new-york

View of “Richard Nonas,” 2013.

Richard Nonas

James Fuentes

View of “Richard Nonas,” 2013.

It is disconcerting to hear Richard Nonas refer to James Fuentes gallery, the site of his most recent solo show in New York, as an “uneasy, unsteady space,” until it becomes clear that this is a compliment. What he means is that the place has character; rather than the neutral background of a white cube, it offers the idiosyncrasies and imperfections that make a space worth engaging. Explaining further, Nonas describes himself as “fascinated by architecture but also upset by it”—fascinated by its power to shape space and thereby establish place, a fundamental concern of his own work, but upset by its frequent failure to make the most of this capacity.

Given that he belongs to the generation that spanned both Minimalism and post-Minimalism, Nonas might have been expected to take matters into his own hands, confronting architecture on its own terms with building-scale works or

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