Minimalism and Applied II

Dialogues of Contemporary Art with Aspects of 20th Century Design and Architecture

October 29th 2010 — March 27th 2011
Mercedes-Benz Contemporary

Over the last ten years, the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection has developed a focal point in the field of constructive, conceptual and minimalistic tendencies from the 1920s to the present day. A particular interest was taken here in artists who have worked on the borders between free and applied disciplines. Minimalism and Applied I (2007) introduced fine artists who work within the transition to architecture, product and graphic design. In contrast with this, the second part of the series focuses on a dialogue between outstanding early exponents of architecture and furniture design with international contemporary art. The artists take up formal elements of design and architecture classics with site-specific installations, sculptures, pictorial objects and readymades, but above all enter into a discussion with these linked radical approaches and democratic ideals.

This exhibition centres on new acquisitions by international contemporary artists whose work examines the transitional spaces between art, design and architecture. Gail Hastings built her three-dimensional ‘thought space’ for a library building that was designed by the Australian architect Griffin in 1911 but was never built. Albert Weis’ ‘Cabinet’ und Martin Boyce’ sculptures both reference the shared construction aesthetic of Jean Prouvé and Eileen Gray’s architecture designs. The sculptures by Rupert Norfolk and George Henry Longly both combine industrial design with minimalist art. Back in the 1960s, Charlotte Posenenske pioneered the same kind of radical democratic approaches to art and design exemplified by Ferdinand Kramer and Charlotte Perriand: an authentic artistic language expressed in minimalist, participatory art objects. Philippe Parreno combines filmic, pictorial and applied aesthetics to create politically charged spatial situations.


on loan: Eileen Grey, Hans van der Laan, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé






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