Skip to content


Leo Villareal headshot

Leo Villareal (b. 1967, Albuquerque, NM) presents work that is focused on stripping systems down to their essence to better understand the underlying structures and rules that govern how they work. He is interested in lowest common denominators such as pixels or the zeros and ones in binary code. The work explores not only the physical but adds the dimension of time combining both spatial and temporal resolution. The resulting forms move, change, interact and ultimately grow into complex organisms that are inspired by mathematician John Conway's work with cellular automata and the Game of Life. 

Villareal's work is in the permanent collections of many museums including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum, Kagawa, Japan; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Site-specific works include: the Illuminated River Project on London’s 15 bridges spanning the River Thames; The Bay Lights on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge; Light Matrix for the Auckland Theater Company, in Auckland, New Zealand; Buckyball at The NorthPark Center in Dallas, TX; Light Matrix at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Volume (Renwick) for the Renwick Gallery at Smithsonian in Washington DC; Multiverse for The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Diagonal Grid at Borusan Center for Culture and Arts, Istanbul, Turkey; and Stars for The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York.

For full CV, please contact gallery.