New Works Added: The Spirit of Sixties London at Signals Exhibition

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Launch Slideshow

From 27 April to 13 July 2018, S│2 London will present an exhibition dedicated to the spirit of Signals London. During its two years of existence, Signals brought together a network of Latin American, European, Asian, and North American artists in London. The history of the gallery as a place for artists from across the world to gather and experiment without limits has rarely been told, and holds as much relevance today as it did during the early sixties in London. Click ahead to view the slideshow, which features works from the second of three signals displays that will take place at S|2. Part Two of the signals exhibition will run from 11 May – 31 May.

Signals
27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London

New Works Added: The Spirit of Sixties London at Signals Exhibition

  • Otto Piene, Untitled, 1962.
    Otto Piene is renowned for co-founding the avant-garde Group Zero together with fellow Signals artist Heinz Mack in the 60s, setting out an approach to art that aimed to erase the emotional and personal trace of the artist and open up a new space from which art could start again. Fire enables this erasure, obliterating the trace of the artist held in the gouache brushstrokes, whilst also opening up possibilities for the incorporation of new media. This work captures Piene’s enduring fascination with permutations of the circular form, using fire as means of opening up new possibilities for media.

    Otto Piene, Untitled .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Pia Pizzo, Untitled, 1965.
    Pia Pizzo was another of the few women artists to be exhibited at Signals. Using contrasting colours and alternating geometric forms, Pizzo creates a sense of simultaneous expansion and inward movement in this work, with motion exaggerated through her bold use of colour.

    Pia Pizzo, Untitled .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Victor Vasarely, Aquia I, 1955.
    Victor Vasarely is widely acknowledged as the originator and leader of Op-art. He created Aquia I within the same year (1955) in which he developed his meticulous method ‘unités plastiques’. In this method, variations of geometric forms are cut from a coloured square and layered to create complex dichromate optical illusions. The polyhedral outline alongside Vasarely’s play with plane is cause to see this work as a precursor to his Tribute to the Hexagon series, which exploits the precise placement of shape across polyhedral lines to create an illusion of undulation and volume.

    Victor Vasarely, Aquia I .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Francois Morellet, Répartition aléatoire de 40,000 carrés suivant les chiffres pairs et impairs d'un annuaire de téléphone, 50% rouge no. 1, 50% bleu, no. 1, 1962.
    Often attributed as a precursor for conceptual and minimalist art, François Morellet's dedication to explore new experimental approaches led him to co-found the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) with fellow Signals artists Julio Le Parc and Francisco Sobrino in 1963. Morellet’s dense arrangement of contrasting coloured squares makes focusing the eye difficult, lending to a sense of movement and disorientation characteristic of Op Art. This work in particular seems strongly foreshadow the kinds of digital art forms used today.

    Francois Morellet, Répartition aléatoire de 40,000 carrés suivant les chiffres pairs et impairs d'un annuaire de téléphone, 50% rouge no. 1, 50% bleu, no. 1 .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Liliane Lijn, Get Rid of Government Time, 1962.
    Liliane Lijin was one of the few women artists to be exhibited at Signals. From her ‘Poem Machines’ series, Get Rid of Government Time motorises writing from poet Nazli Nour to explore time and political movement through a complex coupling of the optical, spatial and temporal with language. As the piece’s imperative title rotates, it becomes increasingly difficult to read, leading movement to obliterate language and consecrate the initial command, investing kineticism with an executive power and political hope unique to Lijin.

    Liliane Lijn, Get Rid of Government Time .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Pol Bury, 113 Points rouges sur fond noir, circa 1960.
    Originally working as a surrealist painter, Pol Bury turned his attention to kinetic sculpture after encountering Calder’s mobiles in the 1950s, from then on searching to find the ‘space between movement and non-movement’ in his works. The nylon wires of 113 Points Rouges make slow ghostly inward and outward motions similar to ventilation, suggesting the same position between animation and stillness, inhaling and exhaling. Bury was part of a group of European artists that exhibited and exchanged ideas at Signals in London during the 1960s.

