Created in 1989, Byars’s gilded marble and wood Monument to Cleopatra, a sarcophogus-like lozenge form on a low plinth, is a breathtaking presence in this summer’s Upper East Side gallery scene. Glowing mysteriously in an empty room, it evades human scale, minimalist concreteness as well as historical allusiveness. Yet all three of those qualities could apply to this work. The piece has never been seen before in New York, and it is well worth a pilgrimage.
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