Galerie Dierking is presenting a tribute to the legendary exhibition The Responsive Eye which
took place at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1965, during art berlin from the 14th
to 17th of September 2017.
By including works from more than fifteen countries and by different artists and artistic
movements, the curator William Seitz focussed on new art that concentrated mainly on
visual aspects and later shaped, among others, the term Optical Art. Seitz showed how in the
1960s the painterly-artistic study developed into an independent abstract art with
autonomous forms, colours and lines.
Among the artists discovered and exhibited at that time were contemporary protagonists
such as Bridget Riley, Frank Stella, Josef Albers and also Ad Reinhardt with his “invisible
paintings”. Galerie Dierking will now focus on two European positions in that legendary New
York exhibition at its fair stand in Station Berlin:
Wolfgang Ludwig (1923-2009) and Walter Leblanc (1932-1986).
With his Relief Sable, Twisted Strings and Torsions Belgian ZERO-artist Walter Leblanc was
working in the border area between two- and three-dimensionality as early as the 1950s.
Using winding threads, paper or cardboard strips, he succeeded in making viewers feel that
the static artwork was moving – his particular handling of materials overcame the original
panel picture by means of the illusion of space this engendered.
Wolfgang Ludwig, who lived in Berlin, concentrated as of 1963 on his work group Cinematic
Disks – precise equiradial and mostly circular systems in black and white. The artist’s express
intention was to “overtax the eye” through the apparently rotating movement of his works.
Unfortunately due to an early hand ailment his very small oeuvre came to an abrupt end in
The link to the present is made with the third contemporary position:
Otto Boll (*1952), who studied under Ernst Hermann in Münster, challenges the eye of the
beholder in a special way with spatial sculptures made of blackened steel and tapering down
to a zero point. His Helix sculptures occupy space with a graceful lightness while at the same
time managing to redefine that space. His filigree hovering sculptures in particular seem
“like lines and arcs drawn into space”.
The works by Walter Leblanc, Wolfgang Ludwig and Otto Boll pay tribute not only to the
trailblazing New York exhibition, but also to an art which, influenced by that event, confronts
the viewer in its own particular way to this very day.