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William Anastasi

Anastasi is one of the founders of Conceptual Art with, as well, with solid connections in his earliest works to Minimalism. In his work Anastasi delicately dissects the differences between seeing and perceiving. He confronts the issue of presentation and exhibition itself and explores the question of “self-sameness” of objects – with tautological truths and perceptions.

All images Courtesy by the artist and Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Anastasi’s practice is interdisciplinary, informed by physics, music and social thought. His sculptures, paintings, photographs have like his drawings consistently helped to define the mediums themselves. Like his close friend John Cage, Anastasi is fascinated by the element of chance in creation.

Since the late 60s Anastasi developed his signature innovation of the use of process in what he refers to as his “unsighted drawings”. They were begun in 1963 and are ongoing in continually developing strategies. Anastasi’s drawing practice embraces drawing as performance, the incorporation of chance, rigorous focus on the present and the body’s relationship to the drawing’s execution. His referencing of the body in each of his various drawing strategies is evident from the smallest to the largest works. This is accomplished by a rigorously reduced phenomenological approach where each gesture is tailored to its particular scale and method of execution. A series might begin by folding a paper small enough to fit into a tiny space – the pocket drawing or, in the case of the subway drawing, by placing a small sheet that fits comfortably on his lap while in transit. The viewer later standing before these drawings senses the artist’s presence during their execution.

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