NEW YORK, NY.-
On view through February 15, 2020 at Scandinavia House
, Cutting Edges: Nordic Concrete Art from the Erling Neby Collection presents concrete art from the Nordic countries in a collection never before seen in the U.S. Curated by Karin Hellandsjø, Director Emeritus of the Henie Onstad Art Centre, this exhibition presents over 30 key works from major artists in painting, drawing, and sculpture.
Recently featured in the New York Times Holiday Art Guide, the exhibition has been on view from October 12, 2019 and has had related programming including a opening night discussion with Norwegian collector Erling Neby and curator Karin Hellandsjø, and childrens art workshops with Studio Finna, Sari Nordman, and Marte Ekhougen; a panel with various guest speakers will also take place on Saturday, February 1, 2020.
A practice that was developed before and after World War II, and devised to avoid ambiguity in the word abstract, concrete art is characterized by combinations of simple geometric elements to create autonomous visual realities. The term concrete art was first used in 1929 by Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian. Internationally recognized artists such as Victor Vasarely, Max Bill, Burgoyne Diller, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Josef Albers became exponents of the practice, which attracted the attention of Nordic artists visiting the Geometric and Concrete art scene centered around the Galerie Denise René in Paris.
Much like their contemporaries in the U.S. and Paris, these Nordic artists became interested in creating artworks that were both social and universal, using pure form and color based on mathematical principles. International exhibitions of concrete art also travelled to the Nordic capitals in the early years, leading to a dynamic, influential interaction that continues today. Artists in this exhibition include Olle Bærtling, Lars Erik Falk and Lars Englund (Sweden); Richard Mortensen and Robert Jacobsen (Denmark); Kristján Guðmundsson (Iceland); Gunnar S. Gundersen, Arne Malmedal, Kristin Nordhøy, Aase Texmon Rygh and Bjørn Ransve (Norway); and LarsGunnar Nordström, Sam Vanni, Paul Osipow and Matti Kujasalo (Finland). Works by these artists are distinguished by their use of bright colors and geometric edges.