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Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan Spekulieren (to speculate), 2020

Paul Chan
Spekulieren (to speculate), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 150 x 48 inches (381 x 243.8 cm) each
Frames: 155 x 53 x 3 inches (393.7 x 134.6 x 7.6 cm) each

Paul Chan, der Rotz (snot), 2020

Paul Chan

der Rotz (snot), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan Kurieren (or to cure / to heal), 2020

Paul Chan
Kurieren (or to cure / to heal), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 50 5/8 x 98 3/4 inches (128.6 x 250.8 cm)
Frame: 54 5/8 x 102 3/4 x 2 7/8 inches (138.7 x 261 x 7.3 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, der Grieche, griechisch, Griechenland (the Greek, Greek, Greece), 2020

Paul Chan

der Grieche, griechisch, Griechenland (the Greek, Greek, Greece), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 49 7/8 x 38 3/8 inches (126.7 x 97.5 cm)
Frame: 53 1/8 x 41 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches (134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm)

Paul Chan, die Währung (currency), 2020

Paul Chan

die Währung (currency), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 49 7/8 x 38 3/8 inches (126.7 x 97.5 cm)
Frame: 53 1/8 x 41 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches (134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm)

Paul Chan, die Nelke (carnation), 2020

Paul Chan

die Nelke (carnation), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 49 7/8 x 38 3/8 inches (126.7 x 97.5 cm)
Frame: 53 1/8 x 41 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches (134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm)

Paul Chan, neuartig (anew), 2020

Paul Chan

neuartig (anew), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 49 7/8 x 38 3/8 inches (126.7 x 97.5 cm)
Frame: 53 1/8 x 41 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches (134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, versäumen (to fail to do something), 2020

Paul Chan

versäumen (to fail to do something), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 49 7/8 x 38 3/8 inches (126.7 x 97.5 cm)
Frame: 53 1/8 x 41 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches (134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm)

Paul Chan, die Galerie (gallery), 2020

Paul Chan

die Galerie (gallery), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 49 7/8 x 38 3/8 inches (126.7 x 97.5 cm)
Frame: 53 1/8 x 41 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches (134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm)

Paul Chan, der Quatsch, quatschig (nonsense, nonsensical), 2020

Paul Chan

der Quatsch, quatschig (nonsense, nonsensical), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 49 7/8 x 38 3/8 inches (126.7 x 97.5 cm)
Frame: 53 1/8 x 41 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches (134.9 x 105.7 x 4.4 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan die Seuche (epidemic), 2020

Paul Chan
die Seuche (epidemic), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 50 1/2 x 136 inches (128.3 x 345.4 cm)
Frame: 54 1/2 x 140 x 2 7/8 inches (138.4 x 355.6 x 7.3 cm)

Paul Chan Primitiv, 2020

Paul Chan
Primitiv, 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 50 1/2 x 132 inches (128.3 x 335.3 cm)
Frame: 54 5/8 x 136 1/8 x 2 7/8 inches (138.7 x 345.8 x 7.3 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, das Edelweiß, 2020

Paul Chan

das Edelweiß, 2020

Ink on paper

Paper: 39 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches (99.7 x 69.9 cm)

Frame: 42 1/2 x 30 7/8 x 1 1/2 inches (108 x 78.4 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, die Pflege, pflegen, der Pfleger (care, to take care, caretaker), 2020

Paul Chan

die Pflege, pflegen, der Pfleger (care, to take care, caretaker), 2020

Ink on paper

Paper: 39 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches (99.7 x 69.9 cm)

Frame: 42 1/2 x 30 7/8 x 1 1/2 inches (108 x 78.4 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, die Amsel (blackbird), 2020

Paul Chan

die Amsel (blackbird), 2020

Ink on paper

Paper: 39 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches (99.7 x 69.9 cm)

Frame: 42 1/2 x 30 7/8 x 1 1/2 inches (108 x 78.4 x 3.8 cm)

 

Paul Chan, die Börse (stock market), 2020

Paul Chan

die Börse (stock market), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 39 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches (99.7 x 69.9 cm)
Frame: 42 1/2 x 30 7/8 x 1 1/2 inches (108 x 78.4 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan das Denkmal (monument), 2020

Paul Chan
das Denkmal (monument), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 73 1/4 x 50 1/2 inches (186.1 x 128.3 cm)
Frame: 77 5/8 x 54 3/8 inches (197.2 x 138.1 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, der Geist, geistig (spirit, spiritual), 2020

Paul Chan

der Geist, geistig (spirit, spiritual), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 39 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches (99.7 x 69.9 cm)
Frame: 42 1/2 x 30 7/8 x 1 1/2 inches (108 x 78.4 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, der Satan (Satan), 2020

Paul Chan

der Satan (Satan), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 39 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches (99.7 x 69.9 cm)
Frame: 42 1/2 x 30 7/8 x 1 1/2 inches (108 x 78.4 x 3.8 cm)

 

Paul Chan, die Auferstehung (Resurrection), 2020

Paul Chan

die Auferstehung (Resurrection), 2020

Ink on paper

Paper: 39 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches (99.7 x 69.9 cm)

Frame: 42 1/2 x 30 7/8 x 1 1/2 inches (108 x 78.4 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, die Grippe (Krankheit) [flu (illness)], 2020

Paul Chan

die Grippe (Krankheit) [flu (illness)], 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 39 1/4 x 27 1/2 inches (99.7 x 69.9 cm)
Frame: 42 1/2 x 30 7/8 x 1 1/2 inches (108 x 78.4 x 3.8 cm)

 

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, das Eichhörnchen, Eichkätzchen (squirrel, oak kitten), 2020

