This spectacular exhibition comprises drawings, prints and experimental films, and explores the recurring tension between figuration and abstraction throughout the 20th century and the ways by which ideas and concepts evolve. Presented non-chronologically, it encompasses movements such as Russian Constructivism, Futurism and Vorticism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, and comprises works by key artists, as well as works of artists who have been sidelined in the mainstream of art history.
Film-maker, painter and curator Lutz Becker traces a personal path through the art of the 20th century and sees two major strands of drawing emerging the geometric and the gestural.
He writes: It is the awareness of time as the measure of the distance between thought and realisation, of the value of the transient and sense of the fragility of the inspirational moment, that made me decide to show predominantly works on paper: drawing, no longer about the recording of appearances, but as a language reflecting its own becoming, often daring and experimental. The inclusion of film will extend the idea that mental and physical motion are key experiences common to artists and audience.
The exhibition features works by over 80 artists including Frank Auerbach, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Viking Eggeling, Dan Flavin, Lucio Fontana, Naum Gabo, Alberto Giacometti, Philip Guston, Rachel Howard, Donald Judd, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Sol Lewitt, El Lissitzky, Kasimir Malevich, Agnes Martin, Piero Manzoni, Henri Michaux, Piet Mondrian, Robert Motherwell, Zoran Music, Eduardo Paolozzi, Jackson Pollock, Liubov Popova, Gerhard Richter, Kurt Schwitters, Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, Georges Vantongerloo and Andor Weininger.
Lutz Becker is currently Curatorial Fellow at Kettles Yard. He was born in 1941, brought up in East and West Berlin , and studied at the Slade, becoming a distinguished director of political and art documentaries such as Art in Revolution 1971, Double Headed Eagle 1972, Lion of Judah 1981 and Vita Futurista 1987. A practicing painter, he is also an experienced curator of exhibitions. He collaborated with the Hayward Gallery on The Romantic Spirit in German Art 1994, Art and Power 1995 and Tate Modern on Century City 2001. He curated the South Bank Centre touring exhibition Avant-Garde Graphics and the recent exhibition at the Estorick Foundation, Cut and Paste European photomontage 1920-45. Becker is currently reconstructing Sergei Eisenstein's film Que viva Mexico , and an updated version of Vita Futurista accompanied the recent Futurist exhibition at Tate Modern.
The exhibition will be on view at De la Warr Pavilion
through June 13, 2010.