A primary player in the first generation of American Conceptual artists, William Anastasi is a “classmate” of such artists as Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt, and Hans Haacke. Though his name may not be as well known as his more famous contemporaries, his work is no less compelling. Anastasi’s formal education includes and is limited to high school, however, he has lectured at numerous institutions including the School of Visual Arts where he taught for 18 years, the University of North Carolina, and Yale University.
Well known for his delving concepts, the media of his work takes all forms. Anastasi’s subway drawings which prevail as some of his most subtle, albeit engaging, works. Stemming from his Blind Drawing series, the Subway Drawings take their shape from the motion of the subway cars on which he rides. Placing the pencil on the page, the turns of the track and ridges in the wheels push the artist’s hand this way and that creating a cacophony of marks, reminiscent of a naive scribble. The chance taken in this manner of working is what drives the mystery and tension that is inherent to the process of making.
Anastasi’s work has enjoyed a star studded collection of showings nationally and internationally including Dwan Gallery, New York; The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Stalke Galleri, Copenhagen. His work is in some of the world’s most prestigious collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; and the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, among others.