joshua neustein texts
The Neustein Papers
by Robert Pincus-Witten

What are some of the issues encoded in Neustein's folds, tears and cuts? They are simple: two halves make a whole, or to halve a half is to make quarters and so on. Folds, tears, and cuts embody absolute and impersonal sequences. That the tear in Neustein is a function of an expressive action, paralleling the painterly gesture of an earlier visual type, is of incidental concern although it allows Neustein a double access of appreciation - the recognition both of an intellectual structure and that of a vestigial expressionist bias. Of course, this "expressionist bias" is itself an intellectual referent signifying the species Painting. (The latter aspect has always seemed to me to be the most potentially risky feature of Neustein's work. Still, it may be necessary if only to have aided in the embodiment of its epistemic aspects. More recent evolutions seem to indicate that this expressive character may yet serve to resolve the growing dilemma surrounding the epistemic movement itself.)

Other aspects of Neustein's content would be, say, the designation of front and back, of recto and verso and, by extension, of ventral and dorsal. To tear a sheet, or to cut it in half and then reverse one of the halves from front to back demonstrates that a whole sheet not only comprises two halves, but that it also comprises a front and a back. All this is eminently obvious. Yet, it often requires rehearsal, especially at this early stage of public support since the public's anticipations are not geared toward the recognition of systems, but toward the narcissistic encounter with sensibility experiences.

Excerpt from Robert Pincus-Witten,

"The Neustein Papers, cat. Tel Aviv Museum, June1977

"The Neustein Papers" Arts Magazine Oct. '77 pp.102-115 Eye to Eye:Twenty Years of Art Criticism (Contemporary American critics by Robert Pincus-Witten, Donald B. Kuspit

The Neustein Essay 1977 Umi Research Pr; January, 1984 from p.131