New York

Richard Nonas

Rented Space

There is some way in which the effort to reduce and control the elements in an artwork becomes an effort to control the spectator’s reaction to it. This effort, particularly in sculpture, can in turn become an attempt to seize and marshal the spectator’s sensibilities. Cowboy Minimalist Richard Nonas rented the O.K. Harris space before that gallery moved in, and installed his piece Boundary Man. He laid 11 strips of rectangular steel end to end in two lines that span two rooms diagonally. Walking around a work, apprehending its position in space and realizing yourself in relation to it, is a basic way of dealing with sculpture. But Boundary Man deals with you. Walking around it becomes walking along it, following it like a fence, like a line, to where it wants you to go. Entering the gallery, one feels rounded up, shunted from the first room to the second, along the right angle formed by

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 1975 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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