Visitors to the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art will have the opportunity to see art as they have most likely never seen it before - on the floor, as wallpaper, and even being worn as clothing by museum attendants. Surprises will wait around every corner of the museum's lower gallery. Color and scale will be vital in the interactive nature of the show. Visitors will walk among large game-board-like structures, touch wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling carpeting, see striking colors in unlikely places, and so much more.
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Becomes Canvas for Minimalist Art Show
Visitors to the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art will have the opportunity to see art as they have most likely never seen it before - on the floor, as wallpaper, and even being worn as clothing by museum attendants. Surprises will wait around every corner of the museum's lower gallery.
Color and scale will be vital in the interactive nature of the show. Visitors will walk among large game-board-like structures, touch wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling carpeting, see striking colors in unlikely places, and so much more. For anyone stuck on the perception that art - and especially Minimalism - is stuffy, Painting Zero Degree will be a stimulating journey for the mind and senses.
Painting Zero Degree is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, a non-profit traveling exhibition service specializing in contemporary art. Guest curator for this exhibition is Carlos Basualdo. The exhibition, tour, and catalog are made possible, in part, by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and with additional support from the Austrian Cultural Institute, New York, and the ICI Independents.
In the late 1960s and early '70s, a group of progressive artists in Europe and the United States developed new approaches to art which disregarded all traditional notions of what constitutes a painting. Robert Ryman, John McCracken, Daniel Buren, and Niele Toroni, among others, began making art by focusing on one or two of painting's various components, from individual brushstrokes to the texture of the canvas beneath the paint and the individual colors. These artists may be said to have viewed art from only inches away.
The American painter Ryman, for example, has produced a rich and complex body of work by focusing primarily on the brushstroke and on variations in the canvas' support.
French artist Daniel Buren has moved away from the discrete canvas by applying bands of color to walls, flags, and other untraditional surfaces. For Painting Zero Degree Buren has contributed Heterogeneous Essay: The Vests (Essai heteroclite: les gilets), 1981, a work of striped vests worn by the museum attendants in the galleries. One of his rare floor pieces, To Your Feet (Aux pieds), also in the show, turns the gallery floor into one of the artist's trademarked "striped" environments. By moving his stripes of color off of the traditional canvas and into the wider environment, Buren raises fascinating issues about the expected boundaries of art, and highlights the ways in which art changes according to the context in which it is presented.
More recently, an eclectic group of young international artists, heavily influenced by their predecessors of the '60s and '70s, have reinterpreted and applied these progressive practices in their own art by moving beyond traditional media. Their works constitute a new trend of "painting" which incorporates architecture, traditional painting, and the decorative arts. These artists, including Sophie Smallhorn, Peter Kogler, Rudolf Stingel, Gladys Nistor, and others, utilize media such as furniture, wallpaper, carpet, and video.
Painting Zero Degree also questions long-held beliefs about art, such as the relationship of art to the venue in which it is shown and the belief that artwork is an entity unto itself, unrelated to its surroundings. Unlike the typical exhibition, the installation of many of the works in Painting Zero Degree will be determined according to the existing dimensions of the museum and, therefore, will change from show to show. In step with the unconventional nature of the exhibition, the museum will be forced to rethink its usual method of emphasizing the artwork by quieting the architectural nuances of the museum building. Instead, specifications of the show require that the artwork merge with the museum's own design.
Painting Zero Degree comprises 35 works by 14 international artists from the '60s to present, five of whom have created new works especially for the exhibition.
"This show will be a great way to introduce non-museum visitors of all ages to the fun that can be had in an art museum," says FJJMA Director Eric M. Lee. "And more seasoned art enthusiasts will appreciate it for its exploration beyond the ordinary. It is truly a show for everyone."
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog, which includes two essays, one by Basualdo, who discusses the concepts behind the exhibition, and the other by art historian Ellen Tepfer, who discusses the art by the show's older generation and how it relates to works by the exhibition's younger generation of artists. The catalog will be available in the FJJMA museum store.
Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking is available on the campus's north oval with a museum parking permit (available at the security desk) or in the visitor parking lot on the north side of Boyd Street across from the museum. Additional parking is available in the Asp or Elm Street parking garages. Admission is free.
Fred Jones jr. Museum of Art
The University of Oklahoma
410 West Boyd Street, Norman, Oklahoma 73019