Leo Villareal, Bulbox 5.0, 2016, light emitting diodes, steel, electrical hardware, custom software, 13 x 13 x 4 inches, ed. 25. Published by CONNERSMITH and The Studio of Leo Villareal.
Leo Villareal (b. 1967) is one of the world’s most successful living multimedia artists.
Villareal introduces temporal actions of light into abstract imaging, using LEDs (light emitting diodes), custom software and sequencing. With these new media the artist explores, in single digital sculptures, extensive frameworks produced in serial paintings, such as the colorful concentric squares in Frank Stella’s Scramble series.
Villareal activates familiar static forms, changing their color, definition, intensity, and duration. His imagery unfolds gradually, as if revealing the live application of pigments, a process that color painters of the 1950s and 60s concealed in their canvases. Villareal reconsiders post-painterly forms and colors, re-conceptualizing the art historical category of abstraction and updating the modern aesthetic with digital color-field imaging.
Bulbox 5.0 was inspired by a conversation between Stella and Villareal during a discussion moderated by curator Klaus Ottmann at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, held in conjunction with the exhibition Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence in June 2011.
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.