Lot 174: JAMES LEE BYARS Untitled.
15 November 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
JAMES LEE BYARS
Pencil on a hand-painted orange scroll-like sheet of paper. 159x4521 mm; 6 1/4x178 inches.
A letter written directly to the current owner, a novelist and former art world habitué who engaged in correspondence with the artist for a time after they met circa 1970. With a small cache of more traditional hand-written letters from the artist.
Byars (1932-1997), while well known for his monumental sculptures and performance art works, also made many drawings and works on paper. His years-long residency in Japan and admiration of the practice of Buddhism there inspired his infatuation with imbuing the ephemeral, day-to-day experience with art. He expressed this most notably in the innumerable written correspondances that he had with various people throughout his life, the "letters" as works of art in and of themselves.