Second Half of OTHER PRIMARY STRUCTURES to Open 5/25 at Jewish Museum
The second part of the Jewish Museum's exhibition of global sculpture from the 1960s, Other Primary Structures, will open on May 25, 2014. Other Primary Structures features the work of artists from Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, much of which has rarely been seen in the United States. Presented in two parts, Other Primary Structures revisits the premise of and builds upon the Museum's seminal 1966 exhibition Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors, the first American museum exhibition to survey the style now known as Minimalism. Primary Structures introduced the public to such artists as Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Walter De Maria, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and others-figures unknown at the time but soon to become synonymous with a radically new approach to sculpture. Nearly 50 years later, Other Primary Structures revisits this formative moment in art history while also reexamining the period from today's far more global perspective. Others 2, on view from May 25 - August 3, presents work created between 1967 and 1970, some of which was directly influenced by the 1966 Primary Structures exhibition at the Jewish Museum. In addition, Others 2 features a concentration of works from Asia and the artists of the Mona-Ha school, whose minimal forms drew inspiration from Eastern philosophy. The first part of the exhibition, Others 1, on view through May 18, examines work created between 1960 and 1967.
The pivotal 1966 exhibition Primary Structures was organized by Kynaston McShine, then Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Jewish Museum, who would later become Curator of Exhibitions of The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Critically acclaimed for its breakthrough approach to this new geometric and formally reductive artistic practice, the '66 show also assumed a prominent place in the history of exhibition making by ushering in a new style of presenting ideas and objects in relation to space. Primary Structures focused exclusively on artists based in the United States and Britain.
Half a century later, Other Primary Structures responds to its predecessor by examining the full global reach of this groundbreaking movement via artists who were actively working in similar modes around the world in the 1960s, but who until now have not received significant attention in the United States. Featuring over 25 artists from Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, Other Primary Structures explores the myriad international manifestations of reduced and abstract geometric sculpture in the 1960s, and suggests the wide range of motivations and influences that contributed to their production.
The first exhibition at the Jewish Museum organized by Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Programs, Other Primary Structures also examines the legacy of Primary Structures as a landmark of exhibition history. The new show includes oversize archival installation images, a large-scale model of the original exhibition, and an extensive timeline-all recalling the 1966 event. The ten-foot-tall scale model of the Museum as it was in 1966 serves as the focal point for dialogue between the historic show and the sculptures currently on view. Featuring a full recreation of the 1966 Primary Structures exhibition complete with miniature artworks, the model was created with Aurelie Paradiso, part-time faculty at Parsons The New School for Design's School of Constructed Environments, and a group of her students.