ideas to cultivate impermanence within his sculptural practice--to work against the historical durability and autonomy of the art object.

Keywords:   Barry Le Va, rigid materials, heavy materials, architecture, Gordon Matta-Clark, Bernard Tschumi, sculpture, autonomy, art object

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