reviews

  • “The Slant Step Revisited”

    Richard L. Nelson Gallery, University of California

    Neither utilitarian nor esthetic, the enigmatic object known as the “Slant Step” has again surfaced as the namesake and centerpiece of an exhibition of work by Northern-California artists. Twice before, in 1966 and 1970, the ambiguously angled form inspired thematic shows based on its shape or use. An object too low to function as a step, too slanted to serve as a seat, yet with a backboard as on a chair, its intended purpose remains a mystery. Not simply nonfunctional but antifunctional, its contradictions appealed to the adversative avant-garde. Moreover, its identification was perversely

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