Repeat Performances: Seriality and Systems Art since 1960

September 4 - December 23, 2007
Ellen Johnson Gallery

The AMAM has long been recognized for its important holdings of Minimalist art from the 1960s and 70s. Using these works and their debt to Cubist fragmentation as a reference point, this exhibition explores the myriad possibilities of serialized motifs and highly ordered compositional methods in modern and contemporary art.

Among the works juxtaposed are Agnes Martin’s delicate, hand-drawn grid painting East River (1960); Donald Judd’s hard-edged industrial sculpture; the organic, humanized cubes of Eva Hesse; and the conceptual structures of Sol LeWitt. Other artists such as Jennifer Bartlett, Leonardo Drew and Andy Warhol have updated or played off Minimalism’s reductive tendencies and repetitive forms. Its modular progressions and permutations also share connections with the aesthetic systems that Allan McCollum, John Pearson and others have derived from mathematical logic or sequencing.

One highlight of the installation is Leonardo Drew’s untitled wall-size sculpture, an accumulation of found objects placed on a grid-like armature of thousands of handmade boxes. Weaving a tapestry of textures, the urban detritus, rust and cotton Drew embedded in the surface of his work inject metaphorical meanings of decay and regeneration, as well as haunting allusions to the African-American experience under slavery.

Organized by Colette Crossman, AMAM Curator of Academic Programs

Leonardo Drew (American, b. 1961)
Untitled, 1999
Mixed media (cotton, wood, rust, found objects)
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio
Art Museum Gift Fund, 2001
AMAM 2001.13