press release

During the sixties in the United States, several artists began to explore the notion of painting, the physical environment and the visual beyond representation. The Postwar abstract expressionism had become obsolete for those who considered that the relationship between the material and the space had to be confronted in a more direct and pure fashion. The exhibition Double Negative presents several of the most relevant American artists of this period, who transformed the development of art through different forms of knowledge. One of the main principles for this transformation was the inclusion of the “negative space” or the space that limits the works, as a possibility to integrate the experience of the spectator without pre-established conditions.

By means of solid fields of color, the use of industrial materials (such as metal, iron, varnishes, automotive sprays, amongst others) and the elimination of pedestals and frames, painting and sculpture soon became constructed objects coexisting with the space. The artists of this generation adopted a new vocabulary which described their works in terms of their materiality, autonomy and physicality in contraposition to the expression, the gesture and the temper that had predominated years earlier. The negation of the avant-garde cannons led these artists to work with formulas, systems, repetitions and grids which functioned more as propositions than as artistic representations. From artist Robert Rauschenberg, who began to use daily objects as part of the social aura, to Robert Smithson who developed the notion of non-site as a metaphor for the representation of space, the exhibition Double Negative alludes on the one hand to the intention of these artists to end with the narratives of the modern progress and on the other to the transformation of painting into object, in which the space integrated to the physical condition of time. This exhibition is part of an exchange program of the collections from the Museo Tamayo and the Museum of Contemporary Art of San Diego, (MCASD).