press release

When describing the crucial years in the genesis of Minimal and Conceptual Art, the American art critic Lucy Lippard stated that there was a "cult of neutrality" in 1960's Minimalism, while Conceptual Art, around the same time, was focusing on the clarity of the idea. Taking this as a reference, the exhibition A mancha humana is based on the opposite extreme: the presumption that not only was this supposed purity and neutrality exceeded by the neo-conceptual artists of the eighties and nineties, but that a 'human stain' (a reference taken from the title of a book by the novelist Philip Roth) was always a constituent element of Conceptual Art from its very beginnings.

German curator Ellen Blumenstein has delved into the CGAC and Fundación ARCO collections focusing on the common rather than the dividing aspects of the relationship between Conceptual and non-Conceptual Art. The main aim of her curatorial project is to demonstrate that the notion of 'idea' is not necessarily opposed to 'subjectivity', 'poetry' or 'politics', but that a productive tension may arise from the relationships established between these diverse elements which run through a work of art.

A mancha humana begins with one of the most important –and recently acquired– works in the collection, the early Conceptual work by Joseph Kosuth, Clear, Square, Glass, Leaning (1965), in which he introduces a dialogue with other artistic positions of the same period in time: Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt and Joseph Beuys, among others. It also considers a unique group of feminist artists such as Martha Rosler, Ana Mendieta, Helena Almeida or Anna Maria Maiolino; and politically-committed positions, as shown by the eastern European artists Július Koller or Mladen Stilinonovic. Finally, it contrasts these more historical positions with exponents of neo-Conceptualism such as Liam Gillick, Jac Leirner or Iñaki Bonillas.

only in german

THE HUMAN STAIN / A mancha humana
Kurator: Ellen Blumenstein

Künstler: Vito Acconci, Art & Language , Francis Alÿs, Carl Andre, Dieter Appelt, Jorge Barbi, Christian Boltanski, Robert Breer, Pavel Büchler, Daniel Buren, Luis Camnitzer, Tacita Dean, Esther Ferrer, Hamish Fulton, Dora Garcia, Anna Bella Geiger, Liam Gillick, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Dan Graham, Nicolas Guagnini, Channa Horwitz, Donald Judd, Julius Koller, Joseph Kosuth, Jac Leirner, Sol Le Witt, Anna Maria Maiolino, Allan McCollum, Ana Mendieta, Michael Müller [Ingelheim], Gabriel Orozco, Clemente Padin, Joao Penalva, Giuseppe Penone, Susan Philipsz, Richard Prince Rosangela Renno, Ulrike Rosenbach, Martha Rosler, Melanie Smith, Mladen Stilinovic, James Turrell