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Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 30-32
Postfach 10 43 42
70038 Stuttgart
Infoline: 0711/47040-249; Telefonzentrale: 0711/47040-0
Di - So 10 - 18 Uhr, Do bis 21 Uhr geöffnet
jeder erste Samstag im Monat: KunstNacht - bis 24 Uhr geöffnet
aktuelle Ausstellung / current exhibition
vorausgegangene Ausstellung / previous exhibition



1.2. - 19.5. 1997

Magie der Zahl in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts / The Magic of Numbers in 20th Century Art

Comprising more than 400 exhibits, this hitherto unique exhibition takes as its theme the fascination which numbers have had for many artists of our century. It visualizes an artistic approach which, in terms of both form and content, is richly faceted and counters the rational thought structures of our age with alternative ways of thinking and seeing. It is an approach which manifeste itself in virtually all art forms: painting, drawing, sculpture, photo and video art, environments, multimedia installations etc.

This phenomenon is illustrated by works of art of the 20th century - from classic modernism to contemporary art - on an exhibition floor area of approx. 2,000 square metres. The artists include exponents of all the main art movements of this century, from Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism through to Pop Art, Minimal and Concept Art and Arte Povera. Thematically, this exhibition is a sequel to Karin von Maur's famous exhibition "The sound of Images" which was shown in 1987.

Of the works of classic modernism, the exhibition shows both famous and not so famous works of such artists as Braque, Picasso, Balla, Boccioni, Carr, Dali, Duchamp, Malevitch, Magritte, Mir, Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy, Schwitters, Severini, and also American artists of the pre-war years, such as Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth and Max Weber. The exhibited works of post-war art range from Cy Twombly and Tapiès through to young artists from all parts of the world who demonstrate a completely new approach to this theme.

More exhibition space has of course been allocated to those artists for whom numbers are of central importance, such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, On Kawara, Mel Bochner, Jannis Kounellis, Roman Opalka, Hanne Darboven and Rune Mields. This preoccupation with numbers is not confined merely to the traditional media of painting or drawing, but is manifest in multimedia environments, too. Significant examples here are the room-related works of Mario Merz, Edward Kienholz and Joseph Kosuth, and also the electronic installations of Tatsuo Miyajima, Miguel Chevalier and Brigitte Kowanz. What the exhibition certainly documents is the fact that this artistic preoccupation with numbers represents the adventurous exploration of completely new territory - and also confronts us with artists who themselves are well worth discovering.

The responsible organizer of the exhibition, Karin von Maur, has also undertaken the difficult task of classifying the exhibits according to the extremely diversified artistic approaches to the theme. "The number as a sign of modernity", "Codes of war and alogical calculation", "From the image as a nomogram through to arithmetical Progression", "The number as a found object and a chance subject", Metre of time and metaphysical expression of infinity, Numerical mysticism and harmonic orders, and "The numbered individual" are just a few of the headings under which the exhibits are being shown.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue with an extremely informed essay by the editor and introductions to each of the thematic sections. Special contributions by well-known authors on such related themes as Numbers in Music (Helga de la Motte-Haber), Arithmetical Poetry (Karl Riha) and Hidden Mathematics (Dietmar Guderian) as well as additional texts by artists make this catalogue, which is also available as a bound edition from the publishers Hatje-Verlag, the first textbook on this thematic complex. This 380-page catalogue contains approx. 450 illustrations, half of them in colour, and is available at the museum cash desk for DM 49,--. Poster DM 10,--.



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