MOCRA exhibitions: Post-Minimalism and the Spiritual

MOCRA presents the works of four major Chicago artists who express the religious and spiritual dimensions in the visual vocabulary of the Post-Minismalism movement
Post-Minimalism and the Spiritual: Four Chicago Artists
works by
Rodney Carswell
Stephen Luecking
Thomas Skomski
Daniel Smajo-Ramirez
May 3  - June 27, 1994
     free public reception for the artists
     Friday, May 20, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

General Exhibition Information
Hours: Wed - Sun, 12 - 4 pm
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Group visit information

Thomas Skomski - Pietà, 1992

Thomas Skomski, Pietà, 1992. Wood, wax, steel, dried blood.
Courtesy of the artist.

The Minimalist movement, appearing in the mid-1960s and continuing well into the 1970s, is characterized by a reduction of forms to simple, basic geometric shapes, devoid of any ornamentation. Figuration was removed, and in some expressions of Minimalism, the artifacts look as though they were produced by machine, for all evidence of the human hand had been removed. Ultimately, Minimalism eliminated meaning beyond the actual object. What you saw is what you got.

The term "Post-Minimalism" was first used in 1971 by the art critic Robert Pincus-Winton, who distinguished between the prefabricated looking Minimalist works and those works that, while honoring the purity and simplicity of form in Minimalism, nonetheless revealed the presence of the human hand in the subtle manipulation of materials. Furthermore, the Post-Minimalist artworks contained a sense of metaphor, and pointed to meaning beyond themselves. For a number of artists, the meaning involved an experience of transcendence. Here, the Post-Minimalists have much in common with Northern European and Russian geometric abstraction in the early part of the century that evoked a sense of the spiritual.
This exhibition brings together four mid-career contemporary artists, all in their 40s, who have spent much of their artistic careers in Chicago and who have received high regional and national critical praise for their work. Two are painters (Rodney Carswell and Daniel Smajo-Ramierz), and two are sculptors (Thomas Skomski and Stephen Luecking). Three of the artists have exhibited together.

All four artists, while producing distinctly different work, nevertheless demonstrate a similar sensibility in the shaping of their materials and in the metaphorical content of their work. At times the art evokes the sublime; at other times the tragic -- in all cases, the work is contemplative in tone. The paintings and sculptures of these four Chicago artists are not only inquiries into what we can know, but more importantly, into what we cannot.
Stephen Luecking - Triune, 1988
Stephen Luecking, Triune, 1988. Cast iron.
MOCRA collection.
Daniel Ramirez - Caelestis-Spatium-Res, 1988 Daniel Smajo-Ramirez, Caelestis/Spatium/Res
, 1988. Acrylic on canvas, aluminum. MOCRA collection.

Additional information

more about Rodney Carswell

more about Stephen Luecking

more about Thomas Skomski

more about Daniel Smajo-Ramirez

Post-Minimalism and the Spiritual in the media
Rodney Carswell - Tri-Color Cross, 1988

Rodney Carswell, Tri-Color Cross, Encircled in 3 Gray Panels, 1988.
Oil, wax, canvas, wood. Courtesy of the artist.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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