After No-Water-In (2011), P420 is pleased to present RIVER-RUN, a solo show by the American artist Richard Nonas (New York, 1936) specifically created for the gallery’s new spaces.
The art of Richard Nonas is constructed with simple materials (wood, iron, stone) and elementary forms that can nevertheless be deceptive: the apparent simplicity serves as a tool that leads to deeper human interpretation and analysis; punctuating and filtering experience, because – as Jung asserted – nothing is more complex than simplicity.
RIVER-RUN interprets the force of places, bringing with it multiple possible visions to observe the world, where doubt and ambiguity take on body in crude, raw, heavy, industrial or natural materials, conserving simple and ordinary forms.
Nonas distinguishes the concept of space from that of place. If space is seen as a physical property of pure measurement, then place is space imbued with human meaning. They are sites of strong emotional impact, where sharing and the force of suggestion lie at the origin of everything. Place is that ancient algorithm.
RIVER-RUN is an unstoppable flow, the cyclical progress of life, being and cessation, an untamable dichotomizing force that runs through the encounter between art and life.
RIVER-RUN provides a privileged vantage point from which sculpture becomes a critical tool, where questioning oneself becomes a race, an unstoppable and necessary flow.
Nonas worked as an anthropologist for 10 years, doing field-work on American Indians in Northern Ontario, Canada, and in Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona. He turned to sculpture in the mid-1960s at age 30. His anthropological work left a deep imprint that affected his sculptural practice and his engagement with the perception of space. Through a Minimalist vocabulary, Nonas developed a body of sculpture that engaged with the issue of place.
Nonas has exhibited extensively throughout the world, making floor-based and wall-mounted works that range in scale and are situated both indoors and out as the permanent installations at the abandoned village Vière et les Moyennes Montagnes, Digne-les-Bains, France (2012) and at the Fondazione Ratti (2003-2011).
His most recent solo shows are Richard Nonas: ridge (out, away, back) just opened at The Art Institute of Chicago (2016), The man in the empty space al MASS MoCA, Massachusetts (2016), Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna (2015), Galerie Hans Mayer, Dusseldorf (2014), Fergus McCaffrey, New York (2014). Among the group exhibitions: Forty, MoMA PS1, NY (2016), Testing Testing: Painting and Sculpture since 1960 from the Permanent Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2015), The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: 50 Works for 50 States, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, East Logan (2015), SELF: Portraits of Artists in Their Absence, National Academy Museum, New York (2015), Richard Nonas / Donald Judd, Fergus McCaffrey, St. Barth, Gustavia, (2014), Cross-Cuts, Clocktower Gallery & Radio, New York (2014).
Richard Nonas, Untitled, 1974, iron, cm.10,5x35x10
Richard Nonas, Untitled, 1982, oil pastel on folded paper, cm.11,5x18,5
Richard Nonas, Untitled, 2016, 74 curbstones, variable dimensions
Richard Nonas, Ridge, 2014, 9 wooden Rail Road ties, variable dimensions
Richard Nonas, Untitled, 2016, wood, 6 elements, cm.80x80x39
Richard Nonas, Untitled, 2016, wood, 4 elements, cm.80x80x39