In this exhibition Minimal | Maximal, LVH explores how artists have come to remove the unnecessary, as a maximum resistance to subjectivity, while others have enhanced the motif or painterly gesture.
The exhibition gets us acquainted with major American minimalist artists by presenting works by Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Robert Irwin, and Carl Andre, amongst others. These artists count as great pioneers of minimalism, as they chose to follow Mies van der Rohe’s famous adage ‘Less is more’, that with no intention to dispute, we however wish to confront.
While the minimalists insisted on global perceptions, particularly in relation to the surrounding space, Gerhard Richter, one of the giants of post-war German art and one of today’s most important contemporary artists, has, throughout his career, questioned the reliability of painting. His practice captures the tautness between abstraction and figuration, always alternating from one to another. For example, the Colour Chart series, from which derives the ’25 Colours’ work presented in the exhibition perfectly exemplifies his research towards an absence of composition and subjectivity, while he made use of those colour grids to design the transept window of the Cologne cathedral, turning light into a symphony of colours. This comes in complete opposition to his photorealistic paintings or the spectacular chromatic arrangements that explode across his ‘Abstrakte Bilder’.
Such bursts of colour and gesture fully define the highly expressive work by young artist Santiago Parra, hung next to one of the leading figures of Abstract Expressionism, Franz Kline, for an even more maximal effect. On another level, Condo’s pictorial vocabulary makes us perceive the utmost madness of everyday life, involving a plethora of emotions, such as in the monumental work ‘Smiling Girl with Black Hair’ exhibited here. Other artists, like Ha Chong-Hyun, pioneer of Korean abstraction, choose to enhance the creation process, and with his back-pressure method, he covers hemp cloth with multiple layers of a rich texture, only to accept unexpected shapes as they appear.
Dating from the beginning of the 60’s up to today, and ranging from three-dimensional to two-dimensional, the different artworks presented in this exhibition encompass different ways to engage with our perceptions.