Over the years Richard Nonas has created an oeuvre, that doesn´t deny the simplicity of materials, their regular arrangements and the sheer mass, but connects it with the real space, the shared space of the viewer. It is more than a formalist investigation. For Richard Nonas installation means putting together a show.
“What interested me … was not minimalist ‘specific objects’ but rather the possibility of nonspecific charged ones: ‘dangerous objects’ whose power lay in their weird nonspecificity, their emotional slipperiness… . Tense, almost-vibrating objects were what I wanted, formal objects on the edge of becoming emotionally charged specific places.” Richard Nonas (2004)
from the notebooks:
“ DRAWINGS.... summer 1989; and now.
My drawings should be absolutely present. I am not interested in drawings full of detail or visual flourishes, as sculptor's drawings often are. I do not want drawings to be essays in either style or theory. —I want them to be objects; things.
They must exist and be felt as things --things in their own thingness, not defined by their detail but by their own spatial presence, their single being. They must be markers of space, creators of differentiated place. They must be things that create place from time; things that cut the cord of both measure and duration. They must speak the unequivocal language of things, the language before language, the language of the possibility of language; the language of stoppage and presence, of separation and focus. —The slippery language, that is to say, of art.
For absolute presence bent by time —what Beckett calls 'A place. Where none.'— is, for me, the continuing project of art.