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Apprehension of nothingness

"The word art does not, and cannot, be defined by painting or sculpture … [it] does not define the tool you might use to realize it, art is the evolution of the artist’s thought."
-Lucio Fontana

Crossing Art is pleased to present out/er.space, a group show guest curated by Beth Fiore that examines a lineage of artists from the early 1960s thru present-day emerging artists, wherein the artists have chosen to defy, engage, and challenge the laws of space. This exhibition discursively traces the introduction of some radically new ideas in art, primarily from American Post-Minimalists and European Arte-Povera artists, as their works completely eschewed mainstream art-historical narratives and mediums. Pushing beyond confines, these artists moved into the space, which was once nothingness, to create a rigorous, new visual vocabulary that sought clear and definite objects as its primary mode of articulation.

Featured artists include: Lucio Fontana, Richard Pettibone, Sven Lukin, Ron Gorchov, John Baldessari and Josh Sperling.

In the development of this new art, painting and its definition was rebuked: its elements began to roam; stretcher bars were extruded bulging through the flat canvas; pigments were loose, they were piled up unbound on the floor in front of the wall where they would once hang suspended in oil or acrylic; the square and rectangle started to bow out into more evolved and complex shapes; and composition and subject matter started to enter into three-dimensional space. Subjects became objects, and objects became subjects.

In exploring this exhibition, the viewer discovers that it is now necessary to find a new way to “apprehend” these kinds of works. Suddenly, an ambulatory view is required, as the art cannot be understood in its entirety from a singular, stationary point-of-view. The negative space between forms also assumes a significant role in communicating its message. In fact, the entire architecture that envelops the space bears the labor of carrying the artist’s ideas. A duality is born: image and structure. They coalesce; and the result is that they create something utterly new and interesting.

Each of the six artists included in this show offers a highly individualistic, authentic, and imaginative practice that communicates profound ideas about the new environs of art.