Paul Chan “Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein”

Greene Naftali Gallery

poster for Paul Chan “Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein”
Bookmark this event [0]
Recommend this event [0]


Ends in 20 days
Closed Today (Sunday)

Ground Floor

In 1920, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) abandoned his life and career at the University of Cambridge to teach poor children in rural Austria. During this period, he published only his second and last book in his lifetime: Wörterbuch für Volksschulen (or Dictionary for Elementary Schools). Word Book, published by Chan’s imprint Badlands Unlimited, is the first and only 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 ideas changing as a result of teaching (and learning) from children, 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. Chan’s forthcoming solo exhibition Drawings for Word Book by Ludwig Wittgenstein consists of drawings made for, and inspired by, Word Book. Each drawing uses a term from the book as a point of departure, and were created using what Chan calls “the left-handed path.” As Chan describes it: “I typically draw with my right hand, so my left hand is my non-dominant hand. I’ve done what I call ‘left-handed path’ drawings before. And it struck me as the way to go here, because the spirit of authority is not what motivates the drawings and the book. Instead it’s 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, or witchcraft. Or maybe even how Reason is considered today.”

Word Book is available starting November 3. Pre-order now via

Paul Chan lives and works in New York. He was the 2014 recipient of the Hugo Boss Prize, which coincided with his solo exhibition Nonprojections for New Lovers at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2015. In 2019, Chan was one of six artists to co-curate the group exhibition, Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection. Recent solo exhibitions include Odysseus and the Bathers, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens (2018); Bathers at Night, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada (2018); Rhi Anima, Greene Naftali, New York (2017); Pillowsophia, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (2017); Hippias Minor, Deste Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra, Greece (2015); Selected Works, Schaulager, Basel (2014); My laws are my whores, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago (2009); The 7 L̶i̶g̶h̶t̶s̶, New Museum, New York (2008); and The 7 L̶i̶g̶h̶t̶s̶, Serpentine Gallery, London (2007).



from November 06, 2020 to December 19, 2020
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-6pm.


Paul Chan

Website (venue's website)



Venue Hours

From 10:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Sundays


Address: 508 W 26th St., Ground Floor and 8th Floor, New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-463-7770 Fax: 212-463-0890

Between 10th and 11th Ave. Subway: C/E to 23rd Street.

Google map

When you visit, why not mention you found this venue on New York Art Beat?

  • Facebook


    All content on this site is © their respective owner(s).
    New York Art Beat (2008) - About - Contact - Privacy - Terms of Use