I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like: The Art of Bill Viola

Exhibition Website

- Sep 15 2019

Barnes Foundation

Philadelphia, PA

American artist Bill Viola (b. 1951) is celebrated for his genre-defying, mind-expanding work in new media. He is a visionary artist whose installations feature moving images that invite meditations on birth, death, and spiritual themes as well as the nature of human consciousness.

This special exhibition, organized for the Barnes by distinguished guest curator John G. Hanhardt, will bring together a selection of the artist’s major pieces from 1976 to 2009, including smaller screen-based works and the rarely seen large-scale installations He Weeps for You, Pneuma, and Ascension.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website


Whether or not you go, the exhibition catalog, I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like: The Art of Bill Viola, provides new insights into the artist’s creative processes by drawing on his own writing, as well as texts that have inspired his creative vision. John G. Hanhardt, an expert on Bill Viola, explores how the artist’s work relates to literature, philosophy, poetry, and mysticism. Kira Perov, Viola’s wife, artistic collaborator, and the manager of his studio, offers her own intimate insights into his work and studio production. Beautifully illustrated, this book imparts a fresh take on Viola’s art, originality, and celebrated creativity.

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