new-york

Not Vital

Sperone Westwater

With work that is simultaneously abstract and representational, mature and childlike, Not Vital mines the depths of our collective unconscious. Though initially his most recent pieces might seem to sit squarely within the Minimalist tradition, they have a personal, often sexual inflection. In his most recent exhibition it became clear that for Vital the process of making art is governed by the search for a primary, universal level of experience and identity. Upon entering the gallery we were presented with the artist’s name in 14 different languages—from Arabic to Wallachian—painted on the wall. Immediately to the left of this wall, Vital had installed an untitled work from 1992 which consisted of a pair of bronze antlers supporting a series of letters that spelled out “FUCK YOU.”

The remainder of the works in this exhibition were decidedly nonverbal, as if Vital wished to return us to our

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