NONFIGURATIVE TENDENCIES IN THE 60’S

SCULPTURE – OBJECT – PAINTING

FROM THE COLLECTION OF MOCA, SKOPJE

Several moments are important for the character of this exhibition. First of all, the selection of exhibits, which defines the concept, was made solely from the collection of the Museum, containing mostly works from the 1960s. What was relevant for the review of the situation of those years, that is, of part of the abstract movements, were the sculptures and the objects that were then included in the permanent display (A. Calder, R. Jacobsen, R. Adams, Z. Kemény, E. Colla, G. Alviani, M. Pan, N. Carino, B. Richter, O. Jevrić, D. Džamonja…). This is why the first variant of the exhibition consisted of examples whose plastic qualities were not on the level of those of the display or did not adequately reflect the autonomous tendencies of the decade, for example the ambient sculpture, the primary structures, arte povera, etc. The emphasis was on the problem, actualized and initiated by the artists themselves, profiled as a conclusion that the sculpture or the painting exceed the conventional frames and constitute as an object, as a consequence of the numerous experiments and changes in these media, especially in the sculpture.

The modern sensibility of the world scene, interpreted by these artists, whose reaction on the events in this field and whose reality was a reflection of the personal conclusions and feelings, was manifested in the spirit of the time by creating a personal artistic symbol and the universal, concurrently. Their works are integrated with the experiences of the new sculpture which underwent radical changes of the topical focus, not only by abandoning the anthropomorphism, but also by altering of its ontological status – by approaching the other artistic disciplines. One of the reactions was the occurrence of the free form, the shift to open and dynamic form or surface, a fact that allows for wide composition opportunities, where the language of the material matters, as well. The relation between the figurative and abstract is already defined, but some examples show that the balance between the plastic and the iconographic has not been established because the figurative often turns into associative, and the associative into pure plastic order. The effort to abandon the codified models, yet not the essential marks, as early as the 1950s and even earlier, produced a style diffusion, especially considering the origin of the changes.

In the modern sculpture the stating point was the principle of morphological reduction through the experiences of cubism and the constructivism inspired by it (styles that were the first to break off with the traditional values), which further on logically evaluated into the associative and eventually into the abstract form. Its orientation is directed towards psychological or purely esthetical contents, without the tension of the visual or plastic relations that function by themselves. Forms are no longer projections of the mythological or archetypical. Their symbolical and sign message is gradually being replaced by the optical-tactile experience of the present day by posing purely plastic problems (but not only as a formalistic game), proceeded from the requirement of this inner balance in the classical geometric abstraction.

The expansion of the borders of the modern sensibility is seen in the influence of the material on the character of the form adapted to the function and the meaning of the idea itself. Here dominate the artworks made in metal which is easily constructed, drawn, bent or forged, then those made of wood, of ready-made and synthetic materials. The use of these materials is a wish to overcome the current formulas, and it also refers the idea of frontality. By distancing from the sculptural principle, the artwork as an isolated object on a basis is ”deprived“ of the third dimension, yet brought closer to the painting. At the same time, the painting approaches relief and volume. Yet, not in order to reach a synthesis. These are simply tendencies of the visual-tactile impression and real space.

Actually, the main feature of the post-war situation, especially in the sculpture, is the dedication to remain an artistically “free thinker” (H. Reed )… which makes the classification difficult since it has to stay on the descriptive aspect. It also goes for the displayed artworks. They include a wider spectrum of expressive options – from closed volume, through free expansion of the masses in space to their disintegration and turning the form of the line into rhythm. They apply

the reductive method, mainly by geometric transposition with clear plastic compositions of the elements. Regardless of the media they were made in, those are abstract forms. They are organized quite precisely, turned into constructions or three-dimensional structures following the collage items and the relief. They are often simple compositions, ornaments on various surfaces and rhythms, one-dimensional or flat objects with smooth or rough, often monochromatic texture. While in some works the associative meaning is defined, with others the tactile structure satisfies the optical and kinetically sensation, results of the constructivism and the modern technology of the new media. By opening of the not yet expressed plastic dimensions which seemingly abandon the classical definition and the classical rules of immovable sculpture, impression are made as an association of movement or proceed form the light source. They are not closed and not located into a strictly defined space. They are artists that reflect the art that surpasses the limits of the canvas or the volume of the sculptural piece.

The aim of this exhibition is to present some tendencies of the 1970s conceived as a reflex of the mentioned characteristics which define them within the ”objectual“ tendencies.

Marika Bochvarova Plavevska