san-francisco

René de Guzman

Terrain

Reiterating the critical gambit of Robert Smithson’s celebrated “nonsites,” René de Guzman fills Plexiglas boxes with organic material including fluids, hair, dried sponges and weeds. De Guzman views his handling of solid geometry as a critical invasion of the theoretically inviolate interior spaces of Minimal sculpture. Both artists redress the Minimalist legacy, yet they play the gambit in very disparate emotional keys.

The decorative and elegiac quality of de Guzman’s objects would have been anathema to Smithson. Where Smithson wanted to purge sculpture of its residual human reference and humanistic content, de Guzman clouds and scratches the inside surfaces of his Plexiglas boxes so our attention is teasingly drawn to their interiors. Seen through his muzzy plastic, the material tends to resemble internal tissue—lobes of brain or lung.

In Catalogue (all works 1989), boxes of various

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