That's the Way It Is. Digressions on Geometric Abstraction
October 16, 2020 - March 06, 2021

Group show featuring selected works by Waseem Ahmed, Max Bill, Claude Cortinovis, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Alberto Finelli & Evyenia Gennadiou, Athene Galiciadis, Peter Halley, Anton Stankowski, Klaus Staudt.

Press release in French
Press release in English

Installation views

As early as 1910, artists such as Kandinsky, Kupka, Mondrian or Malevich created a new formal language, where line, geometric shape and color became significant by themselves; leading Theo Van Doesburg (1883-1931) to observe that nothing is more concrete, more real than a line, than a color, than a surface.

The universal language of geometric abstraction has in fact never aged, constituting a real living heritage and nourishing itself, over the generations, on the different aspects of successive eras in order to evolve and reinvent itself.

This selection brings together historical and contemporary geometric abstract paintings, sculptures and works on paper, ranging in date from 1961 to 2020, including loans from private collections.

Gowen Contemporary is pleased to present a brief journey spanning several decades in which the geometric visual language dialogues with technical experimentation and a wide diversity of themes. The exhibition ranges from the concrete art of Max Bill, Klaus Staudt and Anton Stankowsky to the abstract iconography of Peter Halley, which refers to the architectural and social organization of our postmodern societies. It also presents the geometries of Waseem Ahmed, which explore the primary religious and philosophical symbols of the history of thought. Nathalie du Pasquier’s formal concerns resonate in the elaborate geometries that Athene Galiciadis creates on different media, such as canvas, fabric or ceramics, and which question the concepts of perspective. The variety of media also creates surprising conversations between the pieces in this exhibition. The metallic nuances of the works on paper by the duo Finelli & Gennadiou, made with overlapping aluminum foils, echo the pearly colored industrial products used by Peter Halley in his paintings as well as the gold and silver leaf of the paintings by Waseem Ahmed. Forms, colors, textures, rhythm and repetitions compose this exhibition like the notes or the instruments of an improvised music.