Nevada Museum of Art Presents Leo Villareal Animating Light

The Nevada Museum of Art presents Leo Villareal Animating Light. OIpen March 5, 2011 – May 22, 2011.

Leo Villareal is the most prominent light sculptor of his generation. In 1997, he abandoned his work with interactive television and began creating sculptures in which he combined strobe lights, neon, and most recently, LED bulbs activated by the artist’s own custom-made software.

Leo Villareal, Flag, 2008. LED tubes, custom software, and mixed media, 74 1/2 x 144 x 4 inches. Unique. Courtesy Gering & López Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist and the San Jose Museum of Art.

The magic of Villareal’s work lies in its sequencing. Thousands of tiny white LEDs may resemble a starry night as seen in a planetarium, while tubes of colored LEDs masked by a diffuser are like a Monet painting of water lilies set in motion. His hypnotic and exhilarating light sculptures will be appreciated by both the young and old, experienced and inexperienced art viewers, students of both the arts and sciences, and engineers who will be tempted to analyze the artist’s algorithms.

In 1994, Villareal first attended the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. This experience influenced him greatly, and gradually led him to direct his attention towards creating immersive experiences that could be enjoyed on a larger scale.

This is the first museum survey of the groundbreaking work of Villareal, whose stunning manipulations of light and color are internationally renowned.

Leo Villareal: Animating Light was organized by the San Jose Museum of Art. Sponsored by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation, and Bank of America.

Sponsorship of the Nevada Museum of Art presentation is provided by Bally Technologies, Robert and Eleanor Preger, and the Stremmel Gallery.

Additional funding provided by City of Reno Arts and Culture Commission and the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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