ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s. at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Of New York City

On Wednesday, December 3rd , 2014, I visited The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Of New York City, located at 071 5th Ave in Manhattan.  During my sojourn in that artistic temple, I was able to visit almost all galleries. However, I devoted more time to the artworks exposed during the exhibition called: ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s.

The exhibition was an opportunity for The Guggenheim Museum to open a window on the Group Zero, a group of artists founded by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene in 1957 in the aim to become an international art movement. This artistic movement, which is sometimes associated with the Nouveau réalisme paradigm, argues that art should be void of color, emotion and individual expression.

Among the themes explored during the exhibitions, are the establishment of new definitions of painting (such as the monochrome, serial structures, and fire and smoke paintings); the introduction of movement and light as both formal and idea-based aspects of art; the use of space as subject and material; the interrogation of the relationship between nature, technology, and humankind; and the production of live actions or demonstrations.  I have chosen to discuss two artworks I found interesting during my visit.

The first artwork, I am writing about is called Torsion and was created by the Belgian artist Walter Leblanc in 1932. The artwork is made with Polyvinyl strips and has a dimension of 100 × 100 cm. Torsion belongs to the Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (Germany).

The second artwork, I chose is called Pyrography 60-06 (Pyrografie 60-06) and created by Henk Peeters in 1960. The artwork is made of burned plastic, has a dimension of 100 × 120 cm and belongs to the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

I chose this artwork, principally because of the medium used to create it. It is my first time to discover the use of a burned object in art. The artwork represents black dots made with burned surfaces on a white plastic. The dots almost cover the entire surface of the artwork and seem to be organized in horizontal and vertical order. The similarity of the dots forces the viewer to look at the entire artwork and not to focus on a particular zone. It gives a sensation of unity to the composition. As regard to the colors used, the black dots on the white background make them more visible.



Alexandre Koffi

Entrepreneur, space enthusiast, dreamer, cosmic messenger.

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