Leo Villareal (American, b.1967) is an installation artist who was born in Albuquerque, NM, in 1967. He is best known for his use of LEDs and computer-driven technology in creating light sculptures. He attended Yale University and received a BA in Sculpture in 1990. He went on to New York University and attended the Tisch School of the Arts, earning a graduate degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program.
In 2008, his largest installation, Multiverse, was completed at the National Gallery of Art. It features around 41,000 LED nodes that run through the Concourse walkway between the East and West Buildings. At the end of 2012, The Bay Lights will be completed. It is a light sculpture that will honor the 75th anniversary of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, CA, and will stay up for two years. He has had solo exhibitions at the Finesilver Gallery in San Antonio, TX, in 2003, the Galeria Javier Lopez in Madrid, Spain, in 2005, the Gering and Lopez Gallery in New York in 2007, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in 2008, and the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, CA, in 2010. Group exhibitions he has participated in include Exposure: The Future of Film Festival for USA Network and Scifi Channel in New York in 2000, Optical Optimism at the Galerie Simone Stern in New Orleans, LA, in 2002, Fiction Love-Ultra New Visions in Contemporary Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, Taiwan, in 2004, Backdrop at Bloomberg SPACE in London, England, in 2006, That Was Then...This is Now at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, NY, in 2008, and Contemplating the Void at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2010.
Villareal’s work can be found in collections at the Borusan Music House in Istanbul, Turkey, the Time Warner Center in New York, the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum in Kagawa, Japan, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He is represented by Gering and Lopez Gallery in New York and by Conner Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C. Villareal currently lives and works in New York.