Shima. Of Moss and Sand. - Solo exhibition


When the influential American historian Robert Rosenblum published a series of lectures, Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition. published in English in 1975, his ideas caused quite a stir. For one thing, they created a narrative of modern art that did not focus on Paris. Moreover, he spoke of the sublime at a time when Minimalism and the formalist discourses that underpinned it were enjoying great success: painting, it was said at the time, was no more than an indicator of its physical characteristics, and at this point, it was no longer possible for it to evolve any further. Artists such as Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, however, had made this very clear not long before, describing the semantic ambitions of their colour fields, while also being explicit about the nature of their work, which they considered tragic. Agnes Martin and Ad Reinhardt held similar views and were wrongly considered proto-minimalists, as if the spiritual aspect of their work was irrelevant. At that time, we insist, there was talk of the death of painting. Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, unexpectedly, new generations of painters believed that abstraction was still an ideal way to address metaphysical, aesthetic, moral, spiritual and socio-political questions. Among these painters, some such as Sean Scully, Juan Uslé and Per Kirkeby are considered successors of that tradition that Rosenblum referred to as "northern".