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August 27, 1997

UMBC'S FINE ARTS GALLERY PRESENTS MINIMAL POLITICS: Hans Haacke, Mary Kelly, Robert Morris, Adrian Piper, Yvonne Rainer

Baltimore, MD--UMBC's Fine Arts Gallery presents Minimal Politics, an exploration of the complex relationship between visual form and ideology in the work of five major American artists: Hans Haacke, Mary Kelly, Robert Morris, Adrian Piper and Yvonne Rainer. It is organized by Maurice Berger, Consulting Curator for the Fine Arts Gallery and Senior Fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics of the New School for Social Research in New York.

The exhibition will be on view from Thursday, September 25, 1997 through Saturday, January 17, 1998. A reception will be held from 5-7 pm on Thursday, October 23. Yvonne Rainer will present a free public lecture on "Out of a Corner of the 60s" at 4 pm on Tuesday, October 21 in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. A free Rainer film retrospective will also be held at UMBC (see attached schedule). MURDER and murder, Rainer's most recent film, will be screened at 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 4 at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Minimal Politics traces the evolution of the artistic style and conceptual thinking of the artists over the last thirty years--as their work has evolved from a more minimal, formal aesthetic to embrace a variety of overtly ideological points of view. In some cases earlier and later work will be juxtaposed for contrast, in others, work will be shown that clearly blends the conceits of minimal form with political content.

The exhibition asks a number of significant historical, conceptual and aesthetic questions: What aspects of the earlier minimal/conceptual sensibility would engender a political response in the later careers of these artists? What aspects of the earlier sensibility had to be rejected in their later work in order to transcend the formalist sensibility of the earlier work? Were some of the political issues explored already inherent in their earlier work? And finally, what are the implications of these relationships to contemporary art and culture as a whole?

Hans Haacke's dynamic and politically-incisive sculptures and installations (e.g. Global Marketing (1986) will be juxtaposed with earlier, less content-driven work, such as his condensation boxes of the mid-1960s.

Mary Kelly has, over the past 25 years, transformed the formal and intellectual foundations of minimal art (a movement she also examined as a writer) into a complex discourse on feminism and masculinity, patriarchy and the political economy of sexuality. Her minimalist experiments in the late 1960s and 1970s involved works and installations that confronted the viewer's phenomenological and perceptual awareness and sense of place. Kelly's representation at UMBC will include sections of Post-Partum Document (1973), Post-Partum Document Prototype (1974) and Potestas (1989).

Robert Morris will be represented by early minimalist plinths (Untitled [Four Mirrored Cubes], 1965) from the mid-1960s, ideologically-oriented drawing, etchings and war memorials from the 1970s (In the Realm of the Carceral, 1978) as well as his more recent work on the visual and rhetorical power of Nazism.

Adrian Piper's early minimalist-conceptualist work (Hypotheses Series, 1968-70) will be juxtaposed with her large-scale installations that blend a stark minimalist style with overt and challenging statements and soundtracks about racism (White Cube/Black Cube, 1992).

Yvonne Rainer will be represented by 25 performance stills (by the late Peter Moore, some annotated by Rainer herself), a film loop of her early and influential dance, Trio A and 30 dance notation drawings from her early and pioneering work as a minimalist choreographer at the Judson Dance Theater in the mid-1960s. These works will be juxtaposed with a loop of excerpts of recent film clips, selected by Rainer, as well as a major festival of her groundbreaking political films, including Film About a Woman Who (1974), The Man Who Envied Women (1985) and Privilege (1990).

Maurice Berger also serves as series editor for the Fine Arts Gallery's new journal series, Issues in Cultural Theory, which will accompany their exhibitions. The first issue will be dedicated to Minimal Politics.

Fine Arts Gallery hours are 10 am-5 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information call (410) 455-3188.

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Posted by dwinds1 at August 27, 1997 12:00 AM