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Almine Rech

Geometric Opulence

Feb 10 — May 8, 2022 | Haus Konstruktiv Museum, Zurich, Swiss

Geometry and opulence are generally perceived as opposites: While geometry represents rationality, order and reduction, opulence is associated with engrossing lushness, excess and redundancy. However, a look at art history shows that they are definitely interconnected, especially when a geometric motif is multiplied in such a way that it takes on ornamental characteristics or becomes a pattern. In a 2012 text (published in the anthology Ornament: Motiv – Modus – Bild), art historian Markus Brüderlin notes that the ornamental kept showing up as an important driving force in 20th century abstract art, the most recent clear expression of which being the “tendency toward the ornamental” seen in the 1980s’ revived abstraction.