Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions

88 9/16 x 3/4" (225 x 1.9 cm) and 41 5/16 x 3/4" (105 x 1.9 cm)
Partial gift of the Daled Collection and partial purchase through the generosity of Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Agnes Gund, Marie Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley
© 2014 Peter Downsbrough / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Peter Downsbrough. Two Poles. 1974

Wood, 88 9/16 x 3/4" (225 x 1.9 cm) and 41 5/16 x 3/4" (105 x 1.9 cm). Partial gift of the Daled Collection and partial purchase through the generosity of Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Agnes Gund, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley

Peter Downsbrough: Hello, my name is Peter Downsbrough. The two poles—they were originally an idea of marking a point in the space of a room. They bifurcated, they cut the space and articulated a kind of junction, because they overlap, and a distance apart, because it's not one pole, it's two, and not three, it's two again, as a way of getting rid of any kind of composition. With three you would have to have composition. With one, then, why there? In this instance they relate to each other.

It's setting up an interaction with the space and also the viewer, because it works very much with the viewer and where the viewer is in the space and where the piece is in the space and where the space itself is. So they all relate at that moment to each other.

I started working in the early '60s and trying to make sculpture, and then because of my interest in the architecture, started trying to figure out, with the least amount of material, to create the most amount of interaction with a space. And so I started using the lines not on the page but in the space and reducing that, refining, too—and a question of the connection between the floor and the ceiling and being a vertical situation rather than a horizontal situation.

Quite often people are accusing me, as it were, saying, "Oh, but you're a minimalist." And I say, "No, no. I'm not a minimalist at all. I'm a maximalist, 'cause I can't do more than I do."

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