About twenty years ago John Cage introduced me William Anastasi. He loved Anastasi, his thoughts, his mind, his soul. It happened in 1988 at his home. John told me - «Emanuel, you will know a great artist, a great person, who will become your friend for life. And John was right. They were close friends. William and John played chess virtually everyday along about fifteen years. Anastasi was a pioneer in conceptual art, in the first years of the 1960. More than this, for him art is in continuous transformation as a permanent reflection and contemplation of life. His amazing work has been, for more than forty years, a source of inspiration to people like Christo, Carl Andre and Sol Lewitt among many others. Harald Szeemann told me, a few weeks before his disappearance, that William Anastasi is one of the most important artists, all over the world, after the communication revolution started in the 1960s. And, like John Cage, he was right. Not only a great artist, he also is an expert on Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Jarry and James Joyce - his formidable book William Anastasi's Pataphysical Society clearly unveils his luminous soul.
Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta
For more than forty years, William Anastasi has been actively changing the way we perceive art, interpret the world and construct our lives. (...) Anastasi has been a pioneer more than once...
Jean-Michel Rabaté and Aaron Levy
Anastasi is the kind of artist for whom theory itself is a material from which he makes works. (...) This was based on Aristotle's idea in the Nicomachean Ethics that human nature breaks down into three faculties: the cognitive, the ethical and the aesthetic. (...) Anastasi's own work must be seem as continuing, extending, and ramifying Duchamp's project of making art cognitive... ...he, like Duchamp, emphasized the pure primal concentration of cognition that is suggested by Aristotle's Thought that Thinks Itself...
...the contribution of William Anastasi to art and the general morale of art in his generation, the more fully I comprehend an uncommonly perspicacious neo-Duchampianism that now in a surprisingly Joycean way, with Jarry as provocateur to both, persists in sustaining the great game that is art.
Thanks to William Anastasi's credible research we are now beginning to understand the profound influence of Jarry's thoughts and writings on the work of both Duchamp and Joyce.