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David Rabinowitch, Phantom Group: Sculptures and Works on paper from 1967

Peter Blum (Soho)
99 Wooster Street, 212-343-0441
November 16, 2006 - January 20, 2007
Web Site

The series of sculptures made in 1967 known as the Phantom Group has key characteristics in common with earlier Rabinowitch works. The ground plane is taken as the sculpture’s base. A Phantom is constructed from one unpainted sheet of metal. Breaking the sheet, i.e. bending its mass along a line using vertical force, was first used in making the Box Trough Assemblages of 1963. Curves derived from the cone (the conic sections) are used with straight edges in a manner reminiscent of their application in the Gravitational Vehicles of 1965 and the Wood Constructions of 1966.

Rabinowitch has indicated that the seminal notion behind the inception of the Phantom Group involved imaging each work as a primitive material plane of infinite extension. The conics and straights establish the external boundary of a work. The vertical breaking, applied to both upper and lower surfaces of the plane, establishes interior articulation.

This vertical manipulation exemplifies the force of the gravitational field. The bounding of the plane by conic sections and straight edges creates projective conditions that are different for each stance taken up around a sculpture, yet a grasp of the whole is possible from every stance due to the low-lying nature of the work.
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