reviews

William Anastasi

The Drawing Center

For perhaps four decades, William Anastasi has been a sort of New York art-world secret: a conceptual artist who in the early 1960s began to generate extremely original ideas that seemed to predict a range of later works by other artists but at the same time to have been only tangentially influential, for while those later works made it into the journals, textbooks, and museums, Anastasi’s own did to a far lesser degree. Yet artists and critics who saw his shows back then tend to remember them well. For others who came to New York later, but who have met Anastasi and talked with him about his work (the best, sometimes the only way to learn about it when it wasn’t widely on view), his story has seemed a cautionary tale and his career an enigma: Here was a man who seemed to have done all his time could have asked of an artist, and to have done it early, yet who had somehow failed to make

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