Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery is pleased to present William Anastasi / N. Dash, a two-person exhibition that will run from September 8 to October 22, 2011. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 8, from 6-8pm.
On display will be a selection from William Anastasi's ongoing series of subway and pocket drawings, alongside N. Dash's Commuter Works. The pairing puts the artists' work in dialogue for the first time publicly, instigated by a series of conversations between the two about shared ideas and affinities in their work.
Anastasi's drawings done on the New York subway or inside the pocket of his pants while walking, span more than 40 years of the artist's extended studio practice. A form of automatic drawing, the pieces commemorate particular distances and destinations (some relayed in the pieces' titles), while in their material presence they reveal a nameless accumulation of gesture, bustle, and the passage of time and distance. Anastasi often closes his eyes or wears noise-canceling headphones when he makes the drawings, generating marks as a seismic recording of his most minor movements. The method combines the restrictive, hyper-self-aware logic of close friend John Cage's impressions of visiting an anechoic chamber with a gestural looseness that demonstrates both men's lifelong interest in chance affecting the sequence or outcome of a work.
The Commuter Works by N. Dash are not so much works on paper as works with paper. Also created on the New York subway (her commute between home and studio) among other modes of transit, the artist touches, creases, folds, and refolds a piece of paper in a quietly performative set of actions. Wearing down the surface of the paper, her repeated touches and folds embed a progression of material alterations until the original has been reformed. What's left of these papers are then unfolded and "sealed" by the artist using either graphite or indigo pigment. The resultant pieces are accidental compositions of darkened corners, like close-up facsimiles of architectural junctures, or the pocket of a pair of pants.
Contemplated in proximity, the works of both artists reveal a gradual sonic resonance, notations to scores composed in real time. The scratch of the pen on paper in Anastasi's pocket is a record needle whose stylus records rather than plays back as it moves. Similarly, Dash's foldings, as with her larger body of work, also based on touch, are inscribed with the mark of each gesture she performs on them. In both cases, a private language of observation is built up in the recording of an ongoing train of thought.
William Anastasi was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1933. A pioneering practitioner of both Conceptual and Minimalist art, Anastasi has worked in a variety of modes to form a distinctive practice that combines conceptual rigor with masterful sensitivity of touch. Recipient of the 2010 John Cage Award, his work is represented in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum and the MoMA. Anastasi lives and works in New York, NY.
N. Dash was born in Miami Beach, FL in 1980. Her work has recently been exhibited in several group shows in New York. She is featured in Modern Painters and in Interview Magazine, September 2011.