Max Neuhaus: Circumscription Drawings, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX


Max Neuhaus: Circumscription Drawings, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX, MINUS SPACE, Brooklyn

(left to right) Max Neuhaus, Drawing: Three to One, 1992
Colored pencil on paper, 35 1/4 x 29 1/8 inches
Sound Work References: Exhibition: Documenta 9,
Collection: Documenta, Location: AOK Building, Kassel, Germany
Dimensions: 7 x 16 x 3 meters; Extant: 1992-present

May 4 — August 10, 2008 

Max Neuhaus belongs to a generation of artists whose work changed the parameters and transformed the experience of art in the 1960s. A pioneer in the use of sound in contemporary art, he coined the term “sound installation” to describe his practice based on the creation of unique sounds for specific locations. As opposed to the temporal experience of hearing a piece of music, his work presents sound as a continuous material used to engage our perception of the physical space around us. Through the invisible medium of sound, Neuhaus alters the way we apprehend the world. He has said, “We sense the size and nature of the space around us with our ears as well as our eyes. Our culture is so visual, though, that we tend to forget about the aural side of things.”

In addition to his work with sound, Neuhaus has long been engaged in drawing, producing visual counterparts to the sound pieces both as proposals for ideas to be executed later and as responses to existing sound works. Neuhaus calls this latter type “circumscription drawings”; they consist of two panels, an image and a corresponding text, hung side by side. The exhibition will bring together a selection of these drawings executed between 1992 and 2007, responses to sound works from as early as 1968, many of which have never been displayed in the U.S. The exhibition will coincide with the inauguration of the new sound work, Sound Line commissioned from Neuhaus for a location just outside the building’s north entrance.