John G. Hanhardt and Kira Perov
Bill Viola began producing video works in the early 1970s, and since then has captivated audiences with his poignant and beautifully wrought interpretations of human experience. He is today considered among the most celebrated proponents of the medium of video art. This is the first monograph to chart Viola’s career in full, covering his education in New York, his earliest major films of mirages in the Sahara desert and of hospital medical imagery, his retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York 1997 and his recent installations in Venice, New York, Tokyo, London and Berlin. Hanhardt outlines the key visual, literary and spiritual influences on Viola’s work and his changing approach to the medium of film in response to technological advancement. Woven into the discussion are illustrations of Viola’s most significant works, including Information (1973), The Passing, (1991), The Greeting (1995), Going Forth by Day (2002) and Martyrs, the 2014 film commissioned for St Paul’s Cathedral in London, as well as reproductions of Viola’s sketches and notebooks that bring his working process to life. Supplemented by a select chronology, bibliography and list of public collections, Bill Viola offers a rare and fascinating account of one of contemporary art’s most powerful creative minds.