Lewis Baltz Research Fund

Inaugural recipients (LBRF 2015):
Alessandro Laita & Chiaralice Rizzi

The Lewis Baltz Research Fund has been established to honor the vision and memory of the American artist Lewis Baltz. The fund involves the annual grant of a substantial fund to support the creation, completion and dissemination of a project in any artistic medium, encompassing, but not limited to, anything from academic research to book publication, performance or installation art, video or film production to experimental digital work. The intention is to support projects reflecting the intellectual rigor of Lewis Baltz’s conceptual practice which also succeeded in propounding a significant connection to social and political issues. The recipient will be selected by the Lewis Baltz Research Fund Committee, composed of Mark McCain, art fiend, Theresa Luisotti and Thomas Zander, gallerists, Slavica Perkovic, artist, Michael Mack, publisher and Diane Dufour, director of LE BAL. Operated by LE BAL, The Lewis Baltz Research Fund has been created by the generous support of the Artworkers Retirement Society.

The first Lewis Baltz Research Fund has been awarded to two young Italian artists, Alessandro Laita and Chiaralice Rizzi for their book project Live in the house and it will not fall down. The book is built out of an archive of images collected over four decades by the Venetian artist Bruno Rizzi, who died in 2004. In 2010, Alessandro Laita and Chiaralice Rizzi found the collection and began to work on a project to explore its poetic potential. Live in the house and it will not fall down is a gallery of fragments, a collection of memories, the story of one and more people, of a house, of a city. The two artists ‘intervene in the delicate geology that underlies such piles of papers sedimented over the years, undo the precise historical map created by the thin veils of dust covering the objects and interrupt the flow of that low-intensity energy which is generated by localized memory.’ (Antonello Frongia)

Chiaralice Rizzi (1982) and Alessandro Laita (1979) studied Visual Arts at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice. Between 2010 and 2015, they worked as teaching assistants to Lewis Baltz and Adrian Paci. Their artistic practice develops around the thematic of landscape, memory and representation. Lewis Baltz participated in editing their project Live in the house and it will not fall down.

About the Lewis Baltz Research Fund

Lewis Baltz hated mausoleums, fatuous celebrations, and meaningless, if spectacular, gestures. But he was very supportive of young, talented artists. He was also highly sensitive to the fact that the creation of any real art form is sustained by the sharp and thorough vision of the world we live in —“Using facts, to create fictions, that reveal truths,” as he used to say. Helping young artists to keep alive and to challenge Lewis’s vision and concerns is what we are aiming to achieve with this fund.

About Lewis Baltz

Lewis Baltz was born in Newport, California. At the end of the 60s he began to use photography to describe a world that was increasingly mass produced and impersonal. His images of American industrial parks and urban sprawl became landmarks of postwar art, mixing documentary with the strategies of conceptualism. Moving to Europe at the end of the 80s, Baltz responded to the new globalized world of electronic data, corporate architecture and precarious labor, expanding his approach to include video, image/text and installations. Lewis Baltz held various teaching positions and professorships and his works have been featured in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, including New Topographics at George Eastman House 1975, the 1977 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Musuem of American Art, in New York, the PS1 Museum, in New York in 1991, the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC in 2011, the Kunstmuseum Bonn and the Kestnergesellschaft Hannover in Germany in 2012, the Albertina in Vienna in 2013 and at LE BAL in Paris in 2014. Two exhibitions will be dedicated to the artist, at the MAPFRE in Spain in 2016, and the Grand-Hornu in 2017 in Belgium.