William Anastasi, Jacobs Ladder, 1968, Steel. Dimensions variable.
STALKE UP NORTH
June 6 - July 11, 2009
Dove Bradshaw and Sam Jedig
William Anastasi, Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Dove Bradshaw, Melissa Kretschmer, Janet Passehl, Søren Dahlgaard, Torben Ebbesen, Kristian Hornsleth, Sam Jedig, Lone Mertz and Nikolaj Recke
ONE, in memory of Sol LeWitt, was curated by Dove Bradshaw. It p remièred December 2007 at the Björn Ressle Gallery, New York. It will now be shown at Stalke Up North in Copenhagen under the title ONE Copenhagen. For this exhibition six Americans who originally participated will be accompanied by six Danes selected in consultation with Sam Jedig, founder of Stalke. For both exhibitions Bradshaw asked each artist to offer a work made from a single material. The materials for this exhibition will include steel, copper, vinyl, plaster, fat, magnets, bronze, graphite, beeswax, glass, paper and felt.
Bradshaw followed the first ONE exhibition with a less reductive premise titled One More. This premièred at the Esbjerg Museum of Modern Art May 2008; in January it traveled to the Thomas Rehbein Gallery in Cologne. Jacob Lillemoses text for the Esbjerg catalogue could equally apply to the ONE exhibitions where he wrote that the works were associated with "the expansive aesthetic field opened up by the emergence of Conceptual Art and Minimalism in the 1960s."
"Both of these movements," he continued, "were critical and imaginative reactions against formalism, which had become in effect a straitjacket, and both were concerned with art as a general concept rather than with a specific medium. Conceptual art, as the critic Lucy Lippard famously argued, often involved a 'dematerialization' of the art object, while Minimalism, on the other hand, generally took the form of what Donald Judd called 'specific objects'; [but as the ONE exhibitions show] "the two movements were closely connected and in fact often overlapped. The connection involves an understanding of materials, and of their physical and visual properties, as integral parts of conceptual processes, systems, and objects."
"The [ONE] exhibitions point beyond the widespread understanding of the conceptual and the material aspects of art as mutually excluding opposites. Insisting on a more integrated and dynamic relation between the two aspects, the works in the show institute an exchange between the abstractness of ideas and the concrete presence of materials - the conceptual becomes materially manifest and the material demonstrates conceptual qualities. The scope of thinking expands through materials, the material world expands through conceptual Logics - an expansion paradoxically produced with reduced means, as in Minimal art. But paradox is the point here: by keeping their use of materials simple and clear, the works present materials in a state of potential, of openness.
The works in the [ONE exhibitions] concern themselves with neither the rational mastery of the intellectual world nor the beautification of the material world. Instead, they pose exploratory, irrational, enigmatic questions of the material world, questions that lead to new meanings and new experiences, to paraphrase LeWitt's "Sentences on Conceptual Art" from 1969."
"They reflect human involvement in a world without any essential, universal qualities in its materials. Instead of understanding the world according to established principles, whether aesthetic, philosophical, or material, these works let it unfold in ways that challenge any notion of finite meaning. The phenomenal world that they address cannot be explained or defined, cannot be taken for granted-can only be experienced, continuously rediscovered, full of subtle surprises, differences, and possibilities."
"[ONE] then, conforms to no conventional notion of experience, no conventional logic of finitude. Guided by the multidirectional compass of art, the show is based on a fundamental wonder about materials- about what is, and about the fact that it is. This is an art devoid of illusions, whether of the eye or of the mind. Yet it is certainly not an art of disillusion-on the contrary, it understands the relation between the conceptual and the material as a rich, productive aesthetic potential, one far exceeding preexisting structures of meaning and taste. In bypassing those structures, the works put materials into conceptual play, a play of countless poetic and philosophical sensibilities." (Jacob Lillemose, ONE More catalogue, 2008)
The opening is on Saturday 6 June from 1 - 4 pm. The artists, except for Robert Barry, will be present. All are welcome.
ONE Copenhagen online catalogue as pdf-File