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A Minimal Future?


Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
MOCA Grand Avenue
250 South Grand Avenue
CA-90012 Los Angeles

MOCA Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles
8687 Melrose Avenue
CA 90069 West Hollywood

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 North Central Avenue
CA 90012 Los Angeles

Kurator: Ann Goldstein

Arbeiten von Carl Andre, Michael Asher, Richard Artschwager, Jo Baer, Robert Barry, Larry Bell, Ronald Bladen, Mel Bochner, John Chamberlain, Judy Chicago, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, Robert Grosvenor, Hans Haacke, Eva Hesse, Douglas Huebler, Ralph Humphrey, Robert Huot, Robert Irwin, Patricia Johanson, Donald Judd, Craig Kauffman, Sol Le Witt, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, John McCracken, Paul Mogensen, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, David Novros, Claes Oldenburg, Dorothea Rockburne, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Frank Stella, Anne Truitt, Lawrence Weiner


LOS ANGELES – A Minimal Future? is the first large-scale historical exhibition in the United States to examine the emergence and foundations of minimal art, a critical milestone in the history of contemporary art. Featuring over 150 key selections and bodies of work from 1958 to 1968 by 40 American artists who emerged by the early-to-mid-1960s, the exhibition opens March 14, 2004, at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) at California Plaza (250 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles), occupying the entire building, and remains on view through August 2, 2004.
Focusing on sculpture and painting, A Minimal Future? features major works by 40 artists within the framework of a scholarly re-examination of minimal art’s emergence and historical context. A Minimal Future? includes works by: Carl Andre, Michael Asher, Richard Artschwager, Jo Baer, Robert Barry, Larry Bell, Ronald Bladen, Mel Bochner, John Chamberlain, Judy Chicago, Dan Flavin, Dan Graham, Robert Grosvenor, Hans Haacke, Eva Hesse, Douglas Huebler, Ralph Humphrey, Robert Huot, Robert Irwin, Patricia Johanson, Donald Judd, Craig Kauffman, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, John McCracken, Paul Mogensen, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, David Novros, Claes Oldenburg, Dorothea Rockburne, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Tony Smith, Robert Smithson, Frank Stella, Anne Truitt, and Lawrence Weiner.
In the 1960s, minimal art shattered traditional notions of artmaking by redefining the form, material, and production of the object and its relationship to physical and temporal space and the spectator. Organized by MOCA Senior Curator Ann Goldstein, A Minimal Future? seeks to define minimal art as a range of related yet often distinct strategies that propelled a renegotiation of the status of artwork from two into three dimensions.
The exhibition offers a redefinition of this critical period by considering it within modernist abstraction and composition, pop art, and conceptual art. Within this context, minimalist practice will be presented as a constellation of dialectical practices and a range of related strategies—in fact, many "minimalisms"—that challenged prevailing aesthetic forms. The title, A Minimal Future? is taken from the cover of the March 1967 issue of Arts Magazine, which assessed the current status and future implications of minimal art, alluding to its early aspirations to reinvent art within the broader climate of social change.
"By contributing to the understanding of its origins and primary issues, and expanding upon the historical and artistic context in which this work has been traditionally considered, A Minimal Future? ultimately provides a forum for further scholarly reconsideration of one of the most significant and influential movements of the 20th century," said Goldstein. Many of the featured works were first included in key one-person and group exhibitions during the period. The exhibition looks at the artists’ respective practices and considers both their similarities and differences.
The first major exhibition to comprehensively reexamine the history of minimal art since the early pivotal exhibitions mounted during that period, A Minimal Future? provides an historical antecedent to MOCA’s 1995 exhibition, 1965–1975: Reconsidering the Object of Art, also organized by Ann Goldstein together with art historian and independent curator Anne Rorimer, which examined the historical foundations of American and European conceptual art.
"Minimal art was among the most influential and profound expressions of the last century," said MOCA Director Jeremy Strick. "The forms and ideas of minimal art continue to resonate powerfully in work produced to this day. Throughout MOCA’s 25 year history, we have presented ambitious and comprehensive historical examinations of the foundations of contemporary art. A Minimal Future? extends this tradition of commitment and scholarship."
