Richard Nonas American, 1936-2021

“I place each sculpture to acknowledge the historical presence and meaning of the particular place which my sculpture will then destroy. I place it specificall y to change one place into another place containing onl y the memory, the ghost of the first and very different place. I place it to create a pl ace that was unthinkable before my sculpture was set there. I place it to activel y cut back the given world; to prune and prime it, to add to it, and change it- as all world and nature is constantl y cut, changed and primed by culture."

"I site each sculpture to re-open, then close the part of the world it’s put into. I site it to conjure into human existence an actual new history.  I place it to acknowledge the very possibility of history in a world that slips away .”

Richard Nonas uses sculpture to think about both the space itself and what shapes our physical and mental perception of it. He wants to create places (he challenges the term “installation”) that have the power to question and move us, to transform our view of all the places we live and move around in. The elements that make up his minimalist arrangements – the wooden beams, blocks of granite or steel arranged according to simple and repetitive designs – mark the territory in which they are situated, punctuating the space, inter- rupting and refreshing it.

1  Richard Nonas, Get out / Stay away / Come back (Paris: Les presses du réel, Ecrits d’artistes, 1995), p. 16–17.