berkeley-ca

Paul Kos

Berkeley Art Museum

Conceptual art seems to have acquired a reputation for humorless pedantics right from the start. Paul Kos’s retrospective, which will travel to several venues around the country (including the Grey Art Gallery at New York University), goes a long way toward dispelling this misperception. For more than thirty years, Kos has been making Conceptual work that often is as funny as it is smart and good-looking. The exhibition’s title, “Everything Matters,” is key to understanding the videos, sculpture, and installations on view. (It comes from an aphorism attributed to Vaclav Havel: In the West everything works, and nothing matters; in the East nothing works, and everything matters.) In Kos’s elegant constructions, every detail is important. What matters most, however, is the viewer’s participation; without it a number of pieces remain mute or incomplete.

Everything matters in other senses as

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