IVAM’s latest exhibition focuses on abstraction, looking at artists who understand line and colour as elements of a visual language equivalent to the function that words and sentences play in written or spoken language. A language whose aim is not so much to describe or narrate a specific situation as to produce sensations, experiences or emotions that are like a musical composition, a sequence of tones, rather than a descriptive narrative.
The exhibition, named La eclosión de la abstracción. Línea y color en la colección del IVAM (The Birth of Abstraction. Line and Colour in the IVAM Collection) includes a number of artists such as Antoni Tapiès, Luis Gordillo, James Turrell, Pierre Soulages and Lucio Fontana, among others.
The Abstract Eclosion
July 20, 2017 – September 29, 2018
IVAM Institut Valencià d’Art Modern
Guillem de Castro, 118, Valencia
At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century various central European artists struggled to construct something that has been understood as “a new language, a new kind of painting”, in which musical and spiritual aspects acquired primary importance and in which, as Kazimir Malevich said, personal feeling occupied a central position in the making of an abstract painting. Thus connections were formed between feelings andspirituality, and mysticism was mingled with unconscious visions, leading to direct expression of a series of invisible aspects that attained visible expression on the canvas.
During the last century these ideas were a point of departure for the creation of numerous works based fundamentally on visual aspects, separate from any factors that were external to the picture and detached from any kind of objective reference, in order to make it clear that art now did not express anything other than what it actually showed, thus forming a new “language” which is probably, for many people, one of the greatest contributions of modern art. As the artist Josef Albers said, the idea was “to proclaim colour autonomy as a means of plastic organisation”.
According to Josef Albers, we could say that he immense majority of abstract paintings made since the beginning of the twentieth century (some of a more mystical nature, others more romantic or more analytical) choose to understand the pictorial object as an autonomous organism detached from any figurative influence derived from nature, physical objects or social relationships that might disturb mere aesthetic pleasure based on visual experience.
Round-table discussions, conversations and, especially, visits to the various sections of this exhibition will conceptualise, dynamise and contextualise some of the works and the movements to which they belong from a historiographic viewpoint. Particular ways of seeing related to painting, sculpture, films, performance, poetry, acoustic art and thought, presented by professionals of these disciplines, will set out to cover part of the limitless polyhedron of what is known as abstract art.