Just the end of our walk in one of the largest art museums of contemporary art we’d seen so far, one that leaves breathing space for the art to expand and feel totally at home, as if it were borne to be there.
François Morellet, “No End Neon,” 1990/2017
Louise Bourgeois, Crouching Spider, 2003.
Robert Smithson, Map of Broken Glass (Atlantis), 1969
Top: Installation by Dan Flavin (untitled, 1970), a work that was conceived as an edition of three, but only two were produced. The other one is installed in Donald Judd Foundation, 101 Spring Street Space, in New York City, the first building Judd owned, where he worked and lived with his family. It was created specifically to illuminate the family’s bedroom, at a time that the two artists and friends were working so closely together that, for a while, they had become Flavin & Judd.
The gorgeous windows behind Flavin’s installation are part of Robert Irwin’s design for Dia: Beacon, Beacon Project (1999–2003) that conceived the museum as a work of art itself.
Charlotte Posenenske || Series DW Vierkantrohre (Square Tubes) [Angular pieces], 1967/2018
”Before turning away from art production in 1968 in favor of a career in sociology, Charlotte Posenenske exhibited widely alongside peers such as Hanne Darboven, Donald Judd, and Sol LeWitt, with whom she shared an interest in seriality. However, her work is distinguished by its radically open-ended nature. Embracing reductive geometry, repetition, and industrial fabrication, she developed a form of mass-produced sculptural Minimalism that addressed the pressing socioeconomic concerns of the decade by circumventing the art market and rejecting established formal and cultural hierarchies.
Mass production and variability are also at the heart of Posenenske’s subsequent works. Series D consists of six shapes in galvanized sheet steel. While these elements resemble standard ventilation ducts, the tubes are nonetheless custom-made according to the artist’s instructions and sketches. Shortly after conceptualizing Series D, Posenenske created Series DW, a variant with only four shapes produced from lightweight corrugated cardboard. A ready-made material, cardboard nonetheless represents a departure from the aesthetics of the steel tubes, which are in effect almost indistinguishable, in form and provenance, from the functional elements that they refer to. Larger but more manageable than their sharp-edged steel counterparts, the Series DW components are also easier to manipulate.” [source]
”In 1979 Andy Warhol presented Shadows at the New York City gallery of Dia Art Foundation cofounder Heiner Friedrich. The installation featured the environmentally scaled painting in multiple parts, which the artist created between 1978 and 1979. As “one painting,” Shadows consists of 102 equally sized canvases hung edge to edge and low to the ground (but not too low to be kicked, as Warhol noted in his review of his 1979 show for New York magazine). While fixed by these physical terms, Shadows is nonetheless contingent in its presentation. Since the number of panels shown and the order of their arrangement varies according to the size of the exhibition space, the work in total contracts, expands, and recalibrates each time that it is installed.” [source]
I don’t know about you, but I think it would make a super cool wallpaper.
You’ll need to sit down if you are to watch Bruce Nauman’s Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage) (2001), where six projectors each display six hours of footage that track the activities of mice, cats, and other creatures as they run through the artist’s work space.
”What triggered this piece were the mice. We had a big influx of field mice that summer in the house and in the studio … They were so plentiful even the cat was getting bored with them … I was sitting around the studio being frustrated because I didn’t have any new ideas, and I decided that you just have to work with what you’ve got. What I had was this cat and the mice, and I happened to have a video camera in the studio that had infrared capability. So I set it up and turned it on at night and let it run when I wasn’t there, just to see what I’d get … I thought to myself why not make a map of the studio and its leftovers … it might be interesting to let the animals, the cat and the mice, make the map of the studio. So I set the camera up in different locations around the studio where the mice tended to travel just to see what they would do amongst the remnants of the work.” [source: Bruce Nauman: Mapping the Studio I]
The reference to John Cage, in case you were wondering, is from an earlier work of Nauman’s, a telegram sent to the London gallerist Anthony d’Offay in response to a request for a work related to Cage. The telegram was misunderstood and was not exhibited; still intrigued by the expression ‘fat chance’, Nauman decided to reuse the words. [source: the Tate]
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