EXHIBITION: Sat 14 Sep – Mon 4 Nov 2013
VENUE: The Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 2QQ
TIMES: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 4pm, Sunday: 11am – 4pm
The Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford, is delighted to be the first venue outside of London to host Abstract Impressions. On tour from Alan Cristea gallery – the sole worldwide representative for the prints of Josef Albers and Naum Gabo – this exhibition is a unique first time opportunity to see close to 50 prints, original printing blocks, trial proofs and sketches by the three masterful modernists Josef Albers, Naum Gabo and Ben Nicholson together in one space.
Josef Albers. Naum Gabo. Ben Nicholson. Three contemporaries that started off worlds apart, but whose lives and artistic practices touched in a number of ways throughout their careers, before they became linked forever as masters of abstract art.
Whilst it is often argued that trying to understand abstract art prevents one from truly appreciating it, gaging the historical context of an art movement can be very helpful in opening one’s mind, or heart, to it. In the case of Albers, Gabo and Nicholson, working against the backdrop of a war-torn world was a crucial impetus for their individual quests to ‘go back to basics’ and experiment with the very essence of form and colour, thereby producing work with an inherent calming and meditative effect.
Josef Albers (1888-1976) trained as a lithographer and spent thirteen years at the Bauhaus before permanently leaving Germany for the USA in 1933 where he pioneered colour theory and became a hugely influential educator and print artist. Ben Nicholson, who became the main torchbearer for the abstract movement in the UK in spite of his own work retaining a strongly figurative element, preferred to refer to his practice as drawing on copper and cutting, carving and scraping into lino, rather than printmaking. Russian constructive sculptor Naum Gabo manipulated the art of printmaking to accommodate his fascination with two-dimensional form, developing a variety of monoprints from a mere twelve designs on woodblocks through subtle alterations in colour, tone, orientation and paper.
Gabo and Nicholson’s paths crossed in Cornwall in the 1930s, where they co-edited Circle: International Survey of Constructive Art. Gabo eventually moved to the USA in 1946, by pure coincidence settling 25 miles away from Albers. All three artists, though highly distinctive in their approach, were aware of each other’s work during their lifetime and united through their philosophy and ethos. Yet, until now, their fascinating print works have never before been shown collectively under one roof.
Prints, other exhibits and a fully illustrated exhibition catalogue (Abstract Impressions: Approaches to Printmaking by three Abstract Artists, by David Cleaton-Roberts), will be for sale at the Burton.
An Alan Cristea Gallery touring exhibition.
This text acknowledges the essay, Abstract Impressions: Approaches to Printmaking by three Abstract Artists, by David Cleaton-Roberts.
© Milica Lewis, LionArtProjects, August 2013
PRESS CONTACT: Milica Lewis, email@example.com
The Burton Art Gallery and Museum contact details:
(e) firstname.lastname@example.org, (t) 01237 471455, http://www.burtonartgallery.co.uk
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