Gagosian Hong Kong is pleased to present 間 (jiān), a group exhibition of Minimalist works selected in response to Dan Flavin’s the nominal three (to William of Ockham) (1963).
“間” is a composite of the Chinese characters for “sun” and “door,” evoking a sliver of light between two pillars. It can be translated as “interval,” “gap,” “space,” or “pause.” This image-moment taps into the phenomenological aims of Minimalism, which uses simplified forms to communicate the primacy of intellect and bodily awareness over artistic content.
Emerging from de Stijl, Constructivism, and Suprematism, as well as American mass production, Minimal art locates the content of an artwork in the viewer, rather than in the object. Artists such as Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Walter De Maria, all included in this exhibition, pursued a pure objecthood informed by existentialist philosophy and theories of being and nonbeing.
In the early 1960s, Flavin’s interest in elementary forms and industrial materials led him to develop site-specific arrangements of commercial fluorescent lights. Circumventing the limits of the gallery, he used the standard lengths of the tube lights to set up nonhierarchical interrelationships, blurring distinctions between the aesthetics of art and industry. the nominal three (to William of Ockham) (1963) is made up of six identical lights, three subsets positioned in a numeric sequence across a single wall. Displayed as parallel vertical beacons, the lights can be read from left to right: one light, then two, then three, exemplifying Flavin’s calculated awareness of the empirical realities of rooms.
De Maria took his calculations to the floor (as well as the land, in his earth works). His sculptures use mathematic permutations to produce sublime repetitions of basic geometric components. 14-Sided Open Polygon (1984) is a stainless-steel channel containing a steel ball. Looking down upon this shiny tetradecagon, one imagines the ball rolling infinitely along the interior angles.
Often, Minimal art examines the realm between painting and sculpture. Judd, for example, became dissatisfied with painting in the late 1950s because he wished to present objects as themselves, rather than as representations on a surface. He sought to get rid of everything except for order, to reveal a self-defining structural logic in all forms. Untitled (88–28 A/B) (1984) is comprised of two rectangular units, aluminum boxes with blue Plexiglas panels, protruding from the wall. Instead of drawing attention to the qualitative realities of the space, as Flavin does, Judd brings awareness to the physical relation between object and viewer.
Minimalism requests that the viewer stand before steel, Plexiglas, and light and confront his or her own awareness. To hear the buzz of Flavin’s lights, see one’s distorted reflection in De Maria’s steel, and experience the surface tension of Judd’s boxes is to address one of life’s most elusive questions: our very existence.
香港高古軒畫廊欣然呈獻「間」聯展，展出一系列極簡主義作品，向丹‧弗萊文（Dan Flavin）的《公因數三(致奧卡姆的威廉)》（the nominal three (to William of Ockham)，1963年）致敬。
「間」由「日」和「門」字組成，令人聯想到兩根柱子之間的一縷光線。「間」可解作間隔、間隙、空間或間歇，反映極簡主義的現象學目的，即利用簡化的形態來表達思維與身體感知比藝術內容更重要的觀點。極簡主義源於風格派、構成主義、至上主義及美國批量生產，藝術品的內容由觀賞者決定，而非物件本身。是次展覽將展出藝術家弗萊文、唐納德‧賈德（Donald Judd）和華特‧德‧瑪利亞（Walter De Maria）的作品，他們皆追求純粹的物性，並受存在主義哲學及「存在」與「虛無」的理論啟發。
德‧瑪利亞則將地面（以及他在大地作品中使用的土地）視為計算對象，他的雕塑運用數理排列法，創造不斷重複的基本幾何元素。在《十四邊形》（14-Sided Open Polygon，1984年）中，他打造了一個不鏽鋼槽，放入鋼球，從高處望向這個閃亮的十四邊形，會發現鋼球似乎沿著多邊形的內角一直滾動，永不止息。
極簡主義經常探索繪畫與雕塑之間的領域，例如賈德於1950年代末希望打破繪畫的制約，不滿足於浮於表面的呈現，而渴望呈現物件本身。他致力擺脫一切，只剩下排序，務求展現所有形態之中自我定義的結構邏輯。《無題（88–28 A/B）》(Untitled (88–28 A/B)，1984年)由兩個長方形單元組成，帶藍色樹脂玻璃板的鋁箱由牆壁伸出。賈德希望彰顯物件與觀賞者之間的物理關係，而非像弗萊文般，將焦點放在空間的定性現實之上。
Eileen Costello, Marta Kuzma, and Caitlin Murray on Donald Judd: Paintings
Art historian Eileen Costello and Yale School of Art professor Marta Kuzma discuss Donald Judd’s two-dimensional work and how the lessons he learned from the innovations of Abstract Expressionist and Color Field paintings permeate his entire body of work. Their conversation is moderated by Caitlin Murray, director of archives and programs at Judd Foundation.
Peter Ballantine and Martha Buskirk on Donald Judd
Peter Ballantine, Donald Judd’s longtime fabricator of plywood works, and Martha Buskirk, professor of art history and criticism at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, discuss the development, production, and history of the largest plywood construction Judd ever made, an untitled work from 1980.
Light and Lightning: Wonder-Reactions at Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field
In this second installment of a two-part essay, John Elderfield resumes his investigation of Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), focusing this time on how the hope to see lightning there has led to the work’s association with the Romantic conception of the sublime.
A Day in the Life of The Lightning Field
In the first of a two-part feature, John Elderfield recounts his experiences at The Lightning Field (1977), Walter De Maria’s legendary installation in New Mexico. Elderfield considers how this work requires our constantly finding and losing a sense of symmetry and order in shifting perceptions of space, scale, and distance, as the light changes throughout the day.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2021
The Spring 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Gerhard Richter’s Helen (1963) on its cover.
Behind the Art
Donald Judd: Exhibition Tour
In this video, Flavin Judd, the artist’s son and artistic director of Judd Foundation, leads a walkthrough of the exhibition Donald Judd: Artwork: 1980 at Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York. Flavin connects the work to the concurrent retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the permanent installations in Marfa, Texas, highlighting how it fits within Judd’s oeuvre.
Extended through January 22, 2022
November 10, 2021–January 22, 2022
555 West 24th Street, New York