This selection of works by six artists from different generations, countries, and backgrounds highlights the ways in which dr. julius | ap’s programme of contemporary conceptual minimal concrete art enriches the spectrum of contemporary art and shows off the variety, substantiality, and forward-looking quality of this aesthetic.
The following artists will be represented:
Hartmut Böhm [b. 1938 in Kassel] is one of the leading representatives of European minimal-concrete art and one of the most influential reductive artists of his generation. Böhm created his first system-based works in 1959. In April-May 1964, his works were part of the groundbreaking exhibition Nouvelle Tendance: Propositions visuelles du movement international at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition introduced new movements such as op art, kinetic and concrete art, Zero, GRAV, Gruppo T and Gruppo N, and particularly highlighted works that conveyed concepts of motion through serial repetition.
The artist’s contribution to Paper Positions consists of a limited series of 35 variations on transparent millimeter graph paper, created in the 1990’s. The works reflect Böhm’s underlying interest in the inner workings of systems—in this case with grid size, colour, and overlap as parameters.
Esther Stocker [b. 1974 in Silandro/Schlanders, Italy] has long been concerned with grids—and with disruptions, variations, distortions, and interactions between grid structures. This interest soon expanded into the third dimension, and her many large-scale works, such as installations, murals, and art-in-architecture projects, have garnered her a name in the international art world.
A special group of works will be exhibited at Paper Positions, namely paper sculptures developed from the deformation of an ideal grid—through inversion, extrusion and overlapping. The artist creates sculptures from printed paper that are strikingly light and simultaneously possess a strong spatial presence that deny the material’s fragility. Whether hung from the wall or ceiling or free-standing, the visual physicality of these pieces combines atypically sculptural quality with a clearly traceable process of formation, thanks to the underlying grid pattern.
Carlo Battisti [b. 1945 in Viareggio, Tuscany, Italy] is a committed autodidact. Since the 1970’s he has been creating works in the field of minimalism and concrete art in close personal and aesthetic proximity to the current players and trends of the Italian art world, yet without definitely committing to or being co-opted by any particular school. Rather, he has consistently developed his broad interests, which range from sculpture and painting to object- and video art, printmaking, performances, and even installations, in an individualistic manner.
Battisti’s strong interest in literature inspired him to create the cycle La Biblioteca di Babele in 2007-8, which is based on an essay by Jorge Luis Borges. For this piece Battisti created a work on paper for each letter of the alphabet from the text of the essay, in most cases hand printed in 4-point font with metal type.
After showing this work for the first time outside Italy with dr. julius | ap in 2015, Battisti has added reinterpretations to this magnum opus, of which selected examples will be shown at Paper Positions for the first time.
Anette Haas [b. 1961 in Salzgitter] has engaged with the essential questions of painting by attempting to work with and develop the idiosyncrasies of discipline, and to go beyond its assumed limits. In addition to the intrinsic themes of colour and spectrum, surface and edge, technique and variation of execution, the materiality of painting is always central to Haas’s work.
Haas rigorously pursues these themes in her works on paper as well, painstakingly manually developing surfaces using coloured pencils and acrylics, thereby sensitively applying the formal repertoire of her painting practice, as well as her investigation of borders and sites of transition, to the special material qualities of paper.
Ray Malone [b. 1939 in Mtarfa, Malta] refers directly in his graphic works to concepts and categories from the realm of music, such as rhythm, composition, and choreography. In synthesis with his fundamental artistic questions—for example into rules of proportion or space in two-dimensions—his works display his personal approach to and engagement with these musical themes. In the process, Malone continually engages artistically, theoretically, and verbally with the peculiarities of the line. He writes, for example, “that a line has characteristics similar to a note,” which it is the artist’s task to make visible in all their singularity.
Malone’s graphic works thereby becomes a point of departure for a serious, concentrated engagement with drawing: with its rhythm and positioning, and the ways these create space on paper.
Anna-Maria Bogner [b. 1984 in Schwaz, Tyrol, Austria] has an artistic background in installed sculpture with a focus on the relationship between space and spatial perception. At the same time Bogner is always invested in ambiguity, as much in her three-dimensional installations and objects as in her drawings. At first glance, these latter appear to depict geometric spatial structures drawn according to the rules of one-point perspective, with boundaries defined by precise lines. Seen through an architectonic-analytic lens, however, they reveal shifted, doubled, or displaced vanishing points, and become virtual, unrealizable concepts.