COLLECTION | Sol LeWitt - Cabinet 3: Dujourie, Palermo, Noland, Kraus | 06.06... 10.10.2015


LILI DUJOURIE 1941, Belgium

The notion of the ‘fragment’ is essential to Lili Dujourie’s work. It had a substantial influence on the selection made for her solo exhibition Folds in Time. The sculpture American Imperialism (1972), one of the key works in her oeuvre, is deliberately not being displayed. S.M.A.K. and the artist opted only to show it in the form of design drawings. And not in the exhibition itself but in relation to Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing No. 36 (1970).

The series of pastel drawings from the time Dujourie was making her debut comprises studies for several sculptures, including American Imperialism. For this work, the largest wall in the room is painted in one of fourteen possible variations of a single colour. A sheet of steel leans at an acute angle against a part of the wall that is not painted. The contrast between the back and the front emphasises the impossibility of seeing more than one side at a time. Showing and concealing not only occur simultaneously, but also form two sides of a single reality.

The title, American Imperialism, is an indication of Dujourie’s critical view of America’s foreign policy in the early 1970s: the hidden agendas in its dealings with Vietnam and South America. She also expresses her artistic attitude to the dominance of American art at that time: in an act of ‘anti-minimalism’, she converted the cool, hard Minimal Art into soft pastel drawings as designs for steel sculptures which themselves made reference to Minimal Art. Dujourie’s ‘anti-minimalism’ has two sides: it embraces Minimal Art, but at the same time distances itself from it.

BLINKY PALERMO 1943-1977, Germany

5 Miniatures (1972), from the S.M.A.K. collection, is a series of studies of colour and form. Blinky Palermo is best known for his textile paintings: pieces of evenly-coloured fabric sewn together and stretched over a frame. In addition, he made large-scale site-specific installations and wall drawings. His post-minimalist art undermines strict, rigid modernism using sophisticated humour, expressiveness and poetic titles.


Awning Blanks (1990), from the S.M.A.K. collection, consists of two frames for awnings. The colourful fabric has been removed. Only the frame remains. Something that was originally made to protect now feels cold and menacing, and reminiscent of iron bars. This work takes a swipe at the professed neutrality of Minimal Art. In her oeuvre, Cady Noland among other things exposes the violence of American society using the means and materials that made it so great.

KITTY KRAUS 1976, Germany

Kitty Kraus cuts and sews fabrics for men’s suits to form abstract planes. She lets the material lead a life of its own: seams and remnants of thread are left as they are. Just like her sculptures using sheets of glass, these works occupy a position between the wall and the floor. Kitty Kraus offers a fresh new view of Minimalism. She lets emotion guide her reinterpretation of this emotionless art movement. In this way she shakes off the minimalist dogma. She turns the desire for perfection into the sort of human failure out of which poetry is born.

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