Painting Zero Degree Press Release

Independent Curators International

Curated by Carlos Basualdo, 2000 – 2002

“During the late 1960s and early 1970s, a number of artists in the United States and Europe began to disregard traditional notions of what constitutes a painting, such as individual expression or illusionistic space, and focused their work instead on one or two of the most basic elements of their craft, such as color or brushstroke. Ironically, this exploration of the essential elements of painting, which may be thought of as a pursuit of painting’s “zero degree,” yields highly diverse work. The American painter Robert Ryman, for example, has produced a rich and complex bod of work by focusing primarily on the brushstroke and on variations in the canvas support, avoiding considerations of composition and color. Ryman’s contemporary, French artist Daniel Buren, takes this reductive strategy in the opposite direction, moving away from the discrete canvas and applying bands of color to the wall, flags and other surfaces outside traditional paining. […]

Argentinean Artist, Gladys Nistor, who resides in France, also creates work that refers to design but in fact has no “real-life” application. Nistor applies shares cut out of black felt directly onto the wall, using architectural features such as doors as the measurement for the outer edge of each piece. The reference to architectural elements, combined with the shapes of the individual pieces of felt, creates an illusion of depth, not only eliciting the expectation that the work is a plan for something “real,” but also raising the issue of the traditional role of painting as a window to reality. Works such as Nistor’s untitled pieces in the exhibition are installed by staff at each site, based on drawings contributed by the artist. “

Click here to find out more about the exhibition.

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