until 04.07. | #0051ARTatBerlin | MADE IN ZURICH, Selected Editions 1965-1972 is the very first solo show of ART & LANGUAGE in Berlin. The highlight of the exhibition is a series of seminal works, PAINTINGS 1, created and first shown in 1972 at Bruno Bischofberger Galerie in Zurich. These paintings, prints, editions and textworks have not been seen or published since their first exhibition, when they were sold to the Rothschild Bank, kept for twenty years in a safe and then purchased by the young French collector Philippe Méaille. They have been stored until this year and will be presented for the first time in four decades.
These works embody the ethos and energy of the late 1960’s when ART & LANGUAGE was beginning its historical journey through Conceptual Art, and it is in these early works that we see the seed of what has now become one of the most innovative artistic collaborative in contemporary art. The exhibition focuses on a small number of singular works made as multiples from certificates, and then blown up into paintings. These works hover between forms and positions, they are ideas and objects, textworks and paintings at the same time.
The first works by the collective artists group ART & LANGUAGE began with two English artists Terry Atkinson (*1939) and Michael Baldwin (*1945), who met in 1966 as teachers at the Coventry College of Art (UK). One year later David Bainbridge (*1941) and Harold Hurrell (*1940) joined. They founded ART & LANGUAGE press and published from May ’69 the journal with the same name. In addition to texts written by group members they published articles by other artists such as Dan Graham, Sol Lewitt, Lawrence Weiner. In 1970 Joseph Kosuth (*1954) became the American Editor. In 1971 Ian Burn (*1939) and Mel Ramsden (*1944) became editorial contributors. The American side of ART & LANGUAGE dissipated in 1976 because of internal political disagreements. The artistic work continued in Europe by Mel Ramsden and Michael Baldwin.
ART & LANGUAGE has been first exhibited in Germany at DOCUMENTA 5 (1972), and at the same time with select galleries including Paul Maenz, Bruno Bischofberger, Daniel Templon, Lisson. ART & LANGUAGE champions unconventional methods in the production of their works, instead of paint as an essential part of painting, they use language. The works seem in their form and presentation related to the conventions of painting but they break with this pictorial tradition with the use of text, especially in the early works. ART & LANGUAGE has appeared also at DOCUMENTA 7 (1982) and DOCUMENTA 10 (1997).
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication of a hard cover, 112 page book in German, English and French, including texts by the Curator of the Méaille Collection – Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts, Philippe Méaille and Rod Mengham. A lengthy interview with British conceptual artists MICHAEL BALDWIN and MEL RAMSDEN forms the core of the publication, alongside a personal commentary by the collector and an insightful text on each of the works by Rod Mengham, English literature professor at Cambridge University.
During the symposium at UdK, Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts, Philippe Méaille and the artist and author Stefan Römer will be present. The gathering focuses on these early works of ART & LANGUAGE and their political ideas. Excerpts of Römer’s well known documentary Conceptual Paradise will be shown, along with video clips of the artists rock and roll performances in the early years with members of The Red Krayola.
MADE IN ZURICH was on show in Autumn 2014 at the Gallery Bernard Jordan Zurich, where it simultaneously took place with the museum retrospective ART & LANGUAGE UNCOMPLETED – The Philippe Méaille Collection in MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Following its exhibition at the Gallery Jordan/Seydoux, the exhibition will re-open this Autumn at the Gallery Bernard Jordan in Paris.
Vernissage: Friday, 01st May, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition period: Friday, 01st May to Saturday, 04th July 2015Zu Jordan/Seydoux
Image Caption: Art & Language, PAINTINGS I, No.9, 1966 (Certificate), 108 x 150 cm, Inkjet mounted on Dibond, Edition of 3.
ART & LANGUAGE: MADE IN ZURICH – Jordan/Seydoux – Kunst in Berlin ART@Berlin