Barry Le Va

"Cleaved Wall"

Barry Le Va "Cleaved Wall" | Events Calendar
Artist installing Four (Cleaved Floor), MoMA PS1, 2016. Photo: C. J. Nolan


Opening from

On View

David Nolan Gallery | 527 West 29th Street

David Nolan Gallery is pleased to present Barry Le Va: Cleaved Wall, on view in our main gallery from January 11 through February 11, 2017. Featuring a single dramatic installation - comprised of 22 meat cleavers, in two rows, at the top and bottom of the wall - originally conceived in 1969, it was subsequently shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1970.

Describing the origins of this work in the catalogue accompanying Le Va's 2005 retrospective at ICA Philadelphia, Ingrid Schaffner writes: "On one of his trips driving back to Minneapolis from New York in 1969, Le Va picked up a bunch of cleavers. Big, heavy, 3 ½-pound ones, with 9 ½-inch-long blades, that he had obtained, appropriately enough, from a butcher supply store around the meat yards of Chicago.

Le Va approached working on the wall with cleavers the same as working on the floor with felt - with deliberation. Using the cleavers and the marks made by sticking them into and removing them from the wall, he wanted to create enough of a pattern to induce viewers into reconstructing movement, sequence, and method. Where was the artist (attacked) standing? How were the cleavers thrown? In what order? To study their arrangement is to conjure the artist in action, working to the measure of his own body."

Barry Le Va was born in 1941 in Long Beach, California and currently lives and works in New York City. This is his 12th solo exhibition at the gallery since 1989.