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"Minimalpop: A Joint Effort with CCNOA, Brussels and PS, Amsterdam"
2004-07-16 until 2004-08-15
Florence Lynch Gallery
New York, NY, USA United States of America

minimalpop in New York City presents the work (painting, sculpture, videos) of 12 international abstract artists. The artists are at various stages of their careers and do not belong to one group, but rather pursue individual investigations of art. All attach a special significance to the retinal, the sensuality of perception and the relationships among the viewer, architecture and art objects, on an experiential level. The artists have been widely exhibited in Europe, North America, and Australia. Their works are included in private, corporate and public collections around the globe.

The exhibition minimalpop is a joint effort of CCNOA center for contemporary non-objective art, Brussels, and the Amsterdam-based artist-run gallery PS. Both places share a history of exchange of artists as well as curated exhibitions. The concept for minimalpop originates in this cooperation. minimalpop is conceived as a travelling exhibition. Two venues have been confirmed: Florence Lynch Gallery, New York City, and Galerie les filles du calvaire, Paris (modified version opening in January 2005). Other venues are currently negotiated. minimalpop is accompanied by a 36 page full-color publication. From the historical point of view, various positions in "non-objective" art developed over the course of the last century. Starting with the founding fathers of "non-objective" art (Malevich, Rodchenko, Mondrian, Strzeminski), and proceeding to the second half of the 20th century with its various protagonists (Newman, Rothko, Klein, Stella, Judd, Ryman, Palermo) and movements (Abstract Expressionism, Art Concrete, Zero, BMPT in Paris and Minimalism in the US), reductive approaches to painting and sculpture became widespread. Although driven by very different ideals, the artists nevertheless shared the mutual aim to enhance the understanding of culture and daily life through their work. Over the past two decades, however, only a few established artists, who work on the continuum of those ideas and concerns, have been critically acclaimed. Painting, and especially "non-objective" painting, started its decline in the mid-60's (see Judd's remark, that painting had become impossible), and was pronounced dead latest in the mid-80's. Representational work moved into the limelight.

The promotion of photography as an art form as well as an overwhelming emphasis and the presentation of media oriented art forms contributed to this tendency. Despite these tendencies, a re-consideration of the "non-objective", a reevaluation of certain of its values has evolved among a new generation of artists. Still looking over their shoulders towards previous ideas and -isms, they have developed and pursued their very own approaches towards "abstraction' in their own time and place. Their works are no longer driven by the social or metaphysical utopias of the pioneers of abstraction, but by codes and patterns, that have established themselves in the everyday world. Not content to remain within the parameters of knowledge and preferences (especially Minimalism, which they embraced), these artists have taken a rather extroverted stance towards "abstraction", exploring and expanding on the subtleties of our daily environment as well as on popular culture and its constituents, An increased interest and involvement with the public realm as well as the experimentation with formerly non-artistic materials and techniques have resulted in a more integrated and expanded approach toward location (architecture & function), materials (visual & tactile aspects), process (artistic action & treatment), and time (duration & change). Dogmatic and pragmatic statements of the heroes of past decades have been replaced by a playful approach towards the immanence of our time, and has subsequently led to the exploration of other areas of contemporary culture, like sound, architecture, music, generic materials, video etc. This has broadened the comprehension and perception of the "non-objective', its forms, functions and validity, and the perspective on the reciprocal transfer between the material realities of art and life.

Artists in the exhibition include: John Beech (UK/USA), Julian Dashper (NZ), Robert Glaubit (USA), Kyle Jenkins (AUS) Renée Levi (CH), Gerold Miller (D), Gerwald Rockenschaub (A/D), Tilman (D/B/USA) Alan Uglow (UK/USA), Jan van der Ploeg (NL), Tamara Zahaykevich (USA), Beat Zoderer (CH) curator: Petra Bungert CCNOA Brussels (B). Catalogue available.

Jan van der Ploeg
Wall painting from CCNOA, Brussels

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