The exhibition Far from the void. ZERO and postwar art in Europe offers a review of the groups of artists that overcame the post-war aesthetic and the existential atmosphere by rejecting expressionist painting, materic gestural abstraction and the informalism that dominated the art world after the Second World War. The contributions of the young artists gathered together in the exhibition were central to the “big bang” of art in the decade of the 1960s. Reflecting on ZERO and the contemporary groups that shared this spirit and formed a dense network of contacts, exhibitions, publications and events (among others, Azimut, Nul, Gruppo T, Gruppo N, Equipo 57, Nove Tendencije), the exhibition displays “congregations” of artists who operated without a unified belief or intellectual leader, but who shared the ambition of “starting from zero” for a new way of making and enjoying art., The structure of the exhibition does not have an encyclopaedic outlook, but gathers the most relevant moments of this brief history, set between 1957 and 1966, during which time there is a cartography of the old continent, beyond the big cities, in the provinces of Central Europe.
The exhibition gathers together over one hundred works from more than thirty artists (Mack, Piene, Uecker, Manzoni, Castellani, Klein, Tinguely, Fontana, Dadamaino, Grazia Varisco, Nanda Vigo, Megert, Peeters, Haacke, Verheyen, Schoonhoven, Daniel Spoerri, and many others), as well as numerous documents and archives. The exhibition catalogue has been conceived as a compilation of original sources (texts from the artists, exhibits, etc.), in dialogue with the images of the exhibited works and a selection of the most relevant documents.
The exhibition renews the interest of IVAM- Julio González Centre for the critical re-reading of the artists who, in recent history, have contributed to making art extend the boundaries of perception and awareness.
The exhibition Far from the Void. ZERO and Postwar Art in Europe has been organised with the inestimable and generous co-operation, both scientific and patrimonial, of the ZERO Foundation in Düsseldorf.
We would also like to thank a large number of people and public and private institutions for their assistance:
The artists: Grazia Varisco, Heinz Mack and Christian Megert.
The lenders of the works in the exhibition: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum Kunst Palast Düsseldorf; Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Museum Tinguely, Basle; MuHKA-Centrum Kunstarchieven Vlaanderen, Antwerp; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo and Filmoteca de Andalucía, Seville; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen; Stiftung Kunstfonds, Cologne; ZERO Foundation, Düsseldorf; Fondazione Piero Manzoni, Fondazione Enrico Castellani, Archivio Nanda Vigo, Archivio Varisco, Milan; The Mayor Gallery, London; Galleria Allegra Ravizza, Galleria A Arte Invernizzi, and Marco Meneguzzo, Milan.
We should furthermore like to express our very special thanks for the help of Dr. Barbara Könches, Romina Dümler, Rebecca Welkens and Anna-Lena Weise (ZERO Foundation), Rosalía Pasqualino di Marineo and Agnese Boschini (Fondazione Manzoni), Lorenzo Wirz Castellani and Federico Sardella (Fondazione Enrico Castellani), Francesca Pola, Marco Meneguzzo, Maura Pozzati, Mattijs Visser (0-Institute), Dr. Sophia Sotke (Atelier Mack), Galería Cayón, Lucia Aspesi (Hangar Bicocca) and Iolanda Ratti (Museo del Novecento).
Far from the void. ZERO and postwar art in Europe
Presentation of the exhibition
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