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 Tony Labat  (1951 - )

About: Tony Labat


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: modernist sculpture, video and installation art

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Biography from Gallery Paule Anglim:
Since the early eighties Tony Labat has been an important participant in the California performance and video scene.  A pioneer of video installations, he does work that often identifies the “outsider”, whether it be the artist or the immigrant.

Born in Cuba, Labat makes frequent social commentary on displacement and marginalization.  In Day Labor: Mapping the Outside… he sets up a surveillance system from his studio window, observing day workers waiting to be picked up for temporary work.  The split-screen video and the workers themselves divide into groups of visual codes: painters, carpenters, gardeners, etc.  The artist is mimicking institutional surveillance, while participating in the workers passivity.

BORN: Havana, Cuba 1951

EDUCATION: BFA 1978; MFA 1980, San Francisco Art Institute



“All Circuits On: The Birth of an Industry,” Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY

“Solar Set,” Foxy Production, New York, NY

“Tail/Gate,” Rocksbox Gallery, Portland, Oregon

“Contemporary Chinese,” The Affair, Jupiter Hotel, Portland, Oregon

“Xtreme Sparring,” El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY


“Time and Transition in Contemporary Cuban Art,” Mestna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia

“Mata Crush,” Havana Bienal, Havana, Cuba

“Signals from/about Central Europe,” Central European Cultural Institute, Budapest, Hungary

“Mapping the Outside: (Fat Chance Bruce Nauman),” Seville Bienal, Seville, Spain

“Solo Flight,” Space A.M. Projects, Los Angeles, CA

“Body Functions,” Museo del Ron, Havana, Cuba

“Hecka Slide-Show,” Apple Store, San Francisco, CA

“No-Mads,” Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY

“Mayami: Between Cut and Action,” Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

“Peace Roll,” (Performance) Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA


“Tropical Punch,” Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA

“Moving Target,” Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki

“Monument Recall,” Marylhurst University Gallery, Marylhust, OR

“Forces Of Evil,” Center For Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland

“Legal/Illegal,” Kunstverein Neuhausen, Neuhausen, Germany


“Monument Recall,” Camerawork, San Francisco, CA

“Legal/Illegal,” NGBK, Berlin, Germany

“Performance Anxiety,” UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA

“Fail Better,” Ocularis, New York, NY


“Video Anti-Heroes,” Buffalo Media Resources, Buffalo, NY

“Room Service,” Squeaky Wheel/Buffalo Media, Buffalo, NY

“David Ireland’s House,” Oakland Museum of California

“Proyecto Circo,” Habana Bienal, Havana, Cuba

“Office |Space.” Art on Site, Tel Aviv, Israel

“Sentido Comun,” Galeria Habana, Havana, Cuba

“Festival de Cine Pobre/Homenaje,”Gibara, Cuba

“Festival de Cine Cubano Alternativo/The Video art of Tony Labat,” Miami, FL


“Big Peace II,” Rene di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA

“Tres Artistas, Tres Posibilidades,” Centro Cultural de Espana, Havana, Cuba

“On Ramps,” Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA

“Copyright,” Centro Cultural De Espana, Havana, Cuba

“Copyright,” Casa de America, Madrid, Spain

“Slow Dive,” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,” San Francisco, CA

“Steamie Crème,” 600 Townsend Building, San Francisco, CA


“Shadow Boxes,” The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA

“Prime Time,” Detour 888, San Francisco, CA

“I Love NY,” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA


“Par 3/6,” Casa Rosa Vineyards, Sebastopol, CA

“Licra Project,” Havana Bienal, Havana, Cuba

“Paladar,” Havana Bienal,” Havana, Cuba

“Works About the Borders,” Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA

“Bis Dahin,” Galerie Ute Parduhn, Düsseldorf, Germany

“VideoTime,” The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

“Deluxe,” Refusaion Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Architectural Models” (Project for the Internet), Air Gallery

“There, There, Sensation and Interruption,” The Lab, San Francisco, CA

“Cuban Allure: Photography and Video,” The Light Factory, Charlotte, NC

“Visions: Material Transformations,” A.T. Kearney, San Francisco, CA


Good Times: Bad Trips, Gallery 16 Editions, 2007, San Francisco, CA

Day Labor: Mapping the Outside (Fat Chance Bruce Nauman), 2007, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA

Trust Me, 2005. New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA

Carnal Pleasures: Desire. 1998. Public Space & Contemporary Art, Clamor Editions.

