press release

In the introduction of the iconic essay “Sculpture in the Expanded Field” (1979) the american art historian Rosalind Krauss stated that “Over the last ten years rather surprising things have come to be called sculpture“ and that „Nothing, it would seem, could possibly give to such a motley of effort the right to lay claim to whatever one might mean by the category of sculpture. Unless, that is, the category can be made to become almost infinitely malleable.“ The exhibition is refering to this statement extending the theme to other media like painting, relief or photography.

Until the 1960s abstract art was primarily related to constructivist principles. In 1917 Russian Constructivism was based on geometric abstraction building principles. The artist was considered “construction engineer” of better worlds. Since that time geometric abstraction has been understood as a universal language, an idea that is especially today highly topical.

Minimal Art of the 1960s set in motion a substantial change in the way art was understood and built. By using abstract means of expression artists wanted to produce a new anti-romantic, nonreferential art - idealistic creation got replaced by industrial methods and materials, content by questions of autonomy, reception and the spatial qualities of the art work. 1970s Postminimalism marked the beginning of something new as Rosalind Krauss put it in her essay. Based on the patterns of geometric abstraction and Minimal Art the movement introduced art as spacial intervention (in architecture or landscape), as political/social statement, as participatory (performance, happening) or as personal investigation into specific topics.

In the 1980's Neo Geo started a rather critical reflection of art, its conditions, and its role in society and politics using the formal systems of historic geometric abstraction. Until today this practice, the use of these “historic” patterns or structures is a very important vehicle in contemporary artistic surveys on the relation between abstraction and reality, between art and society.

The show will feature around 30 international artists coming from the different backgrounds and working with different media. They share an interest in constructivist building principles interpreted and employed individually by each artist. The character of the concept is accentuated by the use of few colours like black, white, grey, silver and dark blue or green and by the formally reducted formal aspect of the works. This restriction generates a conceptual impact and emphasizes the surprising spectrum of artistic production created within these reduced means and methods.