1966 | MINIMALISM OR PRIMARY STRUCTURES. Giant geometries.
curated by Francesca Franco
The Primary Structures exhibition at the Jewish Museum of New York in 1966 marks the official birth of minimalism. This new research trend draws the exaggeration of sizes and modular or serial repetition from pop art and the taste for geometry from op(tical) art, which leads to an analysis of the potential of lines and colours in terms of optical illusions.
Minimal works are 3-dimensional structures characterised by a precise geometry and by smooth, ordinary and undecorated surfaces, which are often associated with industrial rhetoric. Differently from sculpture in its traditional conception – which is usually made up of different parts hierarchically arranged together – they are conceived as a series of identical elements arranged following a paratactic pattern one next to the other. Their fundamental plastic qualities (shape, arrangement, size and material) aim at creating radically ambiguous objects: abstract solids which are physically intrusive and formally essential aspiring to compete with architecture and urban planning. Hence their environmental character. They commit the observer in a complex perceptive experience made of changing relationships between the internal and external space, minimum and maximum dimensions, fullness and void, volume and surface, geometry and repetition, well-defined shape and undetermined space. The monumental scale emphasises the fascinating and physical power of profiles, while the simple structure enables the maximum intensity of the image, providing viewers with the tools to re-educate their perception and become aware of the possible changing relationships they have with the object and space. A space to possess intellectually as well as materially.
Richard SerraGiuditta ed Oloferne - 2005