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    Synopsis

    Artist Julio Le Parc writes to Michèle Lachowsky, then the commissioner of Mode & art: 1960–1990, to reiterate his reasons for refusing an invitation to participate in this exhibition. Le Parc cites that he was in agreement with Lachowsky’s 1994 proposal of showing three of his works from the 1960s alongside designer Paco Rabanne’s creations. However, he complains, later changes in the exhibition design caused one of his works (Lumière Visualisée 1962–64) to be eliminated to make more room for a different work, by the Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto (a large Penetrable), in the gallery space. Le Parc expresses his disappointment and reminds Lachowsky that the collective G.R.A.V. (Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel), of which he was part, had created “penetrables” before Soto became recognized for his series of similar works (citing the collective’s participation in the Biennale de Paris in 1963). As a consequence of the elimination of his work, concludes Le Parc, both he and his wife (artist Martha Le Parc) retracted their agreement to participate in the exhibition.

    Annotations

    This letter, written in French, was sent by Argentinean artist Julio Le Parc (b. 1928) to Michèle Lachowsky, commissioner of the exhibition Mode & art: 1960–1990, organized by the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, from September 29, 1995 to January 7, 1996. Aside from offering more insight into the reasons that led both Julio Le Parc and his wife to retract their participation in Mode & art: 1960–1990, the letter also contains the artist’s account of a series of sensorial works produced by the collective G.R.A.V. (Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel), of which he was part, before the Venezuelan artist Jesús Rafael Soto (1923–2005) reportedly created his series of Penetrables (1973–2014).

    Artist Julio Le Parc (b. 1928) was born in Mendoza, Argentina. He attended the School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, where Le Parc embraced the avant-garde movement in Argentina and helped found the collective G.R.A.V. along with artists F. García Miranda, Francisco Sobrino, Vera Molnár, François Morellet, Sergio Moyano Servanes, Horacio García Rossi, Yvaral (Jean Pierre Vasarely), Hugo Demarco, and Jöel Stein. The recipient of the Grand Prize at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966, Le Parc is considered a major figure in Argentinean modern art.

    [For more information on G.R.A.V., see the following texts in the ICAA digital archive: by G.R.A.V. “Assez de mystifications” (doc. no. 773146); “Transformer l’actuelle situation de l’art plastique” (doc. no. 773122); “Une journée dans la rue” (doc. no. 773166); and by Julio Le Parc “L’Immatériel” (doc. no. 1326809)].