October 12 — November 12, 2008
Jacobson Howard Gallery presents an exhibition featuring garden scale sculptures, models, and drawings by Ronald Bladen. Ronald Bladen (1918-1988) is considered one of the founders of Minimalism, but he was also a self-proclaimed romantic. His interest in monumental scale and simple form was less a product of conceptual reductionism, but rather, of an interest in the drama which such forms can inspire. He was interested in the “presence” of a work of art. The solidity and simplicity of his work was intended to reinforce its stature, to stabilize and ground itself as the viewer shifts position.
Having evolved out of Abstract Expressionism, Bladen continued throughout his career to seek a kind of transcendent or sublime response from his work. He continued to relate it – in contrast or in likeness – to natural phenomena, a point which put him at odds even with those artists whom he influenced, including Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt, and Al Held. Bladen’s work was included in several seminal exhibitions in the 1960’s, including “Primary Structures” at the Jewish Museum in 1966, and “Scale as Content” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1967. He was most recently the subject of a major retrospective at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in 1999.