New York

Robert Grosvenor

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

To my mind, Robert Grosvenor has not had his due; one of the great masters of the “negative sublime,” he has been overshadowed by more sensationalist Minimalists, working not only on grander scale but in flashier materials. Grosvenor’s pieces convey enormous concentration, as though the infinite were compacted into the finite, the impossible made actual. I prefer this kind of metaphor—of an infinitely dense material, like the mass of the cosmos at the moment of the “big bang”—to the theoretical scholasticism to which Minimalism has usually been subject, because the metaphor makes an experiential point (as much a basis for evaluation as a formalist one).

The experience Grosvenor offers is of space indivisibly dense, for all the apparent “fault lines” along which it might be divided. I am talking about what are for me the most important pieces, those “compounded” of wood and creosote, the

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