Sirje Runge (Lapin). Proposals for Designing the Milieu of Tallinn City Centre. (Diploma work, panel no. 8) 1975. Gouache, cardboard. 100 x 100 cm. Museum of Estonian Architecture

Abstraction as an Open Experiment

Curator: Mari Laanemets.

Sirje Runge (EE), Zofia Kulik (PL), Dóra Maurer (HU), Falke Pisano (NL) with Jüri Okas (EE), Benoît Maire (FR), and Przemysław Kwiek (PL)

 

The exhibition “Abstraction as an open experiment” focuses on the implementation and interpretation of abstractionism and abstract systems in contemporary art and art of the recent past. The exhibition explores the artistic practise which focuses on formal experiments and is based on radically simplified forms and a systematic approach. However, this means relating to and analysing social space, individuals, and the surrounding environment.

 

This is the first institutional exhibition to re-exhibit the early geometric creation of Sirje Runge and study it in an international context. Runge’s drawings, paintings, and slideshows are presented with works by Zofia Kulik (born in 1947), Dóra Maurer (born in 1936), and Falke Pisano (born in 1978). By complementing each other, these works from different regions and eras give the audience the opportunity to think about the semantic field of geometric-constructive abstraction and formal experiments. How could art generate change, inspire people, create communities, and support people’s self-definition? The works of the artists participating in the exhibition catch the eye with their openness, creativeness, and playfulness – in a way which is not obtrusive, but rather encourages the audience to think with the artists.

Thinking about the changing process of understanding and giving meaning to art history, ‘Abstraction as an open experiment’ seems to be particularly relevant in a situation where the liberating potential of creativeness has been hijacked by neoliberal cultural industries and corporate design that has domesticated the abstract form.