104.2 x 104.2 x 4.3 cm
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by Das Progressive Museum Basel
Quadratrelief 65 [Square relief 65]
Hartmut Böhm (born 1938 in Kassel, Germany) has had a significant influence on the international development of Concrete Art since the 1960s through his investigations of systems and structures. Using a strict methodology and precise formulations, he has developed an aesthetic program in his paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations that is interconnected on many levels. This program is primarily grounded in the following guidelines: visualizing thought processes in concrete form, allowing beholders to participate by revealing this program, and activating the seeing process through visual ambivalences combined with geometric clarity. Prior to the mid-1960s, Böhm limited his analysis of systems and structures to painting, but he later continued this analysis using industrial materials like acrylic glass, chipboard, and steel. At this time, he also produced works on paper. In the optimistic spirit of the “New Tendencies” era, Böhm created reliefs and objects made of Plexiglas that concentrated primarily on kinetic phenomena until well into the 1970s. As the “Quadratrelief 65” from 1966/1970 demonstrates, the successive rotation of individual parts changes the structural fields assembled out of identical elements to create kinetic effects. These effects can be either subtle or intense, depending on the light source and the position of the beholder. In the 1980s, he began expanding his field of research to include themes like integration, juxtaposition, progression, and the so-called “progression towards infinity.” As can be seen in the work “Wandarbeit aus den Massen einer Progression gegen Unendlich mit 10º,” this difficult artistic concept based on an approach to infinity lets the two poles of perception and imagination, concrete forms and imaginable forms interact with each other in many ways. Most recently, he has ventured into new territory with his “Tafeln,” which are showcases with objects like books and tools that refer back to a conceptual background. The intellectual and formal precision with which Hartmut Böhm has explored these themes has earned him a special position in the history of Concrete Art, and since the 1960s his works have been continually featured in international exhibitions and publications.