The Language of Less (Now)

Images

Jason Dodge, In Lübeck, Germany, Marlies Scholz wove a piece of cloth. She was asked to choose yarn the color of night and equaling the distance (12 km) from the earth to above the weather, 2008. Courtesy of the artist and Veneklasen Werner, Berlin. Photo: Horace Aand.
Carol Bove, Untitled, 2008. Peacock feathers on linen; 96 × 48 in. (243.8 × 121.9 cm). Private collection. © Carol Bove, courtesy of the artist; Maccarone Gallery, New York; and Kimmerich Gallery, New York. Photo: Thomas Muller.
Leonor Antunes, camina por ahí. mira por aquí/walk around there. look through here, 2011. Installation view, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Photo: Joaquin Cortes.
Gedi Sibony, The Cutters, 2007/10. Sheetrock wall, paint, hollow-core door fragment, vinyl, canvas, and metallic tape; 137 × 164 × 13 in. (348 × 416.6 × 33 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York. Photo: John Berens.
Oscar Tuazon, I gave my name to it, 2010. Steel plate and fluorescent lamps; 98 × 36 × 6 in. (98 × 14.2 × 2.4 cm). Installation view, My Flesh to your Bare Bones, Maccarone Gallery, New York, 2010. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone, New York.
Carol Bove, Polka Dots (detail), 2011. Bronze, steel, concrete, and shells; 66 × 12 × 12 in. (167.6 × 30.5 × 30.5 cm). © Carol Bove, courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery, New York. Photo: Jeffrey Sturge.
Carol Bove, Harlequin, 2010. Plexiglas and expanded sheet metal; 96 × 48 × 48 in. (243.8 × 122 × 122 cm). © Carol Bove, courtesy of the artist; Maccarone Gallery, New York; and Kimmerich Gallery, New York. Photo: Thomas Muller.
Carol Bove, Silver Compass, 2005. Silver beads, silver chains, and acrylic sheet; 144 × 40 in. (365.8 × 101.6 cm). Installation view, Carol Bove, Georg Kargl, Vienna, 2006. Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Fund for the Twenty-First Century. © Carol Bove, courtesy of the artist; Maccarone Gallery, New York; and Georg Kargl, Vienna. Photo: Lisa Rastl.
Jason Dodge, North, a Gilded Lightning Rod Points North, 2006, Courtesy of the artist and Webb Collection, Toronto.
Jason Dodge, Scale­, 2010. Scale and string; 14 × 13 × 4 in. (35.6 × 33. 10.2 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Marshall Fields by exchange, 2011.16. © 2010 Jason Dodge. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Jason Dodge, A signal bell tuned C inside a wall, marked by lights, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan, New York. Photo: Horace Aand.
Jason Dodge, Sleeping in the order of the slowing of time: A pillow that has only been slept on by the botanist Dr. Dorit Väth. A pillow that only the an archiologist Dr. Britta Rabe has slept on - and a pillow that has only been slept on by Dr. Gretta Alteby, a tectonic geophysicist. in the order of the slowing of time., 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Casey Kaplan New York. Photo: Horace Aand.
Oscar Tuazon, Tonapah (detail), 2008. Wood, steel, metal, winches, and cement; overall dimensions variable. Installation view, A VOW OF POVERTY, Maccarone Gallery, New York, 2008, Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery, New York.
Oscar Tuazon, Dead Wrong, 2011. Concrete, steel, plywood, and sheetrock; 162 × 70 ½ x 113 in. (411.5 × 179.1 × 287 cm). Installation view, DIE, The Power Station, Dallas, 2011, Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery, New York.
Oscar Tuazon, I went out there and spent a night out there. The light died out while I walked and so I stopped, 2010. Welded steel, clamps, acrylic, and laminated safety glass; floor: 96 × 144 x ¼ in. (243.8 × 365.8 x .6 cm), ceiling: 96 × 144 × 16 in. (243.8 × 365.8 × 40.6 cm). Installation view, My Flesh to your Bare Bones, Maccarone Gallery, New York, 2010, Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery, New York.
Oscar Tuazon, There never was you, whoever you was, 2010. Welded steel; 168 × 84 in. (426.7 × 213.4 cm). Installation view, My Flesh to your Bare Bones, Maccarone Gallery, New York, 2010, Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery, New York.
Leonor Antunes, camina por ahí. mira por aquí/walk around there. look through here, 2011. Installation view, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Photo: Joaquin Cortes.
Gedi Sibony, From Center, Skinny Legs, Satisfying The Purposes Completely, and Her Trumpeted Spoke Lastly, 2010. Hollow-core door, paint, carpet, tape, vinyl, and matted drawing reversed in frame; overall: 120 × 120 × 288 in. (304.8 × 304.8 × 731.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. Photo: John Berens.

About

The Language of Less (Then and Now) is inspired by the MCA’s rich holdings of work from the 1960s and seventies that typically rejects imagery, reveals little if any evidence of the artist’s hand, and embraces industrial materials. In doing so, this work—known broadly as Minimal art—directs the viewer without distraction to the subtle underpinnings of all form: line, plane, mass, and color.

The exhibition is divided into two distinct parts, the first of which presents a fresh reinstallation of this historical material, with work by artists such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Richard Serra. The second showcases a new generation of artists who have assimilated the lessons of their forebears but address a new range of concerns. These five contemporary artists—Leonor Antunes, Carol Bove, Jason Dodge, Gedi Sibony, and Oscar Tuazon—offer new insights into what is valuable and enduring in the historical work but also point us toward the pressing concerns of today.

With the history of art always under constant reappraisal by contemporary artists, this exhibition reintroduces now-classic material to the public alongside work by a younger generation of artists who are captivating international attention.

This exhibition is curated by MCA James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling.

Installation Images

Carol Bove. Installation view, The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Carol Bove. Installation view, The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Carol Bove. Installation view, The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Oscar Tuazon. Installation view, The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Oscar Tuazon. Installation view, The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Jason Dodge. Installation view, The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Jason Dodge. Installation view, The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Leonor Antunes. Installation view, The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Installation view of Oscar Tuazon, Bottom Dollar, 2011. Part of The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery, New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Installation view of Oscar Tuazon, Bottom Dollar, 2011. Part of The Language of Less (Then and Now), MCA Chicago, Oct 8, 2011–Mar 25, 2012. Courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery, New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Funding

Lead support for this exhibition is generously provided by Howard and Donna Stone. Major support is provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Additional support is provided by the Neisser Family Fund, Jill and Peter Kraus, the Robert Lehman Foundation Inc., the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, and Greene Naftali, New York.

Official Airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art