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haegue yang - mere constructions

kanal — centre pompidou - belgium
january 23 - june 30, 2019
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haegue yang, installation view lingering nous, collection centre pompidou, paris, 2016. photo: droits réservés⠀

The notion of construction has permeated the history of modern sculpture since the early twentieth century.

 

Seeking to eschew representation and to assert the autonomy of the plastic form, many sculptors produce works that show nothing but their structure – designed to be readable – and their materials – generally manufactured in order to avoid the expressiveness of manual labour.

 

Constructivism, which originated in Russia in the late 1910s, developed on the basis of these fundamental principles: fascinated by technical drawings, the Stenberg brothers put forward constructions that evoked civil engineering.

 

The proponents of a minimal art such as Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Sol Lewitt and Larry Bell in turn developed an idiom resting on industrial materials (neon, plexiglass, steel) and construction methods whose design simplicity rendered them instantly intelligible.

 

Stripped of any manual intervention and seeking only to show that it was hiding nothing, sculpture was now to be approached on the scale of the space surrounding it and whose delimitation it enabled. Still alive today, this heritage is now being reinvigorated by a range of artists, among them Haegue Yang.

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