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William Anastasi: Sound Works 1963-2013

I’ve talked a lot about Sound Art, Minimalism and the Fluxus movement lately. Hunter College is about to mount an art historically important show that touches on the development of Conceptual Art as well as Minimalism- through the lens of William Anastasi, one of the pioneers of these movements. More interestingly, the show will be made up of his sound investigations, shedding light into his oeuvre through his obsession with sound. Opens October 4th.


Hunter College Art Galleries Presents 
William Anastasi: Sound Works 1963-2013

October 4 – November 30, 2013
Opening reception October 3, 6-8PM


Sound Works examines the importance of sound in the work of William Anastasi (b. 1933), one of the key figures in the development of Conceptual, Process, and Minimal Art. Since the early 1960s sound has played a central role in Anastasi’s relentless investigations into the status, autonomy, and representational function of the art object.  Bringing together works from 1963 to the present, Sound Works marks the first comprehensive exhibition to focus exclusively on William Anastasi’s varied use of and engagement with sound. By showcasing sound as a consistent thread in his pioneering efforts to question aesthetic norms, this exhibition provides a unique lens through which to consider Anastasi’s artistic innovations and contributes to the ongoing critical reappraisal of his oeuvre.

This ensemble of objects and drawings explores the complex relationship between sound and image, and yields a range of conceptual and phenomenological tensions: between active and passive, presence and absence, creation and destruction. In so doing, Anastasi raises important questions about site and medium specificity, the dematerialization of the aesthetic object, and the dynamic nature of sense experience and perception. Cumulatively, Sound Works offers visitors an unprecedented opportunity to consider both the importance of sound to Anastasi’s broader artistic practice as well as Anastasi’s significance to the emerging art movements of the 1960s and beyond.

William Anastasi: Sound Works, 1963–2013 opens at a pivotal moment in the artist’s career—in the year of his eightieth birthday— and coincides with a resurgence of interest in sound based art.  This unique timing opens the door for critical discussion of the development of sound art and Anastasi’s pivotal role in its history. 

Image caption: Photo of William Anastasi with Window on the Airshaft (1964) c. 1966

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