September 7, 2015 - Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen - The Calm before the Storm
September 7, 2015

Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen

Rosemarie Trockel, Ohne Titel (Untitled), 1989. Foam material, colour, 60.5 x 120 x 10 cm. Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2015.
The Calm before the Storm
Post-Minimalist art from the Rhineland
September 13, 2015–January 10, 2016

Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Gustav-Heinemann-Strasse 80
D-51377 Leverkusen
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–9pm

T +49 214 855560
F +49 214 8555644
museum-morsbroich@kulturstadtlev.de

www.museum-morsbroich.de
Facebook / Instagram

The Calm before the Storm
Post-Minimalist art from the Rhineland
September 13, 2015–January 10, 2016

Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Gustav-Heinemann-Strasse 80
D-51377 Leverkusen
Germany
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–9pm

T +49 214 855560
F +49 214 8555644
museum-morsbroich@kulturstadtlev.de

www.museum-morsbroich.de
Facebook / Instagram

With works by Joseph Beuys, Isa Genzken, Ludger Gerdes, Imi Giese, Harald Klingelhöller, Imi Knoebel, Erinna König, Meuser, Reinhard Mucha, C.O. Paeffgen, Marianne Pohl, Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Thomas Schütte, Yuji Takeoka, and Rosemarie Trockel

With the exhibition The Calm before the Storm the Museum Morsbroich will focus for the first time on an important development in art from the Rhineland since the late 1960s, borne by artists such as Joseph Beuys, Isa Genzken, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Schütte or Rosemarie Trockel. These artists, inspired and spurred by the success of American Minimal Art, sought to engage with the cool sculptural forms of a Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Robert Morris or Dan Flavin, consisting of simple geometrical figures that seem to refer to nothing other than the viewers themselves. They also tried out the strategies of the American Minimalists for assembling sculptures out of manufactured industrial materials and reducing their forms as far as to have them “stripped of everything” (Lil Picard, 1966). Fascinated, they worked through the various possibilities that juxtaposing geometrical bodies and serialism offered. At the same time they criticised the new trend in art by mocking its radicalism or counteracting it with Rhineland equanimity.

Unlike different trends in art prior to it, Minimal Art did not simply disappear once its initial force was spent. Land Art and conceptual art, among others, draw on its insights, as do the organic expansions of minimal art by artists such as Bruce Nauman or Eva Hesse, for whose later work Robert Pincus-Witten coined the term Post-Minimalist in 1971. One can therefore define Minimalism as the style that completed modernism and in doing so vigorously heralded postmodernism. Its heyday marked that “calm before the storm” which was then disrupted and drowned out with relish by artists like Isa Genzken, Thomas Schütte or Rosemarie Trockel using all the media, techniques and stocks of images at their disposal.

The exhibition will show incunabula of Rhineland Post-Minimalism, like Gerhard Richter’s painting Zwei Grau nebeneinander, 1966, based on colour cards, Sigmar Polke’s wayward picture Carl Andre in Delft, 1968, which, with a derisive undertone, presents a series of Delft tiles, Imi Knoebel’s projection of a white rectangle onto the wall, 1968, or Joseph Beuys’ Eurasienstab, 1968/69. The montages of painted black fruit boxes (Nacht, 1974) by C. O. Paeffgen leads us on to those ironic fond “couples” by Thomas Schütte and the “sponge sculptures” by Rosemarie Trockel, which consist of simple yellow sponge cubes painted over in white wall paint on different sides. Rhineland Post-Minimalism turns out to be a combination of artistic absoluteness, as lived out by the American artists, and a sharp intellect paired with a large portion of humour and robust Rhineland equanimity.

An exhibition catalogue will be published by Kettler Verlag, with a foreword by Markus Heinzelmann and scholarly essays by Margitta Brinkmann and Renate Buschmann.

The curators of the exhibition are Markus Heinzelmann and Stefanie Kreuzer.

Sculpture Garden
To celebrate the 80th birthday of Carl Andre, the Museum Morsbroich will be showing his sculpture Solarust, 1984, outside in the park parallel to this exhibition.

The exhibition opening will be on Sunday, 13 September at noon in the Spiegelsaal at Museum Morsbroich.

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