Moderna Museet opens Explosion! Painting as action

Moderna Museet presents Explosion! Painting as action, an exhibition on view 2 June–9 September 2012.

Kazuo Shiraga painted with his feet, suspended by ropes above the canvas; Andy Warhol or his assistants urinated on the canvas; and Niki de Saint Phalle fired a rifle at her panels that she had prepared with balloons of paint under layers of plaster. The exhibition Explosion features works by some 50 artists from the late 1940s to today.

Moderna Museet’s exhibition Explosion takes off where modernism ends, when it was so ripe that it was on the verge of exploding—which it did, in the form of a variety of new ways of making art. Practically every door was opened with an aggressive kick, and a new generation of artists began seeing themselves not as painters or sculptors but simply as artists, who regarded all materials and subjects as potential art. That is how the American artist and writer Allan Kaprow, the man who invented the word “happening,” described the situation in 1956 in his now legendary The Legacy of Jackson Pollock.

The exhibition follows a theme that runs from Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, via John Cage’s fascination for chance as a method for creating art, to performance and contemporary conceptual approaches. For the first time in Sweden, this exhibition also presents the Japanese artist group Gutai (1954–1972). In Europe they exhibited together with artists from the nebulous artist group Zero, also featured in Explosion with works by the co-founders Günther Uecker and Otto Piene and others.

Explosion! Painting as action was produced by Moderna Museet and will tour to Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in autumn 2012.

Curator: Magnus af Petersens

The exhibition is supported by Scania.

Moderna Museet
Exercisplan 4
111 49 Stockholm, Sweden

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