Movement in a Square

The Square in Painting, Kinetic Art and Animation

22 October 2006 to 15 April 2007

Curator:
Gerda Ridler


Movement is a major theme of the visual arts in the 20th and 21st centuries. Taking as its example the square, this exhibition gives a clear overview of the broad field of kinetic and optically moving art, tracing the fascinating historical developments from the late 1950s and exploring the new interest in these themes among a new generation of artists.
“Everything is in motion, nothing stands still”, as Jean Tinguely wrote in 1959 in his manifesto “For Statics”. This quotation from the renowned Swiss artist can be taken as the motto for this exhibition. With around 70 works, the exhibition presents a number of important approaches to the broad and heterogeneous notion of “art in motion”. For this the concept of motion has been loosely defined to include not only the concrete movement of works under their own propulsion or through some outside impetus, but also the illusion of motion conjured up by optical phenomena, and even the motion of the actual viewer and his or her eyes. Painterly approaches are presented in this exhibition shoulder to shoulder with luminokinetic works, object boxes, moving sculptures, videos, installations and computer animations. Augmented by a number of important loans, the core of this presentation has been taken from the Marli Hoppe-Ritter Collection.

Among the earliest works in the exhibition are a number of Op Art paintings and works by the French art group “Le Mouvement”, which introduced motion as a new element to the visual arts in the 1950s. The chronological developments then span the Kinetic art of “Arte Programmata” in Italy and the luminokinetic works of the art groups “GRAV” and “ZERO”, to bring the viewer ultimately to interactive installations and contemporary works employing new media. A number of the artists of the younger generation have devised works especially for the space at Museum Ritter.

This exhibition demands an active audience, because the moments when the viewer can allow him- or herself to be absorbed by the motion in the pictures and simply stand and marvel are few. In most cases, different angles and perspectives have to be tried out, buttons have to be pressed, risks must be taken by gazing into mirrors, things must be set in vibration... so that the viewer has to keep on the move, with their senses, minds and bodies. Because: nothing stands still!

Artists of the Exhibition:
Yaacov Agam, Josef Albers, Giovanni Anceschi, Werner Bauer, Alberto Biasi, Hartmut Böhm, Pol Bury, Gianni Colombo, Waltraut Cooper, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Dadamaino, Karl Duschek, Dunja Evers, Karl Gerstner, Walter Giers, Camille Graeser, Gerhard von Graevenitz, Daniel Hausig, Vanessa Henn, Marguerite Hersberger, Markus Huemer, Dieter Jung, Michael Kidner, Vadim Kosmatschof, Ruppe Kosseleck, Sabine Laidig, Adolf Luther, Heinz Mack, Mader | Stublic | Wiermann, Antonio Marra, Manfredo Massironi, Christian Megert, Manfred Mohr, Vera Molnar, François Morellet, Bruno Munari, Christina Ohlmer, Bridget Riley, Diet Sayler, Jesús Rafael Soto, Klaus Staudt, Joël Stein, André Stempfel, Anita Stöhr-Weber, Sabine Straub, Jean Tinguely, Günther Uecker, Grazia Varisco, VictorVasarely, Gabriele deVecchi, Ludwig Wilding, Martin Willing, Jean Pierre Yvaral.