NEW WRINKLES (AFTER JUDD) 1959-2010
- Massimo Bartolini,
- Alighiero Boetti,
- Andreas Christen,
- Piero Manzoni,
- Steven Parrino,
- Lygia Clark,
- Tauba Auerbach,
- Donald Judd,
- Luciano Fabro
London / September 04 —October 10, 2014
New Wrinkles (After Judd) Brings together ten artists of different generations and geographical locations. Spanning almost twelve decades, the artists in the exhibition have folded, broken, wrinkled, bent, crumbled, and creased their artworks often to overcome the boundaries of the established artistic canons.
The New Wrinkles they left in art history will be remembered by their physical talent to transform the everyday item into specific objects.
In Donald Judd’s essay Specific Objects from 1965, the artist talks about the objection of classical painting because the edges of the rectangle and the flatness of the canvas are borders that need to be broken by new ways of artistic expression. With Untitled (1972/73) Judd exemplifies how radical the new type of artwork can be: galvanized iron is industrially bent to the shape of a box inside of a box that sits directly on the floor.
Judd condemns classical easel painting to be traditionally illusionistic and suggests that all artworks in the future will be somewhat three-dimensional. In his manifest Judd claimed that actual space is intrinsically more powerful and specific than paint on a flat surface. In contradiction to Judd, the young artist Tauba Auerbach (b. 1981) teaches us that a powerful illusion of three dimensions can be done on a flat panel. In her Fold paintings she sprays a creased canvas from various angles to create folds through a trop l’oeil illusion. Another radical reformer in painting was Steven Parrino, who most infamously detached the canvas from the stretcher and remounted it after roughly manipulating the painted textile. This literal destructive approach, coupled with a distinctly hostile attitude towards the commercial mechanisms of the art market, resulted in paintings such as Repulsion Painting n° 2 (1992).
Piero Manzoni (1933-1963) takes on a completely contrasted approach to painting, being interested in finding new materials to use for a panting in order to embark towards a new haptic sensibility. Achrome from 1959 is from Manzoni’s most acclaimed series, the Kaolin works. After the canvas is treated with mineral clay, Manzoni is able to freeze the delicate folds and fine ripples of the surface forever. During the same years of 1959 and 1960 Lygia Clark (1948-1988) started to become interested in folding metal objects in Brasil through a series of works titled Bichos (animal, beast). The Bichos represent the last stage of Lygia Clarks's geometric research that, since the 1950s, had been involved with a systematic deconstruction of traditional painting into its key elements: line, plane, and surface. The swiss designer and artist Andreas Christen’s Monoform from 1966 employs similar strategies defined by Donald Judd of industrial production. As a skilled craftsman in polyester, Christen has created works of a unique spatial experience by using shadows to compose his paintings. John Chamberlain (1927-2011) has worked with reassembling found materials throughout his career.
Chamberlain’s Louisa Gingerbush (2006) is a prominent example of an elegance in deconstruction and reconstruction of the metal found on the scrapyard. In a similar way to Chamberlain showing the materials defects, Massimo Bartolini (b. 1962) accentuated the folds of Untitled (Airplane) made from a large folded sheet of paper.
The result of highlighting the creases and folds accentuates the fragility of its beauty. If staged as a political statement, wrinkles and folds become a sharp opinion towards a nation and it’s government: Lucia Fabro’s leather De Italia (1972) transforms the iconic map of Italy into a compressed chaos hanging on the wall.