Leo Villareal is known internationally for his light sculptures and site-specific architectural works, which have been inspired by the immersive light explorations of artists such as Robert Irwin, Dan Flavin, and James Turrell. His work also builds on the computation-based, moving image experiments of artists exploring pattern and “visual music,” such as John and James Whitney.
Villareal’s work is part of the permanent collections of such prestigious museums as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Kagawa, Japan. Recent exhibitions include the solo show Spacetime at fused space in San Francisco (2016); a site-specific installation in the group show Wonder at the Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C. (2015); and Light Show at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London (2013). Villareal received a BA in sculpture from Yale University in 1990, and a graduate degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Comprised of 4,500 LED nodes arranged along a series of pentagons and hexagons, Leo Villareal's Buckyball is animated by custom software programmed by the artist to display over 16 million distinct colors.