Los Angeles County Museum of Art ,|
Jun 13, 2004 - Oct 03, 2004
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form 1940's -70's
by Eve Wood
Geometry, (a subject I failed twice in school), is a means by which the world is constructed, deconstructed, quantified, framed and unframed. It is a divinely abstracted way of thinking, a theoretical process of understanding, yet it differs from traditional notions of abstraction, which "involves a renunciation or transformation of traditional representation." The artist's represented in LACMA's Beyond Geometry: Experiments In Form 1940- 70's, rejected the pristine, contained object, opting instead to expand the "frame" of aesthetic perception, to break the paradigm of the purely compositional boundary. These artists steered clear of the precious, sustainable "object," employing instead a series of chance-based systems that utilized movement and repetition, and was seen less as a means of personal expression and more as a variable experiment in space and time. These objects were not made to seduce or mesmerize, though many pieces in this show do exactly that; this work encourages a very different way of thinking about objects and how they exist in space, emphasizing patterns, repetitive movements and systematic practice.
This show contained works by artists from around the world and a large number of artists from South America and Central America as well as Belgium, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janiero, Hungary and Mexico. Cildo Meireles, who lives and works in Rio de Janiero delivers a deceptively simple small cube of wood (3/8 x 3/9 x 3/8), The Southern Cross (1969-70) spotlit on the gallery floor. This miniscule cube might stand in for South America, its size indicating its remoteness from the cultural centers of North America and Europe, though its being spot-lit smacks of ribald humor and a strange and alien pathos. This little cube could very well be its own star, so small among the excesses and luminosity of the artworld. Dadamaino's "Volume (1958)" is also very simple in its essential construction and represents that which is missing. Raw canvas is stretched and a piece cut out halfway to its center. The circle is not round but floats inconspicuously off center. Once again the unexpected non-linear, skewed dimensionality takes hold.