November 3, 2011
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What do you say to a guy who’s most frequently described as the artist who “radically redefined the status of the object in art”? I don’t usually get nervous about biography points like this, but I made an exception for Haim Steinbach. Unlike a lot of art, there’s no answer key to his angular shelves and arrangement of objects – and that can make a viewer nervous. Certainly, it affected me; it took two anxiety-filled weeks just produce a 700-word review on his show at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery last month, and I still worry about whether I got it right.
Steinbach himself, though, isn’t quite so intimidating. Now 67, the New York-based artist seems just as interested in the door hinge next to him as he might be about any given conversation. He’s obsessed with objects in the world around him. Recently, we talked about how that intense focus informs his work and thinking.