How arbitrary are the marks, analog and digital, used to express language, and where do they begin to muck it all up? This first book from Tauba Auerbach, Yes and Not Yes features over 20 new paintings and drawings that spring from those questions. They offer an excellent if roundabout answer: while letters are largely arbitrary, they are rich with abstract beauty and conceptual depth. In razor-sharp execution–which reveals her training as a sign painter–Auerbach’s works on panel and paper update the abstract conceptual tradition, while retaining its intellectual rigor. Uppercase Insides and Numeral Insides recall Russian Suprematism, and, upon further contemplation, turn out to be just what their titles call them. Works based on signal flags and the Ugaritic Alphabet–an extinct language from Syria, 1300 B.C.–confirm that puzzlement is part of the desired effect here. Where direct exchange between sign and meaning is impossible, the beauty of the symbol comes to the fore.