Notions of space, vision and light run through the abstract art of the 20th century and interest many world renowned contemporary artists such as Ann Veronica Janssens, Anish Kapoor, John Armleder, Carsten Höller, Philippe Decrauzat, Jeppe Hein, Felice Varini and Xavier Veilhan. By putting vibration along with the spectators perception in the centre of their works, they set up multiple resonances with optical and kinetic art, which first emerged at the Movement exhibition in Denise Renés Paris gallery in 1955, but also, more broadly, with what was later called perceptual art at the exhibition The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965.
In an unprecedented move, the whole of the Galeries nationales du Grand Palais
, an area of about 3,700 square metres, has been made available for the exhibition, in order to present almost 150 artists, who contributed to the development of this approach over a hundred years or so. Outstanding among them are Julio Le Parc, François Morellet, Gianni Colombo, Jesús Rafael Soto, Dan Flavin, Hans Haacke, James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama, Victor Vasarely, Kenneth Noland, Jean Tinguely, Yaacov Agam, Tony Conrad, Pol Bury, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Gerhard von Graevenitz, Christian Megert, Nicolas Schöffer, Bridget Riley, Dan Graham, Takis, Gregorio Vardanega, as group of artists such the GRAV (Group of visual Arts research), and the group Zero.
After an introduction that starts with the most recent work and goes back in time, the exhibition puts the emphasis on the dialogue between the various periods, seeking to show the continuity of these ideas and their complex interweaving. The two main parts Vision and Space are divided into sixteen subsections dealing with various aspects of phenomenal experience: immateriality, monochrome, interference, immersion, flickering, haziness, instability, distortion, the void, the invisible and permutation.
Visitors are greeted by Fujiko Nakayas mist sculpture in Jean Perrin Square. The exhibition ends with the earliest period and the forerunners of the movement: Giacomo Balla, Robert Delaunay, Frantisek Kupka, Marcel Duchamp, Hans Richter, Alexander Calder, Alexander Rodchenko and László Moholy-Nagy and others, who were the first to try to express a profoundly abstract, dynamic, immaterial conception of reality through painting, sculpture or film.