David Weiss, Untitled, 1979, ink and gouache on paper, 36 1/2 × 52 3/4".

David Weiss

Swiss Institute / CONTEMPORARY ART

David Weiss, Untitled, 1979, ink and gouache on paper, 36 1/2 × 52 3/4".

Before there was Fischli & Weiss, there were Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Fischli was still only in his twenties when they began collaborating in 1979, so presumably his solo oeuvre was as yet rather small. Weiss, on the other hand, was already thirty-three. And, as it turns out, he had already been quite prolific, if only on paper, despite the fact that, as Stephan Kunz writes in the catalogue for “David Weiss: Works, 1968–1979”—which was previously shown at the Bündner Kunstmuseum in Chur, Switzerland, where Kunz is the director—his “entry into the world of art did not follow a straight line.” In New York, the exhibition included 125 items (mostly individual sheets but also several books). While a few of these were large-scale nonrepresentational works composed of reticula that seem to test the potential of abstract painting, the majority of the works that were on

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