PRINT April 2003

’80s THEN

Jonathan Borofsky

MARK ROSENTHAL: It has always seemed to me that one of your great innovations was the imagistic wall drawing. How did that come about?

JONATHAN BOROFSKY: It was born in the early to mid-’70s. By then, I had locked in to an idea about counting, and the continuous activity of the mind. From there, I started developing all sorts of images, mostly inspired by dreams. In 1974, Sol LeWitt, who was a kind of father figure, suggested I paint these directly on the wall. Drawing on the wall has such immediacy, like the impact of the cave paintings. Every time I take a piece of charcoal—which originally came from fire in a cave—and put a mark on a nice white museum wall, I feel great—direct, and primal.

MR: After the wall drawings, the installations came quickly. What were your inspirations?

JB: I had a picture of Kurt Schwitters’s Merzbau room in my head from long ago. I also recalled a reproduction

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