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Finding aid for the David Lamelas papers, 1964-1997
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: David Lamelas papers
    Date (inclusive): 1964-1997
    Number: 2005.M.12
    Creator/Collector: Lamelas, David, 1946-
    Physical Description: 4.5 linear feet (5 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The personal and professional papers of Argentinean sculptor and filmmaker David Lamelas provide an overview of Lamelas's artistic practices and the development of his work from sculpture to architecture, film, and conceptual installations. Drawings, sketches, notes, plans, photographs, correspondence, sketchbooks, and other papers produced or collected by Lamelas document selected work from his early period in Buenos Aires, through his projects in Europe and North America and his latest work in the 1990s.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record  for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English and Spanish.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Argentinian artist David Lamelas is one of the pioneers of Conceptual Art. The son of Spanish immigrants, Lamelas was born in Buenos Aires in 1946 (or 1944?). While in his teens, he studied art at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes, with an early focus on sculpture; he began exhibiting his work in Buenos Aires around this time. At the age of 21, he represented Argentina at the 1967 Bienal Internacional de Sáo Paulo, with a work of architectural intervention, Dos Espacios Modificados (Two Modified Spaces). That same year, Lamelas created his important installation, Situación de tiempo (Time situation), in Buenos Aires. He represented Argentina at the XX Venice Biennale with the installation piece "Office of Information about the Vietnam War at Three Levels: The Visual Image Text, and Audio."
    In 1968 Lamelas left Argentina for London, where he studied sculpture at St. Martins School of Art. During his time at St. Martins he developed an interest in film. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s Lamelas continued to work and exhibit in Europe. He was a pioneer in the radical repositioning of sculpture at this time, using new materials and modes of production. Lamelas moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s and currently makes his home in Berlin. He has continued to make films and videos, including works such as "Film Script," "To Pour Milk Into a Glass," and "The Dictator." Among his better known non-film works are "The Other Side/El Otro Lado," an installation project that was part of InSITE97 binational exhibition of art in public places, and "Publication," a book as art exhibition.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    David Lamelas papers, 1964-1997. The Getty Research Insititute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2005.M.12

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired in 2005.

    Processing History

    Jennifer Osorio processed and arranged the archive in March 2006, under the supervision of Jocelyn Gibbs.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers of David Lamelas primarily comprise preparatory notes, sketches and drawings for installation and film works from the period after he left Argentina in 1964 to 1997, when he was living in Los Angeles. The archive also contains a number of photographs and negatives (including some personal images), manuscripts of film scripts, correspondence, and assorted ephemera such as gallery invitations and publicity postcards. The archive includes several small journals that contain sketches and notes, and writings on a variety of topics.
    The sketches, drawings and notes give particular insight into the working processes involved in the creation of highly conceptual art in a variety of mediums. The collection provides a portrait of his working processes and the development of his work from sculpture to architecture, film, and conceptual installations. This fundamental period of Lamelas's artistic practice became the basis of his future work, for which he has received critical acclaim.

    Arrangement note

    Arranged in 8 series: Series I. Sculptural and installation works, 1960-2004; Series II. Films, 1969-2004; Series III. Textual works, ca. 1970; Series IV. Proposals and notes for unrealized works, undated; Series V. Correspondence, 1956-1977; Series VI. Personal documents and writings, 1967-1994; Series VII. Photographic materials, 1944-1997; Series VIII. Printed matter, 1967-1989

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Lamelas, David, 1946-

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    Bienal Internacional de São Paulo
    Centro de Artes Visuales (Instituto Torcuato Di Tella)

    Subjects - Topics

    Art--Modern--20th century
    Artists--Latin American
    Cinematography, Abstract
    Conceptual Art
    Experimental Films--Argentina
    Installations (Art)

    Subjects - Titles

    David Lamelas: fifteen years: October 1978, Center of Art and Communication.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Drawings (visual works)
    Film stills
    Photographic prints
    Photographs, Original
    Posters--20th century
    Sketchbooks--20th Century


    Bienal Internacional de São Paulo
    Centro de Artes Visuales (Instituto Torcuato Di Tella)