press release

01.08.2013 – 03.11.2013

Yves Klein, Günther Uecker, Otto Piene, Hans Haacke, Lucio Fontana, Almir Mavignier, Jesús Rafael Soto, Hercules Barsotti, Lygia Clark, Abraham Palatnik, Gego, Gyula Kosice

Heike van den Valentyn

ZERO international show reveals one of the most respected vanguard movements of the 20th century

The exhibition, unpublished in Brazil, provides a thematic overview of this international avant-garde that, in the postwar period (late 1950s and early 1960s) revolutionized art with serial paintings and vibrant light structures.

There are 24 works by artists from Europe and South America that reveal ZERO's modern ways of thinking and working. The focus is on relations between European artists such as Yves Klein, Günther Uecker, Otto Piene and Hans Haacke, and South Americans such as Lucio Fontana, Almir Mavignier and Jesús Rafael Soto. The artistic dialogue of the exhibition “ZERO” is further expanded with the works of Hercules Barsotti, Lygia Clark and Abraham Palatnik (all from Brazil) and Gego (Venezuela), as well as Gyula Kosice (Argentina). “The exhibition reflects the mutual influence of artists from both continents and broadens this dialogue around selected South American approaches that formally approach the ZERO group,” says curator Heike van den Valentyn.

ZERO Group
In the 1950s, a group of German artists tried to create a new artistic concept by proclaiming the birth of postwar art in the European country. In almost a decade, the group has become one of the most respected vanguard movements of the 20th century. Otto Piene, Heinz Mack and Günther Uecker were the names that marked the beginning of this new vanguard.

ZERO has designated a new beginning in historical and artistic terms by leaving behind principles of art. In 1950, following the oppressive experiences of war and in distinction from European abstract expressionism of gesture painting, informalism, ZERO consciously elaborated a monochrome pictorial language filled with light.

From the beginning, the ZERO group was conceived as an international network. Overcoming national and artistic borders was central to a war-torn Europe.

Light Spaces
Historic central light spaces are being re-installed especially for the MON exhibition - light environments and mirrors form the exhibition's guiding lines in which thematic spaces are linked as individual chapters: white as the color of light; Yves Klein's idea of ​​purification, which manifests itself in blue objects; the moving objects inserted under the Dynamo concept, which is accompanied by the phenomenon of vibration and the insertion of natural elements, which fuses the space of art with the space of nature. “The image becomes an object that sets the viewer in motion and vice versa: the viewer himself can set the image object in motion or change its structure through contact. This way, reliefs are manually or electromechanically moved, which increasingly seek to occupy the space ”, explains the curator.

The wide-ranging traveling exhibition is held within the framework of the “Germany + Brazil 2013-2014” Season and is strongly supported by the Goethe-Institut, as well as the Ministry of NRW and Pro Helvetia and sponsored by Copel, Sanepar and Allianz. After staying at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum, he goes to the Iberê Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre (December 2013 to March 2014), and then to the São Paulo State Pinacoteca (April to June 2014).

The exhibition is curated by Heike van den Valentyn and the overall coordination of the project is by cultural manager Cristina Sommer and coordinating the catalog and editing of Violeta Quesada.