    Pol Bury, 113 Points rouges sur fond noir .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Henk Peeters, Trembling Feathers, Conceived in 1961 and executed in 1967.
    Henk Peeters’ 1961 work Trembling Feathers explores geometric abstraction, kineticism and the relation between dynamic and biological forms. These concerns were central to both Group Zero, of which he was a member, as well as Signals London where he exhibited works during the mid-1960s. The work’s monochromatic composition is characteristic of the Group Zero’s desire to void art of colour whilst its mechanised feathers exemplify the way in which the group embraced kineticism as a new form of art.

    Henk Peeters, Trembling Feathers .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Luis Tomasello, Atmosphere Chromoplastique no. 120, 1964
    Initially inspired like many other Signals artists by Mondrian, Luis Tomasello later began to move towards the expression of what he saw as ‘relief as an experience’ embodied in light. Atmosphere Chromoplastique no. 120 is characteristic of this aim in requiring the viewer’s movement around the work to view the selective pastel colours hidden within the relief, enabling a greater understanding of the relation between light, colour and space.

    Luis Tomasello, Atmosphere Chromoplastique no. 120 .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Naum Gabo, Optical Relief, 1951-1967.
    Russian born artist, Naum Gabo is one of the earliest progenitors of kinetic art. Part of a generation of artists which inspired the founders of Signals, his work was shown at Signals in the 1965 exhibi-tion: Soundings Two, which sought to exhibit early pioneers of abstraction alongside artists experi-menting with kinetic, optical and elemental art. In Optical Relief , the undulating arrangement of Gabo’s signature tensile strings creates an optical illusion, whilst their relation to the larger flat metal elements of the structure produces a fluctuating sense of depth as the viewer moves around the object. Like this, Gabo creates complex relations of space that produce what he identifies as ‘kinetic rhythms…the basic forms of our perception of real time’.

    Naum Gabo, Optical Relief .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • David Medalla, Cloud Canyons No. 31, Conceived in 1964 and executed in 2016.
    David Medalla’s renowned Cloud Canyons series took inspiration from cellular biology, personal memory and Gustav Metzger’s conception of auto-creative sculpture, conceiving of the foam produced by compressors within his sculpture as cellular entities, continually renewed and destroyed to propagate the animated shape of the foam clouds. Like many of the artists with whom Medalla associated, his works closely associate abstraction with organic forms, and therefore hold an affinity with neo-constructivism as well as the Kinetic Art movement.

    David Medalla, Cloud Canyons No. 31 .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Sérgio Camargo, Double Fronted Maquette, 1964.
    Double Fronted Maquette was created as a draft for one of four wooden reliefs made by Camargo between 1963 and 1965. The work is exemplary of Camargo’s shift in the early 1960s from figurative work to monochrome sculptures based on repetitive polyhedral shapes that accentuate rhythmic qualities of form. It was this meticulous play with form and ‘the order of chaos’ that won Camargo the gold medal at the 1965 São Paulo Biennale a year later, and then the Venice Biennale in 1966, consecrating Camargo’s international reputation. Recognising both the growing status of Camargo and Op/Kinetic art, the Tate acquired their first of his works from Signals London in 1965.

    Sérgio Camargo, Double Fronted Maquette .

    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
  • Mira Schendel, Untitled, 1965.
    Mira Schendel was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1919 and grew up in Italy where she studied Fine Art and then Philosophy until she was exiled from Italy under Mussolini’s regime due to her Jewish background. After fleeing to Austria and Sarajevo, Schendel emigrated to Brazil where she quickly became immersed in the city’s artistic and intellectual life. Her use here of plaster conveys her exceptional ability to create highly atmospheric works with a strong sense of gravity from everyday materials. This minimalist gravitas led prominent Physicist Mario Schenberg to liken her work to the void, invoking both ‘transcendence’ and ‘imminence’.

    In the same year of the piece’s creation, her work was exhibited at the São Paulo Biennale, attended by critic Guy Brett who would soon after invite her to show at Signals London.

    Mira Schendel, Untitled .
       
    Signals
    27 April 2018–13 July 2018 | London
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