“A zone of silence and of pure possibilities for a new beginning”- Otto Piene
Galería Mascota is pleased to present MORE an exhibition of Wyatt Kahn, Otto Piene and Machteld Rullens. Inviting to delve into the visions of these three artists, exploring the common threads that weave through their works.
During the post-war period, Otto Piene and Heinz Mack gave life to the ZERO movement. Through their works they sought peace, to enliven hope and foster a meditative atmosphere. Colors, shapes, and dimensions were subjected to transformation, expanding to occupy exactly the space needed. His art was an alchemy of materiality in pure energy.
Otto Piene set aside conventional materials to explore the interaction of colors on paper, guided by his own hands. Piene proclaimed "Red" to be the concrete color par excellence, seeking a hue that harmonized light and energy, recognizing the inherent vitality and vibrational essence in each shade, and black as a color of mystery, hiding secrets that incite the imagination.
The art of Wyatt Kahn and Machteld Rullens enters a minimalist realm, experimenting with materials and forms, arguably echoing the movement. Their works serve as a contemporary continuation, reflecting the movement's influence on art today. Through the minimalism of color, the artists delve into an exploration of light, finding a quiet sanctuary in simplicity.
Wyatt's creations function as meditative spaces, devoid of color and "traditional" forms, yet rich in depth and contemplation. Materiality prioritizes substance over symbolism, the absence of color becomes a canvas for serenity.
Machteld Rullens’ work captures stillness and elegance, in her works the boundaries between form and void are blurred, revealing simplicity and the echo of serenity, inviting to contemplate and introspect. Her practice involves the transformation of everyday materials, often focusing on the use of cardboard boxes. Like Piene and Kahn her use of solid colors helps to beckon the infinite nature of imagination through shipping boxes and the mystery of its contents.
MORE encapsulates the essence of the ZERO Movement, exemplifying the power of color and form in a meditative atmosphere. Through the careers of Piene, Kahn and Rullens, this exhibition becomes a testament to the possibilities of artistic expression. The alchemy of materiality, energy and exploration of light, and the sanctuary of simplicity converge, echoing Piene's vision and movement.
Born in 1983 in New York Kahn, is primarily known for his investigations into the visual and spatial relationship between painting and sculpture using unprimed canvases stretched over wooden frames.
Kahn assembles complex wall-mounted works in which the gaps between the individual canvases give rise to abstract or pictorial compositions. Rather than tracing the lines and shapes directly onto the canvas itself, he turns them into physical components of the artwork. His works are mostly inspired by minimalism and constructivism.
German-American artist Otto Piene (1928-2014) has been known for his ceaseless exploration into the connection between art, science and technology. In a career that has spanned almost half a century, Piene’s more contemporary inflatable work is shown here alongside Kahn’s and Rullens’ in Galería Mascota’s group show.
Initially trained as a painter, philosopher, and educator, Piene began using light to “exhibit in the sky”; a way of countering his experiences in the German infantry during WW2. In the 1950’s Piene produced a series of works ranging from ‘Rasterbilder’ (raster paintings), ‘Lichtballet’ (light paintings), and Rauchbilder (smoke paintings).
Piene’s intellectual agenda proved to be seminal and were adopted by the ZERO group, a movement he and Heinz Mack founded in 1957 to mark a new beginning of post-war European art. During this period, Piene spent time exploring the transformation of basic geometric shapes, such as cubes, spheres, and cylinders, turning them into complex electronic light sources with multiple light bulbs. Piene eventually applied the same approach to expansive indoor installations that resembled spherical, cosmological universes.
Born 1988 in the Netherlands, Rullens practice involves the transformation of everyday materials, often focusing on the use of cardboard boxes, Rullensexplores ways in which we might transpose conventional ideas of the home. Confinement is a theme that seems to run through Rullens’ practice; what might the delivery boxes have the potential to represent when an individual’s world is suddenly confined to the walls of the home?
Probably inspired by the restrictions that were set in place from the Covid-19 pandemic, Rullensquestions how we might use our imagination to escape domestic spaces, what might the possibility of Amazon Prime and other delivery markets offer to the individual dweller? And do delivery boxes represent more than just a 3D shape, perhaps instead an excitement and an ulterior universe?
Rullens’srecently published book, ‘Full of Emptiness’ (2021) is her first collection of images both from her studio and from her daily life. In it, Rullensoffers a direct comment on the ironic ‘emptiness’ of a box; boxes can withhold an excitement and an unknown that most people still recognise. Maybe Rullensis playing on the nostalgia of childhood notions of gift-receiving, or childhood games, making spaceships out of boxes and simple domestic materials. The ability to be able to fly away with our imagination is something that Rullensdraws our attention to.
In this show, Rullens brings her boxes to bear on the studio walls, by this, she takes the same conceptual ideas explored via the domestic space and instead poses questions towards the conventional gallery space. Brightly coloured 3-dimesional works offer the viewer an invitation to explore the relationship between the physical spatial layout of an exhibition show, as well as the psychological limits of where a viewer might ‘escape’ to, when observing a work of art.