Ruth Vollmer & Gego Thinking the Line
Opening: Friday, 2 July 2004, 7 pm
3 July – 29 August 2004
Curators: Nadja Rottner, Peter Weibel
Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum
Sackstrasse 16, 8010 Graz / Austria www.neuegalerie.at
Ruth Vollmer, Steiner Form, 1970
Collection Dorothea & Leo Rabkin, New York
Photo: Oliver Klasen (c) ZKM | Karlsruhe
Gego, Reticularea, MBA, Caracas 1969
Photo: Paolo Gasparini, Caracas
Although there is no evidence that the two were close friends, or that they had any direct artistic impact on one another, Ruth Vollmer and Gego did share one vital link: New York.
Ruth Vollmer (1903 Munich – 1982 New York), an artist from Betty Parsons Gallery, was closely associated with Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson and Eva Hesse. And while Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912 Hamburg – 1994 Caracas) lived and worked in Venezuela, it was the New York art scene into which both of these German-born artists fused their continental background, adding fuel to the American interest in alternative models of abstraction.
Playing on the relationship between hollow and solid, transparent and opaque, convex and concave, the works of Vollmer and Gego reconjugate the three-dimensional vocabulary of geo-metric abstraction. Instead of employing a deductive logic of modernist ab-straction, the artists develop a potentially-unfinished type of abstract thinking which transforms “content-less art” into an ongoing experiment of “thinking the line”. As such, the interplay of sphere, circle, dot and spiral, actively seeks a Cartesian centre, a fixed structure. In the case of Vollmer, this search results in a concentration of form, and for Gego, in a dispersal that evokes a lasting sensation of dizziness, the confusion of an empty center. Negotiating the border between mathematical formalism (Vollmer) and expressive minimalism (Gego), each artist introduces a novel field of participation for the spectator.
For the first time in Austria the Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum presents over 140 works of drawing and sculpture from the late 1950s to the late 1980s.
A monographic catalogue for each of the artists will be published in the Fall of 2004/Spring 2005.
ZKM Center for Art and Media Technology, Karlsruhe
Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal
Tues-Sun 10 am – 6 pm, Thur 10 am – 8 pm