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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

James Lee Byars

James Lee Byars with his work The Door of Innocence, 1986–87.

Oct 12, 2023 – Feb 18, 2024
Via Chiese, 2, 20126 Milano MI, Italy

In 1994, when the multidisciplinary artist James Lee Byars was dying of cancer, he created an empty four-walled chamber in gold. He called it The Death of James Lee Byars and proceeded to lay down inside it under a golden sheaf. Yes, it was a rehearsal of his death. The real death happened two years later in Cairo, Egypt, but Byars’s work—esoteric yet endlessly creative—lives on. This exhibition, which comes almost three decades after the artist’s last museum exhibition in Italy, presents large-scale works from 1974 to 1997. —Elena Clavarino