The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
FRUITMARKET GALLERY | 45 Market Street
EH1 1DF Edinburgh
artists & participants
Bringing the work of a select group of well known current-generation artists together with that of two pioneers of West Coast American minimalism, this exhibition examines the impact of California Light and Space art on artists working today.
Robert Irwin and Larry Bell are two of California’s best-known artists. Robert Irwin is renowned for his pursuit of an immaterial and experiential art through a new genre of installation work, and Larry Bell for the fabrication of ethereal geometric objects from optical, colour-bearing new plastics. In this exhibition, two of their signature objects – one of Irwin’s iconic discs and a Larry Bell cube – signal the radical and ground-breaking art made in California in the 1960s and 70s.
The importance of this art has tended to be overshadowed by the impact of East Coast American art of the same vintage, and Another Minimalism is among the few exhibitions to recognise and examine the influence of this regional subset of minimalism on leading contemporary artists.
Olafur Eliasson, Spencer Finch, Carol Bove and Ann Veronica Janssens explore the perceptual and psychological aspects of seeing in stripped down, incidental or optical forms, structures and spaces. Their works can cause profound shifts in our perception by the simplest and most transparent of means – coloured light gels, mist, the subtle deployment of after images. These characteristics, along with signature materials of Light and Space art such as the tinted glass, mirror, resins and highly-coloured surfaces used by Jeppe Hein, Sarah Braman and Sam Falls, have migrated into the international art lexicon. Tacita Dean has a more subtle engagement with perception and the slowed-down encounter, key qualities of Light and Space art, while James Welling and Uta Barth use photography to explore these ideas.
Together the artists in this exhibition, like those associated with California Light and Space, embrace temporality, instability, liminality and subjectivity. These are the very ways in which California minimalism differs from the literalness, pure objecthood, and materiality of New York's. Whether the artists do so knowingly or as a result of the absorption of Light and Space into the international artistic ether, the works in Another Minimalism find their historical reflection in California Light and Space art.