Minimalism "Not Strictly Formal"
Michael Kohn Gallery is pleased to present a group show featuring major canonical artists working within a Minimalist framework from both the East and West Coast. Minimalism is an art historical movement that, until recently, was associated primarily with East Coast artists such as Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, and Donald Judd, who structured their practice around a vigorous dedication to formal, spatial and authorial problems in art. Simultaneously, West Coast artists such as Larry Bell, John McCracken, Joe Goode and John McLaughlin, were forming their own response to these issues and developing a Minimalist aesthetic and set of principals that transcended the formal aspects of the movement and relied on a more spiritual and ethereal practice.
New York artist, Carl Andre, for example, created work that dealt with volume and space with a concrete materiality that asserts itself in the physical place it inhabits. Grounding its viewers, Andre’s work allows them to be hyperaware of their own presence and movement within that space, creating a unique and powerful experience. At around the same time, on the opposite side of the country, artist Larry Bell was also creating work that dealt with volume and space. Creating large glass, mirrored cubes, Bell’s work is like its own world. As light strikes the surface and one moves around the piece, the physicality of the work dissolves into a tapestry of light. Bell recreates an ethereal experience for his viewers; and while the viewer is reminded of his/her presence by the occasional reflection in the mirror, the audience is transcended as their physical space comes into question.
Artists working within these aesthetic frameworks consistently refused art history’s need to place their practice within one standard movement (Minimalism). This refusal allowed for beautifully varied and richly unique approaches to dealing with the same issues in art. Other artists who will be included in this exhibition are Dan Flavin, Joe Goode, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, John McCracken, John McLaughlin, Cy Twombly, and many others.