In this 35-year retrospective, New York artist, designer and author Edwin Schlossberg demonstrates a dedication to the written word as art object in a way that has remained remarkably consistent through the years. His endeavor can be compared with both Constructivist design and Eastern calligraphy -- although he prefers mechanically produced text. Many of his recent objects and installations correspond to certain conceptual works, such as those by Cage, Kosuth and Weiner.
Schlossberg, 55, knew Cage, Cunningham and a number of other Duchamp-influenced members of New York's avant-garde while still a student at Columbia in the early 1960s. Displayed in a vitrine, the earliest group of works in the exhibition, Foil Poems (1966-67), are books with words typed on aluminum pages. Elsewhere, illuminated metal plates suspended on wires have cut-out letters that form a kind of shadow-play text on the wall. The pieces are often filled with puns, such as "I Object Defy Myself" in Poems I Object (1969). More recent sculptural works contain cryptic passages like "except for you, I am a constellation." And in some, layers of lettering mesh into purely abstract patterns.
"Edwin Schlossberg Retrospective," Mar. 2-Mar. 30, 2001, at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, N.Y. 10003.