Exhibition details ::: MMK Frankfurt am Main

Primary Structures. Masterworks of Minimal Art


22 February 2017 — 13 August 2017

Hardly any museum in Germany can lay claim to a collection of minimal art as concentrated, diverse and qualitatively superb as that of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main. The exhibition "Primary Structures" will be the first ever to present the MMK's masterworks of minimalism in a comprehensive survey.

Thanks to the purchase of the former Karl Ströher holdings by the city of Frankfurt in 1981, the MMK has in its possession a unique collection of works by American minimal artists of the 1960s, including major workgroups by Carl Andre, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd and Fred Sandback. In 2006 the museum moreover acquired the collection of the former gallery owner and collector Rolf Ricke, bringing outstanding works of post-minimalism into its holdings as well.

The minimal art current emerged in the U.S. in the early sixties, its exponents striving in their works for objectiveness, logic and industrial production without the artistic signature. They reduced their art to simple, lucid, usually geometric structures they termed "primary structures". Yet the title of the show at the MMK 2 refers not only to this basic principle of minimal art, but also to the legendary exhibition of the same name that took place at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1966. Just a year after its making, Walter de Maria's Cage of 1965 - a key work of minimal art in the MMK collection - was on view in the New York show, which in retrospect was an event of trailblazing significance for the movement.

Fifty years after that first survey of minimal art, the MMK will take a look at the historical art current from the perspective of the present and of artists in the museum collection who follow - and reflect critically on - the minimalist tradition. In addition to Jo Baer, Bruce Nauman, Robert Barry, Robert Mangold, Charlotte Posenenske, Peter Roehr, Lewis Stein and William Forsythe, they include above all representatives of younger artist generations such as Teresa Margolles, Michael Beutler, Benedikte Bjerre, Ceal Floyer, Jonas Weichsel, Sarah Morris or Santiago Sierra. The exhibition will investigate the international impact of the influential minimal art movement from the 1960s to the present. As they set out on their tour of the show, visitors will encounter reconstructions of two exhibition situations staged at the former Heiner Friedrich gallery in Munich in 1968, featuring Carl Andre's floor sculpture 22 Steel Row and Dan Flavin's light installation Two Primary Series and One Secondary.

The exhibition is being realized with support from the Freunde des MMK.

Artists oft he exhibition: Carl Andre, Richard Artschwager, Jo Baer, Bernd und Hilla Becher, Michael Beutler, Benedikte Bjerre, Alighiero Boetti, Bill Bollinger, George Brecht, Marcel Broodthaers, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Ceal Floyer, William Forsythe, Günther Förg, Isa Genzken, Hermann Goepfert, Bethan Huws, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Gary Kuehn, Barry La Va, Robert Mangold, Teresa Margolles, Sarah Morris, Bruce Nauman, Kenneth C. Noland, Blinky Palermo, Steven Parrino, Angelika Platen, Charlotte Posenenske, Timm Rautert, Peter Roehr, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Ulrich Rückriem, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Paul Sharits, Santiago Sierra, Andreas Slominski, Lewis Stein, Heide Stolz, Franz Erhard Walther, Jonas Weichsel und Lawrence Weiner


Primary Structures. Filmscreening and Lecture
Thursday, 23 March, 7pm at the MMK 1 

Films: Walter de Maria, "Hardcore" (35 min, 1969) 
and Gerry Schum, "Fernsehausstellung I, Land Art" (28 min, 1968/69) 
Introduction: Dr. Marc Siegel
Admission free

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