Jonathan Borofsky

February 13 – March 13, 2016
192 Books

In the late 1980s, on the heels of his Whitney retrospective (1985), Jonathan Borofsky embarked on the project of painting flags of the world’s nations.  37 were exhibited in a Spring 1988 show at Paula Cooper Gallery on Wooster Street, representing countries from Barbados to Zaire.  They surrounded a soaring blue fiberglass sculpture of a man with a visible flashing red light in his chest and the audible soundtrack of a heartbeat.  Recognizable Borofskian themes were at play: the confrontation of abstract entities with an inalienable human experience, the search for a unifying principle that might transcend political and other divisions, and a sense of wonderment, and apprehension, at the world’s diversity thus flatly categorized.  While John Russell called the flags “adventures for the eye,” (NYT, 4/29/1988), in Donald Kuspit’s view, they “helped induce a state of panic - an intense anxiety about both art and nationality, as equally insulting ideas” (Artforum, September 1988). On view here are three examples: Belgium, Greece and Lebanon.

Also on view is a 1994 piece made of hand-formed steel wire.  Its 32 units are binary code spelling of the word BOOK.

192 Books is located at 192 Tenth Ave @ 21st Street, NYC*

For more information, please contact the gallery: (212) 255-1105 or