Hartmut Böhm: Graphic Systems, Prints 1965-1975

Hartmut Böhm, MINUS SPACE

Hartmut Böhm
Untersuchungen eines Quadratsystems, IV, 1964/68
Silkscreen on paper, 40 x 40 cm
Photographer: Grzegorz Zabłocki

May 8 – June 12, 2010

MINUS SPACE is delighted to announce the exhibition Hartmut Böhm: Graphic Systems, Prints 1965-1975. This is the Berlin-based artist’s first solo exhibition in New York City and it will feature ten silkscreen prints produced between 1965 and 1975.

For more than fifty years, Hartmut Böhm has been working in installation, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking. His work focuses almost exclusively on the aesthetics of systems that highlight the relativity of perception. Böhm’s practice is organized around four primary areas of investigation: Systems (serial structures), Perception (transparency and visual ambiguity), Gestalt (partition and outline), and Concept (linear principles and infinite progressions).

Perception is the dominant facet of the work he produced during the 1960s and 1970s, which includes the prints on view at MINUS SPACE. About his work of this period, Böhm states, “It was about investigation, comprehension, and perception as active learning…it wasn’t about optical sensations.” Böhm views the systems in his work as pictorial strategies, rather than metaphysical vehicles pointing toward the realm of utopia. He continues, “The fascination for me lies in the simultaneous logical combining of the visible and invisible elements, and their derived principal separation from that same logic.

A comprehensive interview with Hartmut Böhm, his first in English, was conducted by Matthew Deleget and published on MINUS SPACE in February 2004. Böhm’s work was recently included in the group exhibitions Open House for Butterflies at MINUS SPACE in 2009, and MINUS SPACE at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in NYC in 2008.

Hartmut Böhm is one of the most important European reductive artists of his generation. He was born in Kassel, Germany, in 1938, and studied with Arnold Bode, the founder and curator of Documenta, at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Kassel. Böhm produced his first systems-based work in 1959. Several years later, he was included in the seminal constructivist exhibition Nouvelle Tendance: Propositions visuelles du mouvement international at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France in 1964. The exhibition heralded in the Op, Kinetic, and Zero Art movements.

Böhm has mounted more than sixty solo exhibitions and has participated in hundreds of group exhibitions internationally. His work is included in nearly seventy public collections worldwide. The Chelm Museum Collection of Contemporary Art in Chelm, Poland, mounted a retrospective of Böhm’s prints in 2008.

MINUS SPACE’s programming is made possible by the generous support of The Golden Rule Foundation, as well as individual donors. We thank you!