Paul Chan

das Eichhörnchen, Eichkätzchen (squirrel, oak kitten), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan die Essenz (essence), 2020

Paul Chan
die Essenz (essence), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan abspenstig (alienating), 2020

Paul Chan
abspenstig (alienating), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, zwitschern (to tweet), 2020

Paul Chan

zwitschern (to tweet), 2020

Ink on paper

Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)

Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, der Rechtsanwalt (lawyer), 2020

Paul Chan

der Rechtsanwalt (lawyer), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, das Verbrechen (crime), 2020

Paul Chan

das Verbrechen (crime), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, der Pfirsich (peach), 2020

Paul Chan

der Pfirsich (peach), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, der Fühler (feeler), 2020

Paul Chan

der Fühler (feeler), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, der Honig (honey), 2020

Paul Chan

der Honig (honey), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan das Gebet (prayer), 2020

Paul Chan
das Gebet (prayer), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 70 x 42 inches (177.8 x 106.7 cm)
Frame: 73 1/2 x 45 1/2 inches (186.7 x 115.6 cm)

Paul Chan Kultur (culture), 2020

Paul Chan
Kultur (culture), 2020
Ink on paper
Paper: 122 3/4 x 48  inches (311.8 x 121.9 cm)
Frame: 126 3/4 x 52 x 2 7/8 inches (321.9 x 132.1 x 7.3 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, die Auskunft, Auskünfte (information), 2020

Paul Chan

die Auskunft, Auskünfte (information), 2020

Ink on paper

Paper: 15 x 11 inches (38.1 x 27.9 cm)

Frame: 23 3/8 x 19 3/8 x 1 3/8 inches (59.4 x 49.2 x 3.5 cm)

Paul Chan, heimlich (secret), 2020

Paul Chan

heimlich (secret), 2020

Ink on paper
Paper: 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)
Frame: 36 x 28 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches (91.4 x 71.8 x 3.8 cm)

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, Installation view, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020

Paul Chan, die Maske, maskieren (mask, to mask), 2020

Paul Chan

die Maske, maskieren (mask, to mask), 2020

Ink on paper

Paper: 15 x 11 inches (38.1 x 27.9 cm)

Frame: 23 3/8 x 19 3/8 x 1 3/8 inches (59.4 x 49.2 x 3.5 cm)

Paul Chan, der Kauz, das Käuzchen (owl, little owl), 2020

Paul Chan

der Kauz, das Käuzchen (owl, little owl), 2020

Ink on paper

Paper: 15 x 11 inches (38.1 x 27.9 cm)

Frame: 23 3/8 x 19 3/8 x 1 3/8 inches (59.4 x 49.2 x 3.5 cm)

Press Release

Paul Chan

Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein

November 6 – December 19, 2020

Ground Floor

 

Greene Naftali is pleased to present Paul Chan’s solo exhibition, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein. The artist’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery, Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein features a series of drawings Chan created as illustrations for his latest publication, Word Book, which was published in the fall of 2020.

 

From the artist:

 

More than ten years ago, I heard a rumor about how Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote a textbook for children. I have never felt close to Wittgenstein’s work: too axiomatic, too bloodless. But the more I learned about the circumstances that led to him writing this textbook, which was originally titled Wörterbuch für Volksschulen (or Dictionary for Elementary Schools), the more curious I became.

 

In 2018, I located a copy of Wörterbuch. And I was bewitched. It has never been translated into English. He wrote it in 1925, during a time when he was just beginning to change, as a person and a philosopher. By the early 1920s, Wittgenstein was already famous for his first book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. He was teaching at Cambridge, and was expected to be the heir apparent to Bertrand Russell. But Wittgenstein was deeply unhappy there. He once said he was “tired of prostituting his mind for smart people.” So in 1921 he abandoned Cambridge and his privileged philosophical career, and become an elementary school teacher in rural Austria.

 

For six years he taught poor kids in grades four through six. During this time, it occurred to him that a good “dictionary” would help his young students learn. There were only two dictionaries available then. But one was too expensive, and the other was too small and badly put together. So Wittgenstein decided to write one. Word Book is the first English translation of Wörterbuch. It consists of words and concepts (5,968 terms in all) chosen by Wittgenstein as part of his curriculum. But it is also a revealing document of Wittgenstein’s own mind changing as a result of teaching (and learning) from children. He reconsidered his entire philosophy after his experience. Word Book is an utterly unique work from a formidable philosopher who ended up learning from his students about what it means to understand the world, and a testament to how a mind is changed, if one is willing to let go of a certain idea of who one happens to be. My left hand is my non-dominant hand. I typically draw with my right hand. I’ve done what I call “left-handed path” drawings before. And it struck me as the way to go in making drawings for Word Book. The spirit of authority is not what motivates the drawings and the book. It’s rather the notion that one’s strength is really one’s weakness, which makes possible the idea that one’s weakness—given the right circumstances or frame of mind—may be one’s real strength. I also like how the concept of the “left-handed path” is synonymous with alternative forms of belief, like mysticism and “black” magic. Or reason today.

 

I like drawing with my left hand because it feels as if different stakes about what matters on paper became visible to me. Maybe that’s all we’re ever looking for in making any work: new ways to see the stakes that matter.

 

Paul Chan

August 2020

 

An online launch event for Word Book will be hosted by Metrograph on Tuesday, November 17 at 8PM. The event will feature a live screening of Derek Jarman’s film Wittgenstein with an introduction by artist and Badlands Unlimited publisher Paul Chan. Jarman’s film will also be available to view on demand November 18–19. Please visit metrograph.com for more information.

 

Word Book is now available to purchase at Greene Naftali or on Bookshop.org.