May 11 to July 11, 2004
3 X 3, Flavin, Andre, Judd, opened on 14 May, 2004. This exciting exhibition has been produced and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada.
Diana Nemiroff, Curator of Modern Art at the National Gallery of Canada, and curator of this exhibition, was at the Gallery on Friday May 14 to give an exhibition tour followed by an opening party.
3 X 3 features three sculptures each by Dan Flavin, Donald Judd and Carl Andre, pulled from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. These three artists have had a considerable influence on how other artists during the last quarter of the twentieth century have looked at art.
Dan Flavin is best known for his sculpture composed of coloured fluorescent lights installed in particular configurations that impact both architectural space and the viewer, transforming both. By reducing his work to fundamental considerations of composition, light, space, and viewer, Flavin's work asks one to reconsider traditional ideas of artwork such as paintings, which reflect light, rather than transmit it.
Donald Judd is known for sculpture often comprised of identical components that were repeated but arranged in such a way as to maintain their unity. In doing so, he suggested something greater than the actual physical mass of the collective sum of its physical components. He explored this further by creating forms that were often hollow and made of material whose surfaces were either translucent or reflective. His methods of construction and his choice of surface materials further reduced the physicality of his work, eliminating the weight and mass often associated with sculpture.
Carl Andre was also interested in reducing sculpture and is well known for his relatively flat installations that employed pre-fabricated materials such as bricks and tiles. He reduced sculpture to its footprint, asking the viewer to imagine the work projecting up into the exhibition space, implying form and mass that articulated the space in which the work was installed.
These artworks are controversial and challenging, just as was the work of Van Gogh, Picasso and Emily Carr in their time. Nevertheless, these three artists are internationally recognised for their groundbreaking work and ideas about art and the indelible mark they have left on contemporary art practice. They have been collected and exhibited by the Dia Art Foundation, the Guggenheim Museum, the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Chinati Foundation as well as our own National Gallery, and many other prestigious institutions. This exhibition allows visitors the opportunity to explore a part of art history first hand.
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