Including works by:
Carl Andre, Max Bill, Arturo Bonfanti, John Carter, Juraj Dobrovic, Natalie Dower, Lucio Fontana, Raimund Girke, Anthony Hill, Malcolm Hughes, Tess Jaray, Judith Lauand, Bob Law, Sol Le Witt, Richard Lin, Peter Lowe, Kenneth Martin, Margaret Mellis, Aurélie Nemours, Terry Pope, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Henryk Stazewski, Victor Vasarely, Gillian Wise
Austin Desmond Fine Art is pleased to present an exhibition of works by 24 artists whose practice lies within the spheres of concrete, minimalist and constructivist art. The exhibition focuses, not on the strict principles underlying these movements, but shows work which crosses all three boundaries.
Concrete, constructivist and minimalist art, although distinct in character, methodology and ideology, embrace one main common position: abstraction in its purist form. In 1947 Max Bill wrote ‘the goal of concrete art is to develop objects for mental use……the purest expression of harmonious measure and law’.
Early proponents of concrete art such as Max Bill, Judith Lauand and Lucio Fontana were working during a period of great technological achievements which opened a broad perspective to objective thinking and modernist ideas. Their beliefs also coincided with the commitment of constructivists such as Naum Gabo, Victor Pasmore, Ben Nicholson and Kenneth Martin who were also pursuing an artistic language based on an emphatic acceptance of modernity: paring their work down to its basic elements and sharing an underlying principle that art and science are inextricably linked. These artists benefitted from the arrival in the 1930s of constructivist emigres such as Gropius, Moholy-Nagy and Gabo as they helped advance the cause of British avant-garde.
The revival of interest in earlier Russian Constructivism during the early 1960s was an important motivation for the minimalist movement. The interests of the great American minimalist artists such as Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt, Agnes Martin and Kenneth Noland lay in the eradication of any reference to the visual world; the only objective being to allow the viewer to experience the work without the distractions of composition or theme. Although lesser known than their American counterparts, we are pleased to include a 1968 work on paper by Bob Law and a 1968 painting by Richard Lin: both true exponents of minimilism. We will also be including a work by the Austrian artist Gerwald Rockenschaub whose basic working method follows the principle of radical reductionism.
Although highly respected by their European counterparts, British artists working within the movements of constructivism such as Anthony Hill, Natalie Dower and Malcolm Hughes were rarely included in international exhibitions. And for these artists, who are still practising in the constructivist genre, we are delighted to be able to exhibit a number of their works in this show.