Barry Le Va



I draw most of the time.
I draw where ever I am.
I draw to be alone with myself.
I draw to discover and clarify my thoughts.
I draw to concentrate on my thoughts.
I draw to visualise my thoughts.
I draw to construct upon my thoughts.
I draw to convince myself some thoughts are worth persuing.
All my drawings are thoughts about sculpture.

An accumulation of my thoughts into drawings become journals. For me, they are less self consicious and more honest than written diaries.

Ninety-nine percent of the time I draw from the vantage point of looking down upon three-dimensional space or a specific space (plan views). This enables me to get a very clear sense of the sculpture (elements, proportions, shapes, locations, placements, distances, etc.) with in a space.

I think spatially and draw diagrammatically. Drawings are more like architectural floor plans or maps. They function similar to visual score, and can be enlarged or expanded upon with out changing the basic content. They are only possibilitie, and not absolutes.

Small drawings and sketches are direct and intimate, with out strategies, with out an audience. Some are good ideas, some are not so good, but they are not edited. They are the core of my sculptural thoughts and allow me to visualize ideas and scale with in a space with out moving beyond handwriting distance.

Medium to large drawings are decision making drawings, and call for decisions with in three areas:
1. the sculpture,
2. the drawing,
3. combining them together.
More physical in presentation and process, large drawings not only allow me to visualize the sculpture, but to experience ist presence.

No matter what size I make a drawing it is never so precious that it can not be changed. I staple, cut out, tape, glue and combine drawings. Since they are about sculpture, I use these methods to jar my sensibility, and to superimpose or combine one sculpturak concern with another; to destroy the expected and the familiar, to keep the sculptural thoughts on a state of flux or transition.

Each period of sculpture determines my choices and investigations of how to make a drawing: materials, medium, size, shape, procedure, etc. For example, if I am trying to visualize multiple locations and arrangements of three or four different elements with in a space, and there are a number of possible locations and arrangements of these, these problems determine the choices. The size and shape of the paper will be the specific space for the sculpture, the elements will be translated into shape, proportion, and scale to that piece of paper by stencils and/or cut outs. I will move and mark these arrangements and locations of the elements, and when finding the one that solves the problem it is filled in (stencil) or glued down (cut out). This allows me to concentrate on the sculpture and ist relations in the space with out having to think about the drawing.

I use each period of sculpture to change the way I make and the way I think about drawing.
Each sculptural period presents new problems.
Each sculptural period presents new problems in drawing.

Text by Barry Le Va: Notes by the Artisit, In: Barry Le Va. Zeichnungen 1965–1993, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München / Städtisches Museum Leverkusen, Schloß Morsbroich, 1994



Barry Le Va is born in Long Beach, California

(lives and works in New York City)


Studies of Mathematics and Architecture at California State University, Long Beach


Studies at Los Angeles College of Art & Design


Studies at Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County


Instructor Minneapolis College of Art & Design


Young Talent Grant des Los Angeles County Museum


Professorship for Advanced Sculpture at Princeton University, New Jersey


Grant of the John Simon Guggenheim Memomorial Foundation


National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship


Hugo Boss Prize, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Selected Solo Shows


Barry Le Va – Dia:Beacon, New York


Barry Le Va. Munich-Africa 1992–1995 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich


Barry Le Va. Network – David Nolan Gallery, New York


Barry Le Va – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Akira Ikeda Gallery, Berlin


Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo


Silent Readings – David Nolan Gallery, New York

Barry Le Va. Large Scale Collages 1985–1991 – Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, California

Barry Le Va. Early Installations – Sonnabend Gallery, New York


The Floor Show. Gravity and Materials – Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills

Barry Le Va. The Italian Project. Monica in Grey, Grey and Black – Sonnabend Gallery, New York

Barry Le Va. 3 drawings, 1974 – The National Exemplar Gallery, New York


Ink on Paper, Cut and Glued to Ink on Paper. 1983–1988 – David Nolan Gallery, New York

Barry Le Va – Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles


Sculptures and Drawings. 1966–2008 (Part 1) – Nolan Judin, Berlin

Barry Le Va. Hands, Handles, Blades: Cleaver Configurations 1969–2009 – Mary Boone Gallery, New York

Barry Le Va. Munich Diary-African Sketchbook – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich


Voltage – David Nolan Gallery, New York

Dwight Hackett Projects, Santa Fe, New Mexico


Double Join – Metropol Kunstraum, Munich (cat.)


Zeichnungen und Collagen – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Barry Le Va – Museu Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Porto

Barry Le Va – Mary Boone Gallery, New York


Barry Le Va – Mary Boone Gallery (in cooperation with David Nolan Gallery), New York

Drawings and Sculpture – Danese, New York

9g-Wagner Diagrams. ICA Variations – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York

Accumulated Vision – Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia


A Survey of Drawings 1966–2003 and Two New Sculptures – Galerie Juerg Judin, Zurich (cat.)

Barry Le Va. Scrapbooks. Livres à dessins 1998–2003 – Cabinet des estampes du Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva (cat.)

Farbholzschnitte und Lithografien 1987–1991 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich


Black on Blue. Diagrams for Double-Tiered Sculpture – Danese, New York


Zeichnungen 1966–2000 – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Barry Le Va. A Decade of Drawings – Texas Gallery, Houston

Recent Drawings. Early Works – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York


Zeichnungen Collagen Überarbeitete Fotos – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Nelly Aman Gallery, Tel Aviv

Barry Le Va – Corvi-Mora, London

Barry Le Va. Selected Drawings from 1982 to 1998 – Norwood Gallery, Austin, Texas


Barry Le Va. Diagrammatic Silhouettes. Large Scale Drawings from 1987 – Danese, New York

Catalogued Confined. Sculpture and Drawings – Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco

Barry Le Va – Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles


Barry Le Va. Zeichnungen von 1967 bis 1996 – Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden (cat.)

