William Anastasi: Blind Drawings: 1963-2018

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Open: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

6 Albemarle Street, W1S 4BY, London West End, UK
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-5pm


William Anastasi: Blind Drawings: 1963-2018


William Anastasi: Blind Drawings: 1963-2018
to Sat 18 Jan 2020
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

Marlborough presents an exhibition of New York artist William Anastasi’s Blind Drawings, a group of elegant works on paper created over a fifty-year period using various “unsighted” strategies.


Untitled (Blind Self-Portrait), 2010
Pen on rice paper
12 1/2 x 8 1/2 in., 31.8 x 21.6 cm
Photo: Pierre Le Hors

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Untitled (Blind Self-Portrait), ca. 1970
Graphite on paper
22 1/4 x 39 7/8 in., 56.5 x 101.3 cm
Photo: Pierre Le Hors

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Untitled (Burst Drawing), 2013
Graphite on paper
30 x 22 1/2 in., 76.2 x 57.1 cm
Photo: Pierre Le Hors

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Untitled (Walking Drawing), 2011
Pen on paper
7 5/8 x 11 3/4 in., 19.4 x 29.8 cm
Photo: Pierre Le Hors

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Added to list



Marlborough William Anastasi 1

Marlborough William Anastasi 2

Marlborough William Anastasi 3

In 1977, William Anastasi began playing chess with John Cage. At that time, Anastasi was living in Harlem and would travel to Cage’s 18th Street apartment via the subway. The journey became the perfect opportunity to revive his earlier experiments with the creation of seismographic unsighted drawings. With a sheet of paper on his lap, Anastasi allowed the movement of the subway to make the drawing.

As Charles Stuckey has written in his catalogue text:

Instead of the primacy of hand-to-eye coordination in traditional drawing, Anastasi’s emphasis is on hand-to-mind coordination, in the tradition of surrealist automatism, surrendering the artist’s conscious and/or manual control in order to consider the graphic results as messages of some significance communicated by the whole self, the body in tandem with the mind.

The works in the show utilize a number of different unsighted techniques:
Dot Drawings (dots inside a drawn circle made in sync to the sound of Bach’s 96 Preludes and Fugues)
Subway Drawings, Walking Drawings (provoked by motion)
Pocket Drawings (made with folded paper and a pencil stub)
Burst Drawings (hands extended from the center of the paper, referencing Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man)
Resignation Drawings (repeatedly drawing the figure eight)
Drop Drawings (a circle is cut into a sheet of paper that is repeatedly bombarded from the top of a ladder by a graphite stick)

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with texts by Dove Bradshaw and Charles Stuckey, and an interview with the artist Maurizio Cattelan.

William Anastasi has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including those at Esbjerg Museum of Modern Art in Esbjerg, Denmark, the Drawing Center in New York, the Landes Museum in Linz, Germany and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Anastasi’s work is included in in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York as well as many other museums in the United States and around the world.

Courtesy of Marlborough, London. Photo: Luke Walker


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