Concrete Art from the Collection

Pretty Accurate

19 November 2022 – 26 February 2023

Small Exhibition Hall

The exhibition brings together works of Concrete Art from the museum’s own holdings. Concrete art, a term that goes back to the Dutch artist Theo von Doesburg, can be seen as a continuation of a development that took place at the beginning of the 20th century. The visual arts increasingly moved away from the detailed reproduction of the visible, material world. Instead, this was reduced to the essentials. Artists in this direction, known as abstraction, continued to paint machines, landscapes, people and animals, but dissolved them in coloured surfaces or expressive brushstrokes.

Concrete art went beyond these approaches or took them further. Mathematical orders, the play with geometric patterns and the exploration of colour tones and contrasts were principles of concrete artists. Their representations did not depict and no longer had any symbolic meaning, no references to material things. A coloured square, a black circle or a field of lines said no more than what was seen.

Connected with this was the idea of a democratic or better universal art that could be understood by all people regardless of origin or education.

This circumstance may also explain why it was no longer necessary to distinguish between genres. Graphic, furniture and object design, architecture and fine arts converged, as the principles of geometry and reduction were applicable to many fields. For example, some of those represented in the exhibition designed logos (Günter Fruhtrunk for Aldi Nord, Anton Stankowski for Deutsche Bank, Victor Vasarely for Renault).

In addition to well-known representatives of Concrete Art, the exhibition also features works by regional artists who are no longer necessarily purely geometric but have developed their own varieties of non-representational art. Two recent acquisitions by female artists complement the exclusively male-dominated section of the collection.

Since the Belgian artist group LAb[au] has close content-related references to Concrete Art in the large temporary exhibition hall, at the request of the artists, some works from “Schön genau!” were integrated into their work show and one of their works here.

With works by: Cigdem Aky, Walter Dexel, Michael Dirk, Günter Fruhtrunk, Rupprecht Geiger, Joachim Grommek, Birte Horn, Johannes Itten, Friedrich Kleinheinz, Horst Pommerenke, Anton Stankowski, Richard Schur, Wolfram Ullrich, Victor Vasarely, Beat Zoderer

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