MASP Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo

from bauhaus to (now!)

16 Aug - 28 Oct 2007

Pietro Sanguineti, (Now), 2001, lightbox, 180 x 240 x 18 cm
from bauhaus to (now!)
The DaimlerChrysler Collection & Education Program in Brazil 2007
From Bauhaus to Contemporary Art - a comprehensive portrait of the collection

Artistic expressions have been growing increasingly diverse during the recent years. Many artists of our time who express themselves without being constrained by conventions, wish viewers to experience their works freely.

We believe that encouraging free approaches toward art is the important first step for viewers in beginning dialogues of their own with works of art. Contemporary art tends to be considered especially difficult to understand. Yet, with keywords drawn from daily life, we can start the dialogues that will eventually guide us to discover linkages between our lives and a work of art, the background in which it was created and the messages it conveys.

Moreover, given an opportunity to exchange ideas with others, we can develop the basics of mutual relationships, that is, to understand and respect each other's perspectives in a society with increasingly diverse values.

From Bauhaus to Contemporary Art

Analyzing the elements comprising a work of art is an important cue for appreciating art. Colors bring liveliness to art works and affect viewers' perceptions in variety of ways, depending on how they are arranged. Forms and depth that are rendered with dots, lines and planes can be considered essential components of art. A careful study of the constituent elements is a fundamental process in looking at art and applies to any work of art.
Founded in 1919, the Bauhaus school of art, craft, and design, conducted an in-depth study on the effects those elements produce.

Josef Albers, one of the instructors at Bauhaus, produced strictly abstract paintings that consist of minimum elements. Yet, his paintings make us feel that there is movement. Careful observation tells us that tensions between carefully placed colour planes are responsible for it.
Artists: Josef Albers, Willi Baumeister, Max Bill, Ulrich Erben, Johannes Itten, Oskar Schlemmer and more

Material / Technique / Presentation
Post-War Avant-Garde in Europe: Zero

Materials, techniques and the way works are presented often serve as a key to read works of art.
Zero, a group formed in 1957 in Düsseldorf, initiated an avant-garde movement aiming to create new art. In 1957, sometime after World War II, a group called ZERO initiated an avant-garde movement aiming to create new art in Düsseldorf. It broke away from established social norms and artistic traditions, and started entirely new approaches toward art from "zero point."

Materials seen in our daily life that are unconventional for art, such as feathers, cork, coins and neon tubes, were incorporated in the works of Zero artists. No concrete representations can be found in their works. Judging from the fact that materials are placed systematically without being altered, the artists' intentions seem to be different from those pursued in traditional art, such as a realistic rendition, or an expression of inner self.

In addition to a careful study of formal elements, figuring out a reason for an artist's choice of a particular material will eventually reveal messages conveyed in a works of art.

Artists: Enrico Castellani, Dadamaino, Jan Henderikse, Francois Morellet, Giulio Paolini, Jean Tinguely, Klaus Staudt and more

Subject Matter
Minimal / Conceptual

The subject matter of a work of art does not necessarily speak for itself.
Coinciding with the unconventional practices of Zero, Minimal art emerged in the United States in the 1960s. And the Minimalism movement spread over Europe as well. Minimalists eliminated subjectivity and illusions from their works, based on a belief that art is reality in itself, instead of being a means of expression. In order to achieve anonymity, industrial materials were often incorporated in their works. Particularly notable is that great importance is placed on the relationship between objects and spaces.

If minimal art is to be defined as art that exists as object, Conceptual art that prevailed in the late 1960s can be defined as art that attaches paramount importance to concept. Considering artists' thinking as works of art, Conceptualists avoided the use of materials as much as possible, and created their works with immaterial elements, such as letters and symbols.

Works from these movements may appear especially difficult to understand. Yet, subject matter will be discovered as we observe, contemplating the relationship between objects and spaces, and between concepts and objects.
Artists: Daniel Buren, Andre Cadere, Joseph Kosuth, Charlotte Posenenske, Robert Ryman and more

Art and Society
Media / Brand / Product / Original

Traditionally, the value of art depended on the rarity that arose from the extraordinary creativity and technique of an artist. In our time, however, fragments of our daily life are often presented as works of art. And in some cases, artists are not involved in the process of fabrication at all. Characteristics of these works are rooted in Conceptual art, introduced in the previous section, which emphasizes the importance of concepts.

