CONCRETE GLOBAL! PUTS TOGETHER ARTISTS FROM ALL THE WORLD TO REDEFINE CONCRETE ART
The Museum im Kulturspeicher Würzburg presents exhibition CONCRETE GLOBAL! taking the idea of concrete art as a global phenomenon for the first time and examining its aesthetic manifestations, socio-political dimensions and its networks worldwide on the basis of key figures and works.
The ideas of constructive-concrete art since its development in the early 20th century not only formed a counter-movement to figurative art movements, but also an artistic means of developing visions of social futures. The “necessity of the concrete” initially expressed the search for universal languages in art, architecture and poetry. The further development of concretion after 1945 had several origins worldwide: in Europe, it is the experience of death and destruction through the Holocaust and the Second World War; in countries of the global South, it is the urge to form postcolonial societies. At that time, a universal abstract language often seemed necessary to artists as a counter-design to the reality of life and propaganda in totalitarian systems.
These artists often started from similar reference systems as those developed in European modernism, such as the Bauhaus, Russian Constructivism and the De Stijl movement. However, they drew a line against the dogmatic programs of these predecessors und followed their own principles and indigenous influences. Progressive and culturally situated artistic concepts develop in the form of historical (in)simultaneities. Seen from a global perspective, concrete art already formed an alternative and locally specific history before and after 1945, beyond the Western narrative of “abstraction as a world language.”
Participating artists: Joaquín Torres García, Loló Soldevilla, Carmelo Arden Quin, Carmen Herrera, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Nikolai Kasak, María Freire, Mira Schendel, Lygia Clark, Lidy Prati, Rubem Valentim, Judith Lauand, Geraldo de Barros, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesús Rafael Soto, Menhat Helmy, Almir Mavignier, Ana Sacerdote, Elsa Gramcko, Mary Vieira, Augusto de Campos, Rasheed Aareen, Mohammed Chabâa, Samia Halaby, Eduardo Terrazas, Mohamed Melehi, Lenora de Barros, Atta Kwami.