Smatterings. Works on Paper 1967–1998 – Sonnabend Gallery, New York


Diagrams of Thought. Drawings 1994–1996 – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York (cat.)

Recovered · Catalogued · Confined – Danese, New York


Bunker Coagulations – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich

Arbeiten auf Papier 1995–1996 – Galerie Zell am See, Zell am See

Barry Le Va. Recent Works – Galerie Georges-Philippe Vallois, Paris


Barry Le Va. Pages from a Sketchbook. Japanese Lacquerware – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York

Barry Le Va. Sculptures Part II – Sonnabend Gallery, New York

Barry Le Va. Sculptures Part I – Sonnabend Gallery, New York


Munich Diary-African Sketchbook und Barry Le Va. Zeichnungen 1965–93 – Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Munich; Städtisches Museum Leverkusen, Schloss Morsbroich (cat.)


Barry Le Va. Drawings for Work in Progress – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York

Installation et œuvres sur papier des années soixante – Galerie Georges-Philippe Vallois, Paris


Dreaded Intrusions.Institutional Templates. Studies for Combinations and Arrangements of Sculpture Occupying Wall and Floor Areas, Lithographs and Collages 1989–1991 – Galerie Jahn und Fusban, Munich (cat.)


Barry Le Va. The Texas Variations. Drawings for combinations and arrangements of 3 sculptures from the series Dissected Situations – David Nolan Gallery, New York


Barry Le Va. Woodblock Prints and Related Drawings – David Nolan Gallery, New York

Recent Drawings – Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles and San Francisco

Barry Le Va. Glass, Bullets, Cleavers, 1968–1970 – Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (cat.)


Barry Le Va – Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo (cat.)

Barry Le Va. 1966–88 – Carnegie Mellon University Art Gallery, Pittsburgh; Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, Purchase


Barry Le Va – Galerie Fred Jahn, Munich


Barry Le Va. Drawings and Collages 1966–1986 – Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles

Barry Le Va. Arbeiten auf Papier 1966–1975 – Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne

Barry Le Va. Drawings and Collages 1966–1986 – Sonnabend Gallery, New York


Drawings. 1981–1984 – Texas Gallery, Houston


Barry Le Va. Large Sculpture, Drawings, Diagrammatic Silhouettes – Sonnabend Gallery, New York


P.S.1 – Long Island City, New York

Beaver College (today: Arcadia University), Glenside

Drawings – Yarlow / Salzman Gallery, Toronto, Ontario


Barry Le Va. Recent Drawings – The New Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio


Recent Drawings – Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London

Michelle Lachowsky, Brussels

Expanding Foundations. Eliminating Foundations, a three-room installation – Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Otis Art Institute (today: Otis College of Art and Design), Los Angeles


Barry Le Va. Drawings – Sonnabend Gallery, New York


Barry Le Va. Drawings 1967–77 – Hartnell College Gallery, Salinas, California (cat.)

Barry Le Va. Four Consecutive Installations & Drawings, 1967–1978 – New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (cat.)


Accumulated Vision. Extended boundaries – Wright State University Art Gallery, Dayton, Ohio (cat.)

Barry Le Va. Installation – Claire Copley Gallery, Los Angeles


Barry Le Va – Sonnabend Gallery, New York

Sonnabend Gallery, Paris

Accumulated Vision (Stages 1 & 2). Length Ratios – Texas Gallery, Houston

Claire Copley Gallery, Los Angeles


Two Installations. 1967 – Bykert Gallery, New York

Installation and Drawings – Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco

Claire Copley Gallery, Los Angeles

Barry Le Va. Organisation Spatiale, Dessins, Espace 5 – Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal (cat.)


Galleria Toselli, Milan

Joseloff Gallery, Hartford Art School, Hartford, Connecticut

Six Drawings – Texas Gallery, Houston (further presentations until 2001)


Bykert Gallery, New York

Galerie Felix Handshin, Basel

Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne


Ursula Wevers Gallery Projection, Cologne


University of Utrecht, Utrecht


Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London


Barry Le Va – Galerie Rolf Ricke, Cologne (further presentations until 1988)


One Piece – Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Two Revolving Exhibitions – Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis

Presentation of the sculpture Velocity. Impact Run-Energy Drain – University Gallery of Fine Art, Ohio State University, Columbus

Selected Group Shows


40+10+1 – Jahn und Jahn, Munich


Plan View – Jahn und Jahn, Munich


Works on Paper – Danese, New York


Moved – Hunter College, City University of New York, New York

Symmetries. Siah Armajani, Richard Artschwager, Barry Le Va, Sol Lewitt, Sculpture and drawings – Senior and Shopmaker, New York


Black / White – Danese, New York


Phenomenal Bodies – Drammens Museum, Drammen, Norway

From Pop to Now – Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio

Five Sculptors Drawing. Drawings from the Seventies – Nolan / Eckman Gallery, New York


After Image. Drawing Through Process – Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston

Retrospective – Sonnabend, New York

Topologies – White Box, New York


Drawings from the Sixties. Mel Bochner, Barry Le Va, Keith Sonnier, Richard Tuttle – Curt Marcus Gallery, New York


Bill Jensen, Barry Le Va, Pat Steir New Work – Danese, New York

Deep Thought II – Basilico Fine Arts, New York


Laying Low – Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo


Barry Le Va, Fred Sandback – Verein für Original-Radierung, Munich


Information – Museum of Modern Art, New York (cat.)


Two Painters and a Sculptor – California State College, Los Angeles


New Comers ’67 – Lytton Center of Visual Arts, Los Angeles