new-york

Kenneth Goldsmith

John Post Lee Gallery

At once exquisite and formidable, Kenneth Goldsmith’s text-on-paper compositions are a seductive hybrid of poetry, literature, music, and visual art. While Goldsmith clearly draws inspiration in equal parts from James Joyce, John Cage, and Joseph Kosuth, his work is more than simply the sum of these influences.

Goldsmith’s penchant for epistemological systems and wrought images emerges in two portfolios of pencil drawings. The basic unit of one, Songbook: XII Soundbites (all works 1992), is the ideogram—in this case a matrix of overlapping English letters that function as a poetic unit, much like a Chinese character. Each one of twelve manuscriptlike pages bears twelve such linguistic units which progress in a systematic, visual-rhyming sequence that recalls both the obsessiveness and the idiosyncrasy of Cage’s music. The other, Songbook: XI Poems, presents blocks of words that-follow the

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