February 20, 2017 - MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST - Primary Structures
February 20, 2017


Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Barbara Nüsse), 1971. MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Axel Schneider. Courtesy Estate of Dan Flavin / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017.

Primary Structures
Masterworks of Minimal Art
February 22–August 13, 2017

Domstraße 10
60311 Frankfurt am Main


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Among the holdings of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main is an important collection of outstanding works of minimal art of the 1960s and ’70s. In a major survey featuring nearly 50 artists, the MMK is now presenting the masterworks of this collection comprehensively for the first time.

Seriality, conceptuality and industrial production were the new principles pursued by the minimalists Carl Andre, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd and Fred Sandback, who revolutionized art in the 1960s with their radical works. For the first time in the history of art, they used industrially manufactured or processed materials and reduced their works to basic geometric structures they termed “primary structures." With this title, the exhibition at the MMK 2 also makes direct reference to the very first exhibition of minimal art—the landmark show of the same name staged at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1966. Walter de Maria’s key work Cage of 1965—today in the MMK collection—was on view in that exhibition.

For the presentation at the MMK 2, two historical exhibitions of the year 1968 have been reconstructed: Carl Andre’s floor sculpture 22 Steel Row and Dan Flavin’s light installation Two primary series and one secondary. Originally taking place at the legendary Munich gallery of Heiner Friedrich, who was one of the first to present minimalist works in Germany, they mark the beginning of the reception of minimal art in this country.

In addition to masterworks by the most important exponents of minimalism in 1960s USA and Germany, the MMK 2 here presents examples by members of younger generations as well, whose installations—many quite large in scale—bear a strong relationship to the minimalist current. Among these artists are Jo Baer, Bruce Nauman, Robert Barry, Robert Mangold, Charlotte Posenenske, Peter Roehr, Lewis Stein and William Forsythe, but also their successors, for example Michael Beutler, Benedikte Bjerre, Ceal Floyer, Teresa Margolles, Sarah Morris, Santiago Sierra or Jonas Weichsel. Fifty years after the first survey of minimal art, the MMK is taking a look at the historical art current from the perspective of the present.

Artists of the exhibition: Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Jo Baer, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Michael Beutler, Benedikte Bjerre, Alighiero Boetti, Bill Bollinger, George Brecht, Marcel Broodthaers, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Ceal Floyer, William Forsythe, Günther Förg, Isa Genzken, Hermann Goepfert, Bethan Huws, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Gary Kuehn, Barry La Va, Robert Mangold, Teresa Margolles, Sarah Morris, Bruce Nauman, Kenneth C. Noland, Blinky Palermo, Steven Parrino, Angelika Platen, Charlotte Posenenske, Timm Rautert, Peter Roehr, Ulrich Rückriem, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Paul Sharits, Santiago Sierra, Andreas Slominski, Lewis Stein, Heide Stolz, Franz Erhard Walther, Jonas Weichsel and Lawrence Weiner

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