Miss Hunters Point Sex Gap. 1996. Bunker Books, in collaboration with David West.

Meat Candy. 1995. Bunker Books, in collaboration with Stefan Kurten.

The Strange Case of T.L.. 1995. Artspace Books, in collaboration with Carlo McCormick.

Lipstick Traces/Naked Projections. 1994. BE MAGAZIN. Kunstlerhaus, Berlin, Germany.

Tony Oursler. 1992. SHIFT No. 2.

To His Coy Mistress. 1991, Spring. FELIX.

Artist Project. 1989. SHIFT No. 7.

Tony Labat: Play in Four Acts. 1987, August. Artspace, Carlo McCormick.


Blur 2007, Loop, color, sound.

Mapping the Outside: (Fat Chance Bruce Nauman) 2006, 3-channel loopl, color, sound.

Mata Crush 2006, Loop, sound, color.

Peace Roll 2006, 60 min., sound, color.

Falling 2003, Loop, sound, color.

Fake Leg 2003, Loop, sound, color.

Torch. 2003, Loop, sound, color.

The Riviera Project. 2002, loop, sound, color.

The Licra Project. 200, loop, sound, color.

The Hooters Project. 1998, 12 min., sound, color.

Ohido. 1997, 15 min., sound, color.

Narcissistic Formalisms and Homeless Fantasies. 1996, 12 min., sound, black and white.

The Janitor. 1996, 60 min, sound, color.

Soul Stealing Fuck. 1992-1995, 8 hours, sound, color.

Talk Show. 1992, 24 min., sound, color.

Pathetic. 1992, 7 min., sound, black and white.

Achromatic. 1992, 15 min., sound, color.

Mutt. 1991, 45 min., sound, color.

Sex and Violence. 1991. 1 min. loop, sound, black and white.

A Jar Full of Jam. 1988, 45 min., sound, color.

Mayami: Between Cut and Action. 1986. 13 min., sound, color.

What Your Problem Is (with Karen Finley). 1985. 10 min., sound, black and white.

La Jungle: Between Light and Shadow. 1985. 12 min, sound, black and white.

Lost in the Translation. 1984. 10 min., sound, color.

Kikiriki. 1983. 12 min., sound, color.

Time Out. 1983. 3 min., sound, color.

Enn-Yay. 1982. 10 min., sound, color.

Challenge: P.O.V. 1981, 20 min., sound, color.

Room Service. 1980. 7 min., sound, color.

Babalu. 1979. 10 min., osund, color.

Lunch with Mr. Gordon (with David Ireland). 1979, 15 min., sound, black and white.

Black n’ Blue. 1978. 5 min., sound, color.

David Ireland’ House (with David Ireland). 1978. 20 min., sound, black and white.

Selected Shorts. 1977. 30 min., sound, black and white.


President’s Award for Excellence, 2006.

California Arts Council Grant, 1992.

Award in Visual Arts, 1991.

Engelhard Award, ICA Boston, 1988

Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco, 1988.

National Endowment for the Arts, 1987.

The 1987 Award for Sculpture, San Francisco, 1987.

Open Channels, Long Beach Museum of Art, 1986.

AICA Faculty Grant, 1986, 1993, 1999, 2001.

Film Arts Foundation, San Francisco, 1985.

National Endowment for the Arts, 1983.


UCSF, San Francisco, CA.

Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA.

Rene Di Rosa Preserve, Napa, California.

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Collection Oppenheim, Bonn Museum, Bonn, Germany.

Stedlijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA

Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA.

Jane Engelhard, Boston, MA.

Anne MacDonald, San Francisco, CA.

Bridget Manoogian, San Francisco, CA.

Ann Hatch, San Francisco, CA.

Les Levine, New York, NY.

MO David, New York, NY.

Tony Oursler, New York, NY.

David Ireland, San Francisco, CA.

Ute Parduihn, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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