Exhibitions - Museu d’Art Espanyol Contemporani

22nd May to 8th September 2007

The artistic tendency known as Minimalism, and in particular the installations and objects by “classic” Minimalist artists of the 1960s, such as Carl André, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt, had such a profound impact in their time that they are frequently seen as a home-grown and purely North American phenomenon. In fact, without denying that Minimalism was an artistic trend that arose in America, it could be said that it was not so much a thematic “school” characterised by specific “content” (in itself “minimalised”), but rather a “method” or “function” that worked on the basis of abstraction, constructivism and reduction. From this perspective, the more or less remote origins of Minimalist practices need to be looked for in the rich sources of early 20th-century European abstract and constructivist artistic tendencies.
Taking this idea as its starting point, the exhibition Before and After Minimalism offers a lengthy route around more than a century of art, spanning two continents – Europe and America. Organised in collaboration with the DaimlerChrysler Corporate Art Collection, the exhibition comprises 64 works, all from that collection, by 41 artists. Most are paintings, but the exhibition also includes graphic work, multiples, sculptures, installations and multi-media works by German, Austrian, English, Irish, Swiss, Belgian, French and North American artists. These range from the early works (1909) of Adolf Hölzel (1853-1934), a guiding figure at the Stuttgart Academy, to the creations of artists such as Vincent Szarek, born as recently as 1972.

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