James Lee Byars. Untitled Object. 1962–64

James Lee Byars Untitled Object 1962–64

  • Not on view

Byars lived in Japan for ten years and was heavily influenced by Japanese culture. This drawing, which stretches over 210 feet when fully extended, was first shown in a performance at a temple in Kyoto

in 1964, in which a friend of Byars, dressed in black ceremonial robes, slowly unfolded and arranged the work in various configurations. The simplicity of Byars's single, continuous black line on a rhythmically

arranged surface highlights the performative nature of the drawing and creates a link with the ritualized elegance of traditional Japanese theater practices.

Gallery label from 2007.
Crayon on Japanese paper, joined and folded
unfolded 12" x 210' 9" (30.3 cm x 64.23 m); folded 12 x 12 x 3 3/4" (30.3 x 30.3 x 9.5 cm)
Gift of the artist
Object number
© 2019 James Lee Byars
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