Minimal Myth

Minimal Myth
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
2 June – 16 September 2012

Donald Judd
This summer the museum is exhibiting a selection from its own collection of Minimal art and works by the Dutch Nul group from the 1960s and 1970s alongside related work by contemporary artists. Artists such as Carl Andre, Mel Bochner, Jan Schoonhoven and Ad Dekkers will be exhibited in relation to artists including Monika Sosnowska, Nathan Hylden and Oscar Tuazon. The exhibition has been selected by Francesco Stocchi, the museum’s senior curator of modern and contemporary art.

Major works from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be shown in the museum’s main Bodon Gallery, together with works by contemporary artists. The Bodon Gallery opened in 1972 with the express purpose of providing space for large installations by artists living and working at that time. The exhibition attempts to explore the legacy of Minimal art by confronting works by contemporary artists with that of their forebears. The exhibition features sculptures, paintings, prints, drawings and photography.

‘Minimal Myth’ juxtaposes the work of two generations, but avoids a historical perspective. The artists start with common interests, but differ in their intentions. The selected works highlight contradictions: a theoretical versus emotional approach, regularity versus irregularity, objectivity versus subjectivity, attention to detail versus an overall vision. There is also an emphasis on the way in which geometric abstraction has changed from one generation to the next.

Artists in the 1960s and 1970s, for example, would use machinery in the production process to keep their work as objective as possible, whereas contemporary artists are not at all bothered about revealing their own personality in their art. At first sight, the works of Carl Andre and Oscar Tuazon seem to share a common basis. Yet the work the Minimalist Andre created mechanically shows greater objectivity than the work the contemporary artist Tuazon creates by hand.