The exhibition is accompanied by a 400-page, fully illustrated book, co-published with The M.I.T. Press, that represents a comprehensive historical overview and scholarly re-examination of minimal art. Featuring newly commissioned essays by Diedrich Diederichsen, Jonathan Flatley, Carrie Lambert, James Meyer, Anne Rorimer, the book also includes a reprint of Lucy R. Lippard’s text, “10 Structurists in 20 Paragraphs,” first published in 1968 in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition “Minimal Art” at the Haags Gemeentemuseum in The Netherlands. As well, it includes an introduction by exhibition curator Ann Goldstein, entries on each of the artists, a checklist of works in the exhibition, an extensive exhibition chronology, and a comprehensive bibliography covering the period between 1958 and 1968.
Public Programs
Structures and Systems
Saturday, May 1
Public lectures, 8:45am to 5:00pm, Museum Lecture Hall
Artists Panel, 7:30pm, Harold M. Williams Auditorium
The Getty Center
On the occasion of MOCA's exhibition A Minimal Future?, the Getty presents Structures and Systems: Minimal Art in the United States, a daylong conference exploring the foundations and impact of minimal art. International scholars, art world professionals, and artists will discuss the tremendous challenges that minimal art posed to the institutions and systems of the art world at every level, in terms of how to create, display, sell, preserve, and conserve these often radically unwieldy objects. This conference will be the first of a two-part project developed by the Getty Research Institute that aims to examine the radical transformations that took place within art-making practice in the period around and just after minimalism, in a broadly international context. The second conference, Structures and Systems: An Intercontinental Art World will take place in the fall of 2004 in conjunction with a second major historical survey exhibition, Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-1970s at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will focus on international developments in art of the 1960s and 1970s. Free admission. For more information, call the Getty information line at 310/440-7300.
Public + Artist Program
Sunday, May 2, 2pm
MOCA at The Geffen Contemporary
Simone Forti was a key figure in the new dance movement of the 1960s and 1970s, creating iconic works that defined a new language of movement. Join us in the performance of historic works including Hangers, Rollers, Slant Board, Seesaw and Platform staged in conjunction with A Minimal Future? Free admission. Advance reservations are recommended, call the MOCA Box Office at 213/626-6828.
A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958–1968 is made possible by the support of The Sydney Irmas Exhibition Endowment; Audrey M. Irmas; the Henry Luce Foundation; Maria Hummer and Bob Tuttle; Genevieve and Ivan Reitman; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; Wonmi and Kihong Kwon; The Jamie and Steve Tisch Foundation; The MOCA Projects Council; Donald Bryant; Betye Monell Burton; the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation; Dwell; and Werner Kramarsky. Promotional support is provided by KJAZZ 88.1 FM.
Also on view in Los Angeles
Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-1970s will be on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) from June 13 to October 10, 2004. The exhibition examines the role of radically simplified form and systematic strategies in the evolution of vanguard art in the decades after World War II. Including Western and Central Europe and North and South America, it is the first major museum exhibition to treat these issues art historically, providing U.S. audiences with a rare opportunity to understand central aspects of their recent art history in a broad international context. For press information, contact Bo Smith at LACMA 323/857-6515, bsmith@lacma.org.
Yvonne Rainer: Radical Juxtapositions 1961–2002 will be on view at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) from May 5 to July 25, 2004. This retrospective exhibition reexamines the career of Yvonne Rainer, an extremely influential artist who has incorporated experimental cinema, choreography and movement, feminism, politics, writing, and visual art into her forty-year practice. Organized by Sid Sachs of the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the exhibition will have its West Coast premiere at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Rainer's film work is of seminal importance to independent and feminist filmmaking with her playful destruction of cinematic didactics. The exhibition is accompanied by a heavily illustrated catalogue with essays by Sid Sachs, Yvonne Rainer, Sally Banes, Carrie Lambert, and Noel Carroll.