Learning About a New Art Movement


We can always learn something new, and I’m always thrilled and a bit perplexed when I learn about something I knew nothing about before.  So it was with the special exhibit at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.  The exhibit was entitled “Zero” and chronicled the artists of an artistic movement of the 1950s and 1960s that saw themselves as a reaction to abstract expressionism.  Many of the artists included in the exhibit are better known for other artistic movements such as Arte Povera, Minimalism, New Realism,Op Art, and Kinetic Art.

In manifestos published by the group it sought to eliminate color, emotion, and individual expression.  You may be familiar with some of these artists though likely haven’t seen these particular works and will be seeing some more of their work as we progress to modern art in our class.  Some of this may be difficult to accept but keep an open mind.

Yves Klein, Untitled Fire Painting, 1961.  This work was accompanied by a video that showed the artist burning the work with a fireman spraying with a hose alongside.
Yves Klein, Untitled Fire Painting, 1961. This work was accompanied by a video that showed the artist burning the work with a fireman spraying with a hose alongside.
Mario Merz, "Unreal City", 1969, metal, gauze, beeswax, neon
Mario Merz, “Unreal City”, 1969, metal, gauze, beeswax, neon
Yves Klein, Blue Painting, Gold Painting, Splattered cushion (not the title), 1962
Yves Klein, Blue Painting, Gold Painting, Splattered cushion (not the title), 1962
Arman, "Nuclear Particle", 1964, gear wheels, plastic, wood
Arman, “Nuclear Particle”, 1964, gear wheels, plastic, wood
Saburo Murakami, "Six Holes", 1955, wood, paper
Saburo Murakami, “Six Holes”, 1955, wood, paper
Henk Peeters, "Ice. Polar Bear, Freezer #61", 1961
Henk Peeters, “Ice. Polar Bear, Freezer #61”, 1961
Carl Andre, "Bloody Angle",  1985, Western Red Cedar
Carl Andre, “Bloody Angle”, 1985, Western Red Cedar
Yayoi Kusama, "Aggregation 1000 Boats", 1963, plastic, textile, leather, metal paint
Yayoi Kusama, “Aggregation 1000 Boats”, 1963, plastic, textile, leather, metal paint
Edward Kienholtz, The Beanery, 1965
Edward Kienholtz, The Beanery, 1965
Kienholtz, The Beanery, interior
Kienholtz, The Beanery, interior
Kienholtz, The Beanery, interior
Kienholtz, The Beanery, interior

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