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A Brief History of Abstraction

Julie Sass
A Brief History of Abstraction

The exhibition A Brief History of Abstraction is curated by Danish artist Julie Sass and features more than 50 works spanning painting, photography, sculpture, and installation by 23 artists from Europe, North America, and South America. Bringing together artists such as Yoko Ono, Moira Dryer, Arturo Herrera and Shirley Jaffe and key figures from the Danish art scene such as Vilhelm Bjerke Petersen and Sonja Ferlov Mancoba. Additionally Julie Sass includes both her older works and new works created specifically for this exhibition.

A Brief History of Abstraction unfurls a new narrative about the history of abstraction and its current potential by exhibiting works and drawing correlations not previously rendered evident in a Scandinavian context. With Sass as the dynamic focal point, the exhibition creates a space for a diversity of voices providing an alternative to common historiography.

Canonised art history is written by a small cadre of art historians, often on the basis of astoundingly few works. These same works thus become points of reference for general trends. Therefore, it is vital to periodically take a closer look at art history and consider the potential of other works and constellations to contribute additional narratives that buttress and enrich the art of today. The exhibition is the first in a series called A Brief History of…, which seeks to revitalise the historical exhibition format by designating the artist as the ultimate authority in the composition of a historical narrative that is directly relevant to his or her own artistic practice. Pursuing an individual’s take on history dispels the notion of history as universal reality, while endowing the concept of history with relevance through tangible artistic practice in the present. In August a larger publication will be released in relation to the exhibition with contributions from prominent voices on the international art scene such as art collector Erica Hoffmann (Berlin) and director of Palazzo Fortuny Daniela Ferretti (Venice).

Participating artists: Alain Biltereyst, Ann Pibal, Arturo Herrera, Dan Walsh, Ebbe Stub Wittrup, Erin Lawlor, Eva Steen Christensen, Hansina Iversen, Henri Michaux, James Hyde, Julie Sass, Man Ray, Maria Buras, Marie Søndergaard Lolk, Michelle Grabner, Moira Dryer, Noël Dolla, Rachel Beach, Rannva Kunoy, Shirley Jaffe, Shirley Goldfarb, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Vilhelm Bjerke Petersen, Yoko Ono

Julie Sass (b. 1971) studied visual art at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and at New York University in New York City (MFA), where she specialized in painting. Later she received her MA in Theory & Mediation from The Royal Danish Art Academy in Copenhagen. In her impressive practice, which includes painting, decoration, installations, graphic arts, textiles, artist books, curating and writing, Julie Sass examines and explores the potential of abstract painting. Her artistic explorations unleash different narratives about abstraction than the prevailing narratives in a Northern European context. Julie Sass lives and works in Copenhagen.