The Golden Tower


Gilded column

180.3 x 50.2 x 55 cm (71 x 19 3/4 x 21 5/8 in.)

A thick, golden, 1.8-metre-tall column stands in the magnificence of a blond satin sheen. Much of the pure, geometrical shaft is finely textured by even sanding. Only the top is perfectly smooth, contrasting with the rest of the sculpture.

James Lee Byars’ works combine sensitive, abstract, symbolic elements from the East with artistic and philosophical knowledge from the West. In the late 1970s the material took up more space and served to raise philosophical questions. The Golden Tower is a pure, minimalist, geometrical form laden with strong symbolism. Gold, which the artist associates with eternity and perfection, became his favourite colour.

Byars’ The Golden Tower was shown for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the “Reliquaries” (“Reliquaries”) exhibition at the Laennec Hospital Chapel in Paris (2018).