The MIT List Visual Arts Center and The Bronx Museum of the Arts will present the first United States museum survey of the work of Chilean-born video artist Juan Downey (1940–1993). Juan Downey: The Invisible Architect will feature a selection of key works by this under-recognized pioneer of video art. A fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual studies in 1973 and 1975, Downey played a significant role in the New York art scene of the 1970s and 1980s.
Ranging thematically over several decades of the artist’s work, the exhibition will include early experiments with art and technology that mark a shift from object-based artistic practice to an experiential approach seeking to combine interactive performance with sculpture and video. Along with this foundational early work, the exhibition will also feature Downey’s video installations of the 1970s and 1980s. These combine an autobiographical approach with the style of anthropological documentary—one of his most important contributions to the medium. Presented in collaboration with The Bronx Museum of Arts, Juan Downey: The Invisible Architect is organized by Valerie Smith, Curator at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.
Photo: Video Trans Americas, Juan Downey, Oil on wood, 1973. Photograph credit Harry Shunk
May 6–July 10
Gallery Hours| Tu-Wed 12-6pm, Thurs 12-8pm, Fri-Su 12-6pm, closed Mondays.
Opening Reception| Wed, May 4
Public Transportation| Kendall (MBTA Red Line)