A founding figure of conceptual and minimalist art, and a friend of John Cage, William Anastasi creates art that investigates the autonomy and representational function of art objects. Aesthetic norms, medium specificity, and phenomenological relations are called into question by Anastasi’s incorporation of auditory elements. One of his first artworks, Microphone, allows a tape recorder to record its own sound, while Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony nails an unspooled audio tape to a wall. With the goal of dissecting the difference between seeing and perceiving, Anastasi began producing intuited blind drawings, made with closed eyes while listening to music, to explore the relationship between sound and sight. Anastasi’s “Walking Drawings” and “Subway Drawings”, in which the act of walking and the motion of a subway car, respectively, dictate the movement of his hand, developed from the original blind drawings.
American, b. 1933, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York