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Robert BARRY: Inert Gas Series/Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon. From a Measured Volume to Indefinite Expansion. 1969.
Linotype on paper.
89x58.5 cm ( 35x22 7/8 in).
Totally blank white card plate with only this one-line text printed along the lower edge:
"Robert Barry/Inert Gas Series/Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon. From a Measured Volume to Indefinite Expansion/April 1969/Seth Siegelaub, 6000 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California, 90028/213 HO 4-8363."
See the text
This print is the "exhibition poster" of the Barry's show "Inert Gas Series" at Seth Siegelaub's Gallery, which never actually existed, the gallery being only a phone number.
600 unsigned and folded for mailing purpose copies were actually published, used as announcements.
This copy comes directly from R. Barry: it is unfolded, signed and dated 69 in the lower right corner.
Lucy R. Lippard: Six Years, "The dematerialization of the art object...", p. 95; R. Morgan: Robert Barry, p. 146; Artstudio "Les mots" p.52; R. Morgan: "Art into ideas", 1996, p.64, "73rd American Exhibition The Art Institute of Chicago p.11, ArtistBook International n°3 p. 17 (interview Seth Siegelaub / Christophe Cherix); Tony Godfrey "Conceptual art", 1998, p.102; "New Art in the 60s and 70s Redefining Reality", 2001 p.85.
Excerpt form an interview Holger Weh / Robert Barry:
(...) "The Inert Gas pieces were an attempt to use material - inert gas - which is an undetectable material, you can't smell it or see it, and use this material to create a kind of large environmental sculpture, if you will. It was one of the last works that I did in '69, where I actually used physical material. And so it was a kind of transitional work, in that I was still using material, even though one's understanding of the work and appreciation really had to be totally mental. One would have to use one's imagination. I used inert gas - neon, helium, xenon, krypton - because they were, first of all, called the änoble gasesô. I always thought they were sort of romantic. They were completely unknown about 100 years ago, we didn't know they existed, and yet we breathe them in and exhale them, we live around them and move in these inert gases. They have very beautiful names, like änewô, ähiddenô - their names in Greek are quite nice. So, I just kind of liked that as a material. And we take it from the atmosphere - we can't manufacture them - they're in the atmosphere, so they must be removed from the atmosphere. They're used in industry, they're used for certain kinds of lighting. If an electrical charge is put into neon, for instance, it creates a certain kind of light, which is what they're used for primarily, but there are other uses for them. So it was a very interesting material for me to work with and I felt that this was something that I could deal with and fit into what I was trying to do at the time." (...)
Robert BARRY: It is... it isn't.... 1972.
17 x 11 cm.
Paris, Lambert, 1972.
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