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National Gallery Singapore collaborates with ArtScience Museum to present Southeast Asia's first exhibition on Minimalism

National Gallery Singapore collaborates with ArtScience Museum to present Southeast Asia's first exhibition on Minimalism

Sense and sensibility

Text: Yimin Huang

Editor: Aravin Sandran


Image: ArtScience Museum
Image: National Gallery Singapore

National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum are exploring the legacy of this groundbreaking movement through more than 130 extraordinary works of art — many being shown in Singapore for the first time

Traverse the exhibition across two venues: ArtScience Museum and National Gallery Singapore to get both thematic and chronological perspectives on Minimalism.

Minimalism might have flourished during the 1960s championed by Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, but ArtScience Museum's thematic approach goes back to its very earliest signs with 2000-year-old texts that formed the basis for Hinduism and Zen Buddhist practices. On the other hand, National Gallery Singapore's chronological exhibition begins at the emergence of the movement in the 1950s to the present day. It traces the movement's development not only in art from painting to immersive environments, but also across continents from America to Europe and Asia, featuring artists like Anish Kapoor (India), Ai Weiwei (China), Po Po (Myanmar), Yayoi Kusama (Japan), Lee Ufan (Korea) as well as Singaporean artists Kim Lim and Tang Da Wu along the way.

Anish Kapoor, Void, 1989, Fibreglass and pigment, Courtesy of Lisson Gallery

Experience key 20th and 21st-century artworks by Minimalism's most important innovators that have never been shown in the region before.

The roster of artists participating in this exhibition reads like a who's who list of the most significant artists of the past 70 years: Mark Rothko, Donald Judd, Olafur Eliasson, Sol LeWitt, Carmen Herrera, Mona Hatoum and Richard Long, just to name a bunch. Forget art school — this exhibition is an educational trip worthy of a whole module.

Sol LeWitt, Incomplete open cubes, 1974, baked enamel on aluminium, collection of Art Gallery of New South Wales

Make connections between Minimalism and other art forms

"It is what it is, and it ain't nothing else", said one of the movement's key leaders artist Dan Flavin. Those who simply can't find meaning in what they see  some of which might deliberately lack expression and emotion — would be relieved to know that the exhibition is not all about blank white canvases and empty rooms. Both venues will be hosting film screenings, dance performances as well as artist-led talks and discussions to showcase the extensive impact Minimalism has had on many other art forms: sit in with contemporary artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset as they discuss their practice (they recently transformed the ground floor of London's Whitechapel Gallery into a creepy abandoned public swimming pool), catch a contemporary dance piece by Beijing-based TAO Dance Theatre set to the music of American composer Steve Reich, or watch an award-winning documentary of dance pioneer Anna Halprin. 

 

Minimalism: Space.Light.Object. will be on view from 16 November 2018 to 14 April 2019 at National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum.

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