New York

Rodney Graham

Christine Burgin Gallery

From the early ’80s to this show of his latest works, Rodney Graham, an artist from Vancouver, Canada, has developed within Ian Wilson’s genre of “nonvisual abstraction.” In 1984, Wilson, an early member of Art & Language, described Conceptual art as an extension of poetry, literature, and philosophy: one that “takes the principles of visual abstraction, founded in the visual arts, and applies them to language.” Wilson places linguistic Conceptual art in a hierarchy above other so-called physically bounded art forms: “True conceptual art moves beyond visual and physical execution of ideas no matter how abstract. . . [and] is found within the formless abstractions of language,” which, with its “capacity to describe concepts without physical or visual references carries us into an advanced state of abstraction.”

In projects like Lenz, 1983, in which Graham produced a loop of text that repeated

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