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William Anastasi
Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, California
by Jody Zellen

William Anastasi, “Bababad (ton),” 2014, oil, crayon and graphite on canvas, 89 x 74”


Continuing through January 6, 2018

William Anastasi is a New York based artist associated with the early conceptualists. Born in 1933, despite a long and productive career, his work is rarely shown in Los Angeles, this being his first show here in ten years, and it is compelling. Included are three Untitled works, made with closed eyes as Anastasi traveled through the city or countryside making marks on paper as he moved. The titles of these pieces document the places where they were made. For example, "Untitled (Subway Drawing, 10.9.10/10.10.10/10.28.10)" (2010).

Anastasi carries the idea of automatic mark-making to other works — such as "Donald Duck” (1998) which was drawn from memory, which was the whole idea. Large paintings from 2012-14 come from Anastasi's “Bababad" series and "depict the sound of God's voice upon the fall of Adam and Eve in 'Finnegan's Wake,' a sound called the thunderword in Joycean scholarship." These oilstick, crayon and graphite paintings, an homage to James Joyce, fuse language and abstraction. Anastasi's work functions on many layers in a rich fusion of conceptual and formal concerns.

Ghebaly Gallery

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