What's On? Spring 2015 Issue - by IdeelArt
Mar 15, 2015
A quarterly calendar of the best abstract art events around the world.
Spring is a time for rebirth and rejuvenation. Abstraction is the freedom that comes with it. There are some incredible abstract arts events taking place around the world over the coming months – here’s the who what when where why.
Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915–2015
Present – April 6 2015
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High St, London, E1 7QX
How does Abstraction relate to society and politics? How much of its force is behind mobilising radical change? How can it underpin socially transformative spaces? These are just a few of the questions both asked and answered at Adventures of the Black Square.
This major new attraction is a must-visit for lovers of abstract art. Beginning with Kazimir Malevich’s radical ‘black square’ paintings (“In the year 1913, trying desperately to free art from the dead weight of the real world, I took refuge in the form of the square.” – Malevich, 1927), the exhibit will also bring together Abstraction gems from the likes of David Batchelor, Piet Mondrian, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp. Work by more than 100 artists will be on display. An entire century, trying to make sense of the nonsensical, exhibited.
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility. Mirror Works and Drawings 1974–2014
March 13 – June 3 2015
The Guggenheim, 1071 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10128
Look into the mirror – what do you see? Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian saw inspiration. Much of the celebrated Iranian artist’s work being displayed by at The Guggenheim has not been seen publicly since the 70s – instead residing in Monir’s personal collection.
This exhibition promises to focus on the sculptural and graphic oeuvre that Monir developed throughout her 40-year career. Geometric abstraction, with all its repetition, progression, and aesthetic tradition, is absorbed into Islamic architecture and decoration. Alongside work including the infamous mirror-works first exhibited in 1977, there will also be the premier of a new documentary film about Monir, her art, and her political impact in Iran and elsewhere.
Richard Diebenkorn Collection
March 14 – June 7 2015
Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1S 3ET
Can you ever really leave Abstraction? Richard Diebenkorn’s career suggests not. He adopted abstract expressionism in his 20s, and became a leader of the movement when the focus of the art world moved across the pond to the USA. The work he produced throughout his mid-30s while travelling across Europe, however, had become figurative, and saw him become a leader in this movement, too.
He would later return to Abstraction in his 40s, creating a highly-personal geometric style that was drastically different from his early abstract work. This exhibition looks at Diebenkorn’s revered Ocean Park series created in this late career period, containing work that the Boston Globe described as “some of the most beautiful works of art created in America or anywhere else since the Second World War.” Diebenkorn’s irresistible ability to give voyeurs a sense of the world within the canvas will “renew your belief in painting”, according to art historian John Elderfield.
Light Image and Data Image – Traces of Concrete Photography
March 14 - May 31 2015
Museum Im Kulturspeicher Würzburg, Oskar-Laredo-Platz 1, 97080 Würzburg, Germany
The camera captures reality, and presents it accurately to others. At least that’s what we used to expect. Artists in the 1920s began to utilise photography as a means to display the journey of light and its effect on materials; it was no longer about capturing a scene, it was about artistic expression in its most reduced form.
It wasn’t until late in the 20th century, though, that ‘Concrete Art’ was recognised as an autonomous art form. The medium expanded and evolved quickly moving into the new millennium, and this exhibition will show visitors how Concrete Photography has grown over the past ten years. Featuring work from abstract art heavyweight Richard Caldicott and Würzburg’s own Christiane Feser, it’s not to be missed.
The Kunstmuseum Basel Modern Collection
March 18 – September 14 2015
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Sabatini Building, 52 Santa Isabel Street, 28912, Madrid
As the Kunstmuseum Basel is closed for remodelling, its collection is making its way to Madrid. Not just any collection – but one of the most significant in Europe.
Taking its position amidst work of the other Isms (Expressionism, Constructivism, and Minimalism, to name a few), abstract art is an important part of the collection that will now be exhibited at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. For instance, there is work from Wassily Kandinsky – credited with painting one of the first purely abstract pieces. Kandinsky’s friend and contemporary Hans Arp is also present, as is arguably one of the most important artists of our time, Gerhard Richter. Abstraction is alive and well in Madrid.
Photo Credit: Theo van Doesburg, Composition XXIII, 1922 / Wikimedia Commons / IdeelArt