This suite of six silkscreened works was produced for Cory Gallery in 1974. The series furthered Richard Kostelanetz’s investigations into language, considering whether poems and stories could be composed of numerals alone. The works take the viewer through a sequence of relations within a numeric ‘world,’ which can be deduced according to a logical system as well as interpreted poetically in their visual harmonies and diffusions.
Of the series Kostelanetz writes, “The relationships are all those of simple arithmetic, complexly and I hope artistically understood; it is no exaggeration to say that a five year old could understand them. Nonetheless, I consider this the most rational, most empirical art anyone had ever made, in that even after you have identified relationships acknowledged by everyone, there still remains a mystery.”
In the pair TWO INTERVALS, each number is related to those adjacent to it, either vertically or horizontally, by the interval of one or three (plus or minus one, plus or minus three). The top line in an upper right-hand corner reads 56903478125, which is respectively plus one, plus three, plus one (or ten, which is also zero, because there are no two digit numbers in either this system or that of the next piece, Parallel Intervals). If you read this line backwards, the intervals are minus three, minus one, minus three, minus one, etc. Start with one, which is also read as eleven, minus three equals eight. In left half of the entire image, the horizontal lines are a series of subtractions when read from left to right. When read downwards, those in the upper left-hand quadrant add; those on the bottom half subtract when read downwards. Don’t neglect the visual shimmer or parallel diamonds running over the entire visual field.
Richard Kostelanetz, b. 1940 is a writer, artist, critic and editor. He lives and works in New York.
Edition of 150
Signed and numbered
35.5 × 27.75 inches framed
30 × 22 inches unframed