«I was intentionally trying to subvert the power of pure forms.» Gary Kuehn
Häusler Contemporary Zürich is pleased to present both early «Black Paintings» by Gary Kuehn as well as selected recent work from this series, in context of the artist’s sculpture. This juxtaposition highlights Kuehn’s conceptual and process-based approach, and his significant contribution to the historical shift in 1960’s sculpture towards a material, procedural methodology. Our exhibition points to the themes that he has been grappling with throughout his career: the relation between geometry and natural forces, between limitation and freedom.
Is it possible to provide a visual experience of gravity and inertia, of the elemental constraint caused by pure form? Gary Kuehn (*1939, New Jersey, US, lives in New York, US), one of the major representatives of «Process Art» in the 1960s, has been addressing this question until this day. With his sculptures made of everyday, industrial materials he repeatedly created visual representations of matter’s potential. Ever since the 1970s he also has been investigating these subjects on the canvas in a special series of pictures, the so-called «Black Paintings» that reveal a sculptural interpretation of painting.
We are delighted to present a selection of these powerful works along with early sculptures in the exhibition «Rational Procedures». The paintings on view cover the period from 1969 to 1971 and from 2000 until today. The title chosen by the artist aptly summarizes the two major aspects of his artistic strategy: the conceptual, rational setting which stands at the beginning of each work, and the resulting action – that can be controlled only to a certain extent – leading to the final shape.