curated by Sabine Schaschl
February 10 – May 8, 2022
Museum Haus Konstruktiv presents the exhibition Geometric Opulence, a large group show that celebrates a playful approach to geometric and abstract art. Works by John Armleder, Claudia Comte, Sylvie Fleury, Franziska Furter, Peter Halley, Mary Heilmann, Timo Nasseri, Nathalie Du Pasquier and Elza Sile can be experienced.
Geometry and opulence are generally perceived as opposites: While geometry represents rationality, order and reduction, opulence is associated with engrossing lushness, excess and redundancy. However, a look at art history shows that they are definitely interconnected, especially when a geometric motif is multiplied in such a way that it takes on ornamental characteristics or becomes a pattern. In a 2012 text (published in the anthology Ornament: Motiv – Modus – Bild), art historian Markus Brüderlin notes that the ornamental kept showing up as an important driving force in 20th-century abstract art, the most recent clear expression of which being the “tendency toward the ornamental” seen in the 1980s’ newly revived abstraction.
Taking internationally renowned artists, along with representatives of a younger generation, as examples, the exhibition Geometric Opulence at Museum Haus Konstruktiv asks how intertwined geometry and opulence are today, and inquires as to the forms in which opulence appears in contemporary art. The invited artists assign a special role to playing with multiplication, densification and spatialization strategies for abstract geometric elements. Opulence can be found in various artistic methods. On one hand, it is conveyed via proportions and imposing formats. On the other hand, a huge amount of paint or an accumulation of any kind of materials can create an effect of abundance or excess. Another form of play consists of leaving the image space and taking over real space as well. As all the artists are given space here in the interests of opulence, this group exhibition is made up of largely independent solo presentations. What they all have in common is an artistic language that reflects an interest in geometry, structure, variations and systems, and can act opulently.
Images: Timo Nasseri, The Order Of Everything, 2018 (1) / Peter Halley, Superdream, 1991 (2) / Claudia Comte, Curves and Zigzags, Desert X, Palm Springs, 2017, Photo: Lance Gerber (3)