Taking it all away: MCA Collection presents works that speculate upon the continued importance of Minimalism and conceptual art, the processes of erasure and abstraction, and the social impact of art.
Curated by Natasha Bullock
In 1960s New York, minimalism and conceptual art transformed how artists thought about space and materials. Minimalism is characterised by seriality, industrial materials, geometric forms and the complex articulation of objects in space. In different ways and through the prism of the contemporary moment, Peter Cripps, Gail Hastings and Robert Hunter explore how art enhances our awareness of spatiality and temporality. Through mirrored surfaces, barely perceptible painted grids and objects to walk around, these works reveal the interaction between gallery and spectator.
The origins of minimalism can be traced to the early twentieth-century revolutionary art movement constructivism, which demanded that art reflect a rapidly industrialising society; and to suprematism, which proposed art’s capacity for transcendence through a radical geometric abstraction. Gordon Bennett’s etchings featuring black squares directly reference these origins of abstraction, while Rose Nolan’s banners recall the radical aesthetics of constructivism’s political slogans. Yet hers are a call to arms of a more individualistic nature, in which party ideology is pared back to personal anxiety.
Ideas and process are paramount for conceptual artists, as they are today for Christian Capurro and Stuart Ringholt. Exploring concepts of labour, expenditure and the body in an image-laden world, Capurro’s erased magazine passed through the hands of 250 people over five years. Ringholt’s 18-hour clock is not only about the potential impact of time being taken away but also the cosmology of the world and our place within a vast universe.
Diverse in form and character, the works in Taking it all away – all drawn from the MCA Collection – set the dynamics of space and time against the complexities of modern existence. Together, these works speak to the importance of art history and to the vigorous, evolving nature of contemporary art.
Gordon Bennett was born 1955, Monto, Queensland. Lived and worked Brisbane. Died Brisbane 2014.
Christian Capurro was born 1968, Dampier, Western Australia. Lives and works Melbourne.
Peter Cripps was born 1948, Melbourne. Lives and works Melbourne.
Gail Hastings was born 1965, Perth. Lives and works Sydney.
Robert Hunter was born 1947, Melbourne. Lived and worked Melbourne. Died Melbourne 2014.
Rose Nolan was born 1959, Melbourne. Lives and works Melbourne.
Stuart Ringholt was born 1971, Perth. Lives and works Melbourne.
Image: Stuart Ringholt, Untitled (Clock), 2014, clockwork, tubular bells, world globe, steel, glass, electronics, Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the MCA Foundation, 2014, installation view Stuart Ringholt: Kraft, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2014, image courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane © the artist, photograph: Andrew Curtis
Sarah Shields, Access PR
02 9292 7007 | 0408 283 091
Opening:Sunday 18 January 2015
MCA - Museum of Contemporary Art
140 George Street, The Rocks
NSW 2000 Sydney, Australia