Leo Villareal

Leo Villareal 
Field, 2007
LEDs, diffusion materials, custom software, and electrical hardware
7 x 24 feet x 15 inches
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Lisa and Richard Baker. 271.2008
Courtesy Gering & López Gallery, New York

Leo Villareal
Flag, 2008
LED tubes, custom software, and electrical hardware
75 x 144 x 4 inches
Courtesy Gering & López Gallery, New York

Leo Villareal

Metatron, 2002 (A.P., ed. 2)

Plexiglas, incandescent light bulbs, custom software, and electrical hardware

60 x 60 x 6 inches

Courtesy the Artist

Leo Villareal
Diamond Sea, 2007 
White LEDs, mirror finished stainless steel, custom software, and electric hardware
120 x 180 x 6 inches
Courtesy Gering & López Gallery, New York


Leo Villareal
Big Bang, 2008 (A.P., ed. 3)
LEDs, aluminum, custom software, and electrical hardware
59 x 59 x 8 inches
Courtesy Conner Contemporary Art, Washington, DC
Photograph by James Ewing Photography


Saturday, August 21, 2010Sunday, January 9, 2011

Leo Villareal is a pioneer in the use of LEDs and computer-driven imagery and known both for his light sculptures and architectural, site-specific works. This exhibition, his first major traveling museum survey, seeks to place Villareal’s body of work within the continuum of contemporary art. Born in Albuquerque, NM, in 1967 and raised in El Paso, TX, and in northern Mexico, Villareal began his studies in stage design and art at Yale University, New Haven, CT. He later pursued graduate studies at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, NY, and from 1994 to 1997, worked on cutting-edge virtual reality projects at Paul Allen’s Interval Research Corporation in Palo Alto, California. In 1994, Villareal first attended the counterculture festival Burning Man, which inspired him to begin creating immersive experiences on a larger scale. In 1997, he programmed a 16-light strobe structure that he brought to Burning Man. Originally conceived as a nighttime wayfinding device using pulsing light, the simple piece was well received and became the precursor to his work in the light medium. 

This exhibition and its catalogue explore how Villareal presents a new vision of art that responds and relates to the innovations of the 21st-century, using computer code and new technology as a medium for abstraction.

Enhance your viewing experience! Download a FREE soundtrack for the exhibition.

Leo Villareal on his artistic process

Exhibition schedule:

  • August  21, 2010 – January 9, 2011: San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
  • March 5 – May 22, 2011: Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV
  • June 24, 2011 – September 18, 2011: Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS
  • February 3 – June 3, 2012: Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, GA
  • September 9 – December 30, 2012: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin

Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Bank of America