"Minimal! Reduction in Painting" is the fourth exhibition of the art series We.Do.Art. of the Schalast Partnership. The international group exhibition features works by artists* Felix Becker (DE), Arvid Boecker (DE), Irene Grau (ES), Mathias Kessler (AT/USA), Luis Lizardo (VE), India Serena (VE) and Leslie Smith III (USA). The exhibition is dedicated to contemporary artistic positions that are influenced by the Minimal Art of the 1960s and 1970s, but develop these approaches further and go beyond the aesthetics of Minimalism.
The minimalist artists of the 1960s in the USA developed their works as a critical reaction to the popularity of painterly gestures and abstract expressionism by adopting new and radical ways of producing art. Artists such as Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Dan Flavin, and Donald Judd wanted to avoid artistic gestures and levels of association; their works were meant to be read literally (literal). They began to use industrially manufactured and processed materials for their works, producing conceptual, serial, and industrial objects. In doing so, they experimented with a radical reduction of form and color, shifting the meaning of the artwork from pictorial space to real space.
The practice of the artists represented in the exhibition "Minimal! Reduction in Painting" is, however, to be understood in the context of a post-minimalist discourse that questions the concept of the "literal". The exhibition primarily combines paintings and works on paper that propose reduced artistic approaches, but deliberately go beyond the literal readability of minimalism and certainly allow for levels of association again. Many of the works shown in the exhibition are the result of long processes and a direct confrontation of the artists* with the materials in the studio. Instead of industrial production, the creation of the work of art by the hand of the artist takes place again; the pictorial space once again becomes the bearer of meaning.
Nevertheless, in their minimalist-looking works, the artists of the exhibition deal with various issues of reduction, which concern both the moment of the narrative, but also a reduced vocabulary of color and form. As a result, their approaches to reduction do justice to the growing need of many people, especially in these months, to concentrate again on the essential, and at the same time raise exciting questions about the limits of painting.