12th April - 17th May 2019
Curated by Norbert Francis Attard and Francesca Mangion
When Minimalism or minimalist art came to the fore in the USA in the 1960s, it was seen as a natural reaction to as the emotional excess that had become the hallmark of Abstract Expressionism in the postwar period.
Radically rejecting the painterly histrionics of the Expressionists, Minimalist artists sought the removal of metaphorical symbolism from their work, emptying painting and sculpture of its last vestiges of representation or rather, as Frank Stella would say about his paintings, “What you see is what you see.”
In 1966, Eccentric Abstraction, a group exhibition curated by Lucy Lippard at the Fischbach Gallery in NYC established the postminimal aesthetic. The term was coined later in 1971 by Robert Pincus-Witten in reference to works that were going against or beyond the aesthetic of minimalism. Pincus-Witten defines this progression as threefold- pictorial or sculptural, epistemological and ontological.
Afterminimalism revisits minimalism, choosing to approach it from a methodological rather than a thematic perspective. The term ceases to be an American art current from the 1960s and emerges as an attribute, a common denominator that can be found in the work of artists from diverse periods but who incorporate or continue to work with these attributes.
Excerpt by Francesca Mangion
Francesca Mangion (b. 1987) lives and works in Malta. Mangion is an independent curator, artist and writer with an academic background in contemporary and modern theory. She writes regularly for art blogs and journals and her writing has also appeared in select Mousse publications, undo.net, The Art Markets and AQNB. In 2015 she co-founded and was curator at La Plage, a project space based in Paris. From 2017-2018, she was the gallery manager of Malta Contemporary Art in Valletta, Malta.