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Gary Kuehn: Practitioner’s Delight

“Practitioner’s Delight is one of the few evocative titles used by Gary Kuehn in over fifty years of work. It suggests the idea of deviation from current practice and the pleasure of divertissement. It implies skill but nods to amusement. The work is a white parallelepiped cut with precision on one end, out of which flows a pink substance spilling onto the ground. The rigor of the geometric figure dialogues with the indefinite semi-liquid matter, left free to collapse onto itself. Realized in 1966, the work reveals the artist’s perturbing intent, the impulse to ‘subvert the strength of pure form,’ to ‘humiliate it’ and elude ‘the absolute.’”—Lorenzo Giusti

Abundantly illustrated and collecting several essays and a long conversation with the artist the book Practitioner’s Delight has been published on the occasion of Gary Kuehn’s (Plainfield, New Jersey, 1939) first solo exhibition in Italy, at GAMeC Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea – Bergamo, which presents a significant core of about seventy works, including sculptures, drawings, paintings, and installations, among the most important in the artist’s corpus, dating from the early 1960s to the most recent pieces. Both the exhibition and the publication pay homage to the American artist, whose radical language developed from an initial reflection on the physicality of materials and played a significant role in the birth of a new conception of sculpture, equidistant from the subjectivism of Expressionist abstraction and the objectivity and geometric rigor of minimalism. Kuehn participated in watershed exhibitions like the famous 1966 Eccentric Abstraction, curated by Lucy Lippard, and the 1969 When Attitudes Become Form, curated by Harald Szeemann, and spent over five decades exploring the tension between change and deformation, his intent being to refute “the dogma of the cube,” as he has repeatedly declared, and “to subvert the force of pure forms.”

Texts by Alex Bacon, Lorenzo Giusti, David Komary, Gary Kuehn, Sara Fumagalli

Buy on moussepublishing.com

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