philadelphia

Robert Morris

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

At first glance, from the ground floor of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Robert Morris’ Labyrinth looks like one of his earlier Minimal pieces: a fiberglass or plywood ring (here, masonite), painted his usual very light gray. But it is 8 feet high and 30 feet in diameter—therefore more barrenly intimidating, a sort of unearthly gas tank in a museum. I enter aslant, through its straight, narrower than me, bisecting passageway. About 2 yards ahead, the left wall curves convexly out of view to the right. So begins the first gambit of the labyrinth. I think of words starting with “m”: misgiving, Minimal, minatory, Minotaur.

Imprisoned within the concentric circularities of the interior, and watchful for their hairpin turns, I am possessed by an excited resentment. Higher than many, my eyes cannot track any of the overhead gallery lights, as if my internal sextant had gone awry. Left and

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.