The term "information society" has been established for some time. We are surrounded by an overwhelming amount of information. Also, highly-developed industry and advanced distribution systems have made everything easily accessible. We will examine how these aspects of contemporary society might affect our relationship with art.

Artists: Are You Meaning Company, John M. Armleder, Sylvie Fleury, Robert Longo, Mathieu Mercier, Kirsten Mosher, Roman Signer, Andy Warhol, Georg Winter and more

Participating Artists:
Josef Albers D, 1888 - 1976 USA
Jane Alexander SA, 1958
Ian Anüll CH, 1948
Are You Meaning Company JP,gegr. 1999
John M(ichael) Armleder, CH 1948
Richard Artschwager USA 1924
Willi Baumeister D 1889 - 1955
Max Bill D 1908 - 1994
Hartmut Böhm D 1938
Daniele Buetti CH 1955
Daniel Buren F 1938
Andre Cadere PL 1934 - 1978 F
Enrico Castellani I, 1930
Dadamaino I 1935
Cor Dera NL 1956
Gia Edzgveradze Georgien 1953
Adolf Richard Fleischmann D 1898 - 1968 USA
Sylvie Fleury CH 1961
Günter Fruhtrunk D 1923 - 1982
Rupprecht Geiger D 1908
Jan Henderikse NL 1937
David Hockney GB 1937
Johannes Itten D 1888 - 1967
Takehito Koganezawa JP 1947
Joseph Kosuth USA 1945
Jim Lambie GB
Robert Longo USA 1953
Mathieu Mercier F 1970
Marcellvs L BRA, 1970
Francois Morellet F 1926
Kirsten Mosher USA 1963
Herbert Oehm D 1935
Giulio Paolini I 1940
Henk Peeters NL 1925
Charlotte Posenenske D 1930 - 1985
Lothar Quinte D 1923-2000
Robert Ryman USA 1930
Pietro Sanguineti D 1965
Eckhard Schene D 1941 - 1978
Oskar Schlemmer D 1888 - 1943
Berni Searle SA 1964
Roman Signer CH 1938
Almir da Silva Mavignier BRA, 1925
Jesus-Rafael Soto VE 1923
Ferdinand Spindel D
Klaus Staudt D 1932
Eva Teppe D 1963
Jean Tinguely CH 1925 - 1991
Jef Verheyen B/F1932 - 1984
Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart D 1899 - 1962
Franz Erhard Walther D 1939
Andy Warhol USA 1928 - 1987
Simone Westerwinter D 1960
Georg Winter D 1962

Tags: Josef Albers, Jane Alexander, Ian Anüll, John M. Armleder, Richard Artschwager, Willi Baumeister, Max Bill, Hartmut Böhm, Daniele Buetti, Daniel Buren, André Cadere, Enrico Castellani, Are You Meaning Company, Dadamaino, Cor Dera, Gia Edzgveradze, Ulrich Erben, Sylvie Fleury, Günter Fruhtrunk, Rupprecht Geiger, Jan Henderikse, David Hockney, Johannes Itten, Takehito Koganezawa, Joseph Kosuth, Marcellvs L., Jim Lambie, Robert Longo, Almir da Silva Mavignier, Mathieu Mercier, François Morellet, Kirsten Mosher, Herbert Oehm, Giulio Paolini, Henk Peeters, Charlotte Posenenske, Lothar Quinte, Robert Ryman, Pietro Sanguineti, Eckhard Schene, Oskar Schlemmer, Berni Searle, Roman Signer, Ferdinand Spindel, Klaus Staudt, Eva Teppe, Jean Tinguely, Jef Verheyen, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, Franz Erhard Walther, Andy Warhol, Simone Westerwinter, Renate Wiehager, Georg Winter