"Spatium": an experience inside the concept of space.

Valentina Brtls
Oct 18, 2014 2:37PM

In 1951 Robert Rauschenberg realizes the series of “White Paintings”. In the same year, the American composer John Cage offers “4. 33”, an extraordinary interpretation of a musical score perfomed by David Tudor. Cage’s work destabilizes the audience: the performance isn’t a  traditional music show : musical instruments are dumb; David Tudor opens and closes the lid of the piano. The audience coughs, roars and moves. It has changed the way we perceive the show: music is no longer an harmonic and organic succession of sounds, but a set of all those noises caused by the audience and the sorrounding space,  voluntarily or not. These sounds and noises become the performance.

The revolution of the artistic subject is the heart of Rauschenberg’s research “White paintings”,  a triptych of white rectangular monochrome canvases which disclose the revisiting of the subject. Rauschenberg in his artistic performance follows the same process that Cage uses in his work.  The acme of Rauschenberg’s poetics isn’t the absence of color or the canvas but everything that is in contact with the work of art: the powder that glides on the surface, the shadows of the spectators looking  at the paintings , the dirt which could damage its whiteness. It’s a process of deconsecration of art which reaches its climax  in the creation of an unconventional and temporary space. I am fascineted by this concept of art, where the space is endless and almost monochrome. That’s  the reason why I have turned my personal exhibition on those authors who wonder about  the perception of space as Rauschenberg  does in “White paintings”. The main characteristics of this kind of production are: the abscence of color except for white, grey, and black and a modular use of lights and shadows.



Ben Nicholson- 1936 (White Relief), 1936: lights and shadows reveal the idea of circle, square and rectangle.

Robert Ryman – Century (2014); an endless space inscribed in a square.

Robert Irwin – Untitled, 1969: the sphere, the perfection.

Mark Grotjahn – Untitled (Solid French Grey Butterfly 70% 672),  2007: gray isn’t just a color: it’s depth and speed. It’s a way of thinking.

Mark Tobey – Space Ritual No. 1, 1957 : the line and the color as meaning of life.

Runo Lagomarsino – Untitled, 2010: from a white space to everything.

Alicja Kwade – Option 1-2, 2011: a poetic curve and a flat surface; life is made of choises.

Alexander Calder –Object with Red Ball,1931: an ephemeral sculpture of geometric shapes, plans and supports.

Eva Kotatkova – Theatre of speaking object (becoming object), 2013: the shadow of a body behind the scenery; the heart of the theatre.

Kitty Kraus – Untitled (2012): a new expercience through the space by means of neon lights.

James Turrell – Prado (white), 1967; space cancelled by absolute light.

James Turell – Ronin, 1968.

Pierre Huyghe – l’Expedition Scintillante, Acte 3: Untitled (Black ice Stage), 2002: art not only as communication, but also as action.

Numen/For Use –Tape Tokyo, 2013: at the end of our work, we finally get into an extraordinary space.



Valentina Brtls