9 July - 11 September 2010
“Expression is the gift from the World as many to the World as one” (A.N. Whitehead)
Ever since the late 1970s the art scene has been dominated by the incessant appropriation and recycling of various facets of modernism, as well as of Pop, Minimal or Conceptual art. Recently, however, the compelling need to emancipate from this heavy cloak of references has led many artists to turn to almost archaic gestures. Traces, imprints, scrapings, totems and pagan ceremonies are among the manifestations of this aspiration to new spaces of freedom, to new creative and expressive possibilities. In their day, the avant-gardes, too, drew on the energy of non-European, so-called “primitive” cultures in order to break with the prevailing order. Today it is no longer a matter of exploring the culturally or geographically unknown, but, for artists, to use “free of history” gestures to better deal with the needs of the present. Already, in the late 1950s and 1960s, similar strategies evolved as a reaction to the exhaustion of abstract painting (Gutai, but also Robert Morris, Yayoi Kusama or Bruce Nauman). Today, rather than ruptures, these artists are searching for new connections, of the kind that have too long been proscribed.