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Bill Viola

visual artist

About this Artist

BILL VIOLA is a leading figure and pioneer in the field of video and media art. For 40 years he has created architectural video installations, video films, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast as well as music concerts, opera, and sacred spaces. His works are exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide and are found in many distinguished collections. His single channel videotapes have been widely distributed and his writings have been extensively published.

Viola’s video pieces masterfully utilize sophisticated media technologies while exploring the spiritual and perceptual side of human experience, focusing on universal human themes–birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness–and have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as the spiritual traditions of Zen Buddhism, Chinese Taoism, Islamic Sufism, and Christian mysticism. Viola’s work resonates with a broad range of people, communicating across geography, culture, and language.

Bill Viola represented the U.S. in the 1995 Venice Biennale, and in 1997 the Whitney Museum of American Art organized “Bill Viola: A 25-Year Survey.” Other exhibitions include: “Bill Viola: The Passions,” 2003, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; “Bill Viola: Hatsu-Yume (First Dream),” 2006, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; “Bill Viola: visioni interiori,” 2008, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; “Bill Viola,” 2014, Grand Palais, Paris; and “Bill Viola,” 2014-15, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK. In 2004 Viola produced four hours of video for Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde, for a new production directed by Peter Sellars that premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conducting.

Kira Perov, Viola’s wife and partner, has worked closely with Viola for 35 years, as executive director and producer of all his works and exhibitions.