The Nature of Abstraction

The catalogue for the group exhibition The Nature of Abstraction combines seven artistic positions in abstract-gestural painting from the Rhineland. On display are artists who have dedicated themselves to abstract painting. Their self-referential work fluctuates between the poles of dissolution and development of form. Despite their formal precision, the process of creating the paintings can be seen in the marks left behind on the canvases. Thus, an affinity to Informalism, Tachism, or Abstract Expressionism from the post-war period becomes apparent. However, these references are not directly cited, but rather updated and reflected through contemporary strategies. We find ourselves in an era when individual expression of freedom is threatened by powerful systems of authoritarian control and the digital availability of individual data and profiles. The kind of painting that favors a subjective gesture and thus mirrors humanistic values of individuality might be an answer.

Laura Aberham, Max Frintrop, Ina Gerken, Jan Holthoff, Jan Kolata, Becker Schmitz, Sabine Tress

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July 2021

ISBN 978-3-7356-0777-5

20 × 30 cm

84 pages

73 colored illustrations


Languages: German, English

Text by
Jan Holthoff

Design by
Jan Holthoff

TNoA—The Nature of Abstraction, 4.7.–17.7.2021, TNoA—Kunstwerk Köln 17.10–17.11.2021, TNoA—RUIMTE P60 ASSEN, Niederlande

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