A key piece of François Morellet: 16 lampes allumage avec 4 rythmes superposés (1963) —one of the artist’s first examples of his application of systems highlighted by artificial light, on a square panel, sought to challenge conventional narratives of artistic construction. By applying mathematical constraints to simple lines and geometric shapes, Morellet, a pioneer of geometric abstraction and a founding member of GRAV (Visual Art ResearchGroup), developed a recognizable type of radical geometrical abstraction. While embracing elements of randomness and chance, the subjectivity of the artist and conventional notions of compositions were refused.
In 1955, Takis, (born Panagiotis Vassilakis), found inspiration in the Calais train station’s “iron jungle,” leading to his iconic Signal series. These captivating works, composed of light iron rods and other found objects, respond to the slightest vibrations in their environment, creating mesmerising movements and sounds. Takis’s commitment to motion and his exploration of physics, nature, and technology are evident in the Signals and are complemented by his
historical 1966 work: Musical.
Over five decades, George Rickey dedicated himself to creating poetic and precisely calibrated stainless steel sculptures he referred to as “machines”. Influenced by Alexander Calder, Rickey’s pieces often mimic shapes from nature, particularly trees, but executed in industrial steel, resulting in a contrast of nature and machine. Two of his notable pieces, Six Lines Up
Contrapuntal (1967) and Four Rectangles One Square II (1979), invite viewers to a moment of stillness.
Turi Simeti, a distinguished member of the Italian Zero movement and closely aligned with Spatialism, is celebrated for his exceptional monochrome pictorial reliefs characterised by elegant oval structures. Simeti strives to encapsulate a serene essence within his monochromatic abstractions while delving into the realm of graceful movement through the masterful use of protruding forms. Quadrato su quadrato (1972) stands as a profound example, concealing motion and form beneath the enigmatic canvas surface.
In the vein of Spatialism and Zero, the Milanese avant-garde artist and self-taught painter Dada, also known as Dadamaino, demonstrates a profound scientific influence, owing to her background in medicine. Influenced by Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein, she delves into the interplay of art, space, and motion, seeking to represent these elements through shapes. In the
1960s, her meticulous and captivating study of chromatic combinations within the solar spectrum culminated in her artwork “La Ricerca Del Colore” (The research of color) (1967), where colours activate the motion of the pictorial surface.
Belgian kinetic artist Walter Leblanc explored motion through optical illusions, using light and unconventional materials. In 1959, he introduced torsion by twisting cotton threads and plastic ribbons over traditional supports, creating ray-like patterns and geometric shapes. His work in Op Art and Kinetic Art showcases a unique quest for the connection between optical illusions and motion. Leblanc’s Mobilo-Statique (1962-1965) exemplifies his captivating exploration of
Ugo Rondinone, the American conceptual artist, possesses a distinctive style that centres around meditating on everyday life and exploring the theme of time while blurring the line between reality and artifice. His Suns, Moons, and Circles series pays homage to modernism with vibrant colours, offering a visually satisfying experience. The repetition of circles and their
vibrant colorways create an engaging contrast in the pattern. The titles of these works provide context while leaving room for interpretation of Rondinone’s artistic intentions. Renowned for expressing complex ideas with simplicity, Jean Tinguely used found objects for his assemblages and introduced motion and sound to transform the sculptures’ space. His
works blend concepts, movement, and performance, provoking profound reactions and challenging static art experiences. Notably, Tinguely’s Bascule (1968) aligns with Rondinone’s 5. September, 2007 (2007), both embracing everyday objects and symbols.
In the Dansaekhwa tradition, the exhibition also features the work of Korean abstract painter Lee Dong-Youb. His art suggests existence through distance and emptiness, transcending boundaries, and captures natural colour overlapped with wide brush strokes on white backgrounds. Lee Dong-Youb’s Interpace-Cycle (1990) exemplifies these concepts.
While all these works exist individually, they share components of a melodic motion in their intricate and complex mathematical structures. They seek to offer a timeless dialogue surrounding the concepts of form and motion.