James Lee Byars

The Perfect Kiss

The Perfect Kiss contains more than 180 images of James Lee Byars’ (1932-1997) performances, installations, sculptures and letters. It documents and analyses the key ideas of his practice, all conceived between 1969 and 1976 when he was closely associated with the Belgian art scene.

The title for the book refers to one of Byars’ best-known performances, staged in Antwerp, for which he kissed the air. It was through Wide White Space that Byars first met his fellow artists, friends and collaborators Marcel Broodthaers and Joseph Beuys.

In addition to a transcript of a lecture on Question given by James Lee Byars at the Nova Scotia College in 1970, this book contains six commissioned texts, for example an essay (by Viola Michely) on Joseph Beuys teaching and Byars as a non-teaching artist.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition, James Lee Byars: The Perfect Kiss at M HKA, Antwerp (5 October 2018 – 20 January 2019).

English and Dutch text.

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