Barbara Mathes Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “According to Plan,” a group exhibition that explores the concept of the artist’s plan and its role in the creative process. From architectural models, to project proposals, to conceptually derived objects, the show casts a wide net, illuminating the myriad ways in which planning informs practice in contemporary art.
For Conceptual artists, the concept or plan behind a work was more important than the act of making it, an attitude expressed in Sol LeWitt’s famous statement “the idea becomes a machine that makes the art”. A number painting by Mel Bochner correspondingly departs from a predetermined schema, distancing the artist’s role in the composition. A multi-part stripe piece by Daniel Buren operates according to related principles, with a variable configuration that responds to the dimensions of its supporting wall. Preparatory drawings by Buren for works such as his installation at the Palais-Royal in Paris give added resonance to the theme, emphasizing the conceptual origins of his works.
The exhibition will pair a yarn sculpture by Fred Sandback with one of his drawings, which takes the form of a precisely rendered axonometric plan of the gallery space. Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures are presented with their two-dimensional schema, itself derived from a predetermined lexicon. A similar conceit underlies the drawings of Los Carpinteros, who imagine whimsically anthropomorphic architectural structures that interfere with prefabricated design. Guillermo Kuitca’s paintings and drawings frequently include building plans, seating charts, maps, and genealogical charts, densely layering the organizational mechanisms that structure everyday life.
Things that go “according to plan” are typically rational and predictable in nature. These artists defy that expectation, treating plans as a key to unlocking imaginative mysteries.
Barbara Mathes Gallery is located at 22 East 80th Street. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm; and Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. For more information or images, please contact Marie Kim at (212) 570-4190 or at [email protected].