Castelli Gallery is pleased to present “Hanne Darboven: A Survey.” Comprised of works produced over two decades, beginning from 1971, the exhibition attests to the artist’s sustained interest in recording existence and the passing of time through the process of daily "writings." Informed by Darboven’s personal logic, the works incorporate text, calendars, calculations, and images in grid formations that emphasize idea rather than object, and express the primary concerns of Conceptual Art.
In her 1973 drawing ‘Untitled,’ Darboven marks time with a handwritten, lower-case "l" that appears as a cursive loop repeated again and again. In replacing legible words with rows of up-and-down strokes, Darboven invokes text while eliminating meaning, description, and narrative. Through systematic and repetitive writing, the artist gives form and measurement to the immaterial passing of time. Simple graph paper, diary pages, and calendars consistently form the basis for Darboven’s works. In her 1982 work ‘12 Months with Postcards from Today of Horses,’ the artist constructs a time-based collage of repeated marks and everyday, ephemeral postcards.
Since the late 1960s, Darboven devoted her work to what art historian Lucy Lippard describes as "the process of continuation - a process which takes time to do, which takes time as one of its subjects, and which takes the form of time (the calendar) as its numerical foundations." After completing her studies at the Hamburg Hochschule für bildende Künste in 1966, the artist moved to New York, where she established friendships with artists Sol LeWitt, Carl Andre, Lawrence Weiner and others associated with Minimal and Conceptual Art. In this context, Darboven developed her unique artistic processes, whose minute markings accumulate into monumental and yet highly personal records of human existence. Darboven had her first exhibition with Leo Castelli in 1973.