Bridging the gap between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary innovation, London’s Gagosian Gallery rolled out the red carpet on June 1 for a groundbreaking abstract art exhibition titled “To Bend the Ear of the Outer World.” The showcase assembles the iconic strokes of seasoned veterans and the audacious textural experimentation of budding artists, marking the start of a bold new era for the abstract art landscape. The exhibition will run until August 25, 2023.

Curator Gary Garrels breathes new life into the century-old debate surrounding the definition of abstract art with his latest exhibition titled “To Bend the Ear of the Outer World.” Showcasing 41 paintings from three generations of artists, this eclectic collection sparks a dialogue centered on the intrinsic properties of abstract painting – color, surface, texture, materials, and scale. Launched at the Gagosian Gallery, the exhibition challenges the notion of abstract art as a fading genre. “Abstract painting is far from dead; it’s very much alive with another good century ahead of us, showcasing incredible range, richness, and diversity,” Garrels told AFP.

Each art piece stands alone on a large white wall, emphasizing the individuality of the artists, a mix of household names and lesser-known talents. The exhibition starts with two starkly contrasting pieces from British painter Cecily Brown and Germany’s Tomma Abts, strikingly underscoring the diversity within the realm of abstract painting. The gallery’s spaces are thoughtfully curated, emphasizing connections between the artists – be they temporal, geographical, or stylistic. The exhibition pairs German artist Gerhard Richter’s richly varied Abstraktes Bild (2017) with American artist Brice Marden’s minimalist Rivers (2020-21) and Pat Steir’s fluid Rainbow Waterfall #6. The exhibition also showcases the dramatic Manifestation (2020-22) by Columbia’s Oscar Murillo and Untitled (2022) by the young American Ryan Sullivan, highlighting the bold and dynamic range of abstract painting.

Gary Garrels states that abstract painting is nowadays less about collective movements and more about individual artistic pursuits. From expressive strokes to “quiet” art with minimal tonal variation, the collection illustrates the diverse range of interpretations found in abstract painting today. The exhibition primarily features German, American and British artists, including artists with multinational influences like Murillo, a dual Colombian-British national now based in London.

With AFP.