In the current group exhibition CUT, Galerie Thomas Zander presents conceptual works by the artists Victor Burgin, Hanne Darboven, Peter Downsbrough, Andrea Geyer, Anthony McCall and Larry Sultan/ Mike Mandel. The show’s title refers to the eponymous wall installation by artist Peter Downsbrough (born 1940 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA). The body of work produced by the Brussels based artist consists mostly of pieces made up of lines, letters, cuts and the intervening spaces that relate in some way to the room around them, calling into question the linearity of both space and language. His works embody visual severity and lucidity, focusing more on structure than on surface finishes or effects. 

The British artist Victor Burgin (born 1941) has made a name for himself as conceptual artist and theorist in the course of an over thirty-year career. The influential position he has held in both art and theory since the 1960s is virtually unparalleled. Burgin stands for an aesthetic that blends psychoanalytical and structuralist motifs, skillfully navigating the tension between political conflict and aesthetic desire. Featured in the exhibition is his multi-part work “VI” from 1973.

Conceptual artist Hanne Darboven (1941-2009) rose to fame in the 1960s with her so-called “written drawings,” which are based on numerical operations, rhythmic lines and strikethroughs. Darboven’s 16-part work on graph paper, Dostojewski, presented in the show, is built around digits and calendar data. The piece looks at how we capture thoughts, trying to lend structure to passing time and to memory. Darboven’s work draws on Sol LeWitt’s Structures and the historical dimension of the Date Paintings by On Kawara, fellow artists Darboven got to know during her studies in New York in the 1960s.

In works marked by formalist aesthetic concerns which are at the same time theoretically complex, Andrea Geyer (born 1971) dedicates herself to themes that are bound up closely with discourses in cultural theory. Within the sphere of politics, history and ideology, she reflects on how national identities and belonging are constituted. The exhibition presents her 2010 work “Evidence (Criminal Case 40/61),” which is based on research on the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961-62. The courtroom where the trial took place became a stage for debates on justice, truth and history that attracted attention worldwide. The work comprises seven digital C-prints that manifest the media presence the case still claims even today.

Anthony McCall (born 1946) has been working with the medium of film since the early 1970s, using it as a vehicle for exploring space, architecture and time. The works of the New York based artist are hybrid forms made up of performance and experimental film that investigate and expand the relationship between viewer and work. Besides reflecting his interest in such themes, the works presented in the show also demonstrate how McCall frequently brings together diverse media in a single act.

American artists Larry Sultan (1946-2009) and Mike Mandel (born 1950) worked on joint art projects for over thirty years while also pursuing separate careers. Works such as “Evidence,” “Newsroom,” the “Billboards,” or the work shown here, “How to Read Music in One Evening,” were seminal for conceptual art on the American West Coast, while attracting comparatively little notice outside the USA. While works from the 1977 series “Evidence” can be found in the collections of leading European museums such as the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, the TATE Modern in London or the Fotomuseum Winterthur, the “Billboards,” together with pieces such as “How to Read Music in One Evening,” are just being rediscovered today.

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