Urban formalism

This exhibition voices that tendency in international art practice that is called Post Minimalism or Narrative Geometry (Klaus Bisenbach). Primarily, the issue here is not quoting or paraphrasing the original minimal art of the 60s. What is common it is not the words but the intonation. The post minimal works of Xurban, Monika Bonvicini, Santiago Sierra, Jeppe Hein and others reproduce the neutrality of the aesthetic discourse in Minimalism, its disinterest in mass-media, its refusal of both those Pop Art tendencies to seduce or enrage the audience, and the attempts in Actionism to establish a direct contact with the audience. Regarding these works it is possible to recall Frank Stella’s quote: “What you see is what you see” and turn it into “What you see is what you can see”, because Post Minimalism – we are using this term in relation to Western art – is charged today with ideological and ethical meanings, with connotations to political and social activities – indeed, it is intended for the attentive and experienced viewer.

In the context of Russian art this tendency of new formalism contains also a “pathos of pioneers”, since in the history of Soviet art Minimalism could only manifest itself as an underground activity, disconnected from the official Social Realism wanted by the regime. Although significant, the amount of works and artists ascribable to Minimalism is, however, not conspicuos.

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