The exhibition places six artists of different generations and origins in dialogue — Miriam Cahn, Helen Frankenthaler, Leiko Ikemura, Martha Jungwirth, Michael Müller, and Maximilian Rödel.
A highlight of the exhibition is Helen Frankenthaler’s masterpiece “Off White Square” (1973) — one of the largest paintings Frankenthaler ever made, and its exhibition debut in Asia. This monumental painting exemplifies the highly expressive body of work that Frankenthaler produced during her transition from gestural abstraction to color field painting, featuring the expanses of pure color and her signature use of diluted paint.
The exhibition “The Inner Light or the Expression of Color” places six artists of different generations and origins in a dialogue that on the one hand celebrates the radiance of color, and on the other hand aims to point out how immanent the glow and light still are for contemporary art. While light in painting can rather be characterized as a bright-dark contrast, luminescence describes an atmosphere evoked by color accents. To link these two related but nevertheless different aspects, the exhibition title suggests the term “inner light”. The title also aims to recall Mark Rothko, who used this term to describe the effect of his abstract paintings.
But whereas for Rothko the distinction between abstraction and figuration was still ideologically motivated, the exhibited works indicate that this separation seems to make little sense today. Art is about finding form. Artists find form through composition. Composition arises through formal structure or through contrasts. Contrasts are created through color.