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Abstraction and Design: Liam Gillick and Minimalism

CCA Visiting Scholar Christine Mehring presents this seminar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal at 6:00 pm, Thursday, August 7, 2008. This presentation will give an overview of Mehring’s new book project concerning the interrelationships between abstraction, decoration, and design in the 20th century, centered around five case studies Wassily Kandinsky’s worries about “mere ornament” while venturing into abstraction and his transformation into a Bauhaus wall painter; Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s fluid movements back and forth between weaving, interior design, and abstract art, particularly in her designs for the Caf Aubette in Strasbourg; the conjunction of Informel painting in the European ’50s particularly that of Hans Hartung and mid-century modern design; and Donald Judd’s designs and collections of furniture and architecture and their relationship to his Minimalist sculpture. Mehring will largely focus on the most contemporary case study: Liam Gillick’s working through the Minimalist legacies about art and design by incorporating information supply, corporate design, and utilitarian suggestions into his discussion island platforms and screens.

Christine Mehring is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago with interests in postwar European art, abstraction, design, and the relationship between new and old media. Her book Blinky Palermo: Abstraction of an Era is forthcoming from Yale University Press in November. She is currently working on a new book concerning the relationship between abstract art, ornament, decoration and design in the 20th century, and coediting an anthology on Gerhard Richter for Getty Publications. She has been published widely, and in 1999, she curated the exhibition Wols Photographs at the Harvard University Art Museums and wrote the eponymous catalogue.

For more information, please visit www.cca.qc.ca/seminars.

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