Carsten Beck at Museum Für Konkrete Kunst

Carsten Beck is part of the museum show “24! – Questions towards the Concrete Present” at Museum Für Konkrete Kunst in Ingolstadt and Museum Kulturspeicher Würzburg.

A total of 24 selected artists whose work can be categorized as Concrete Art in the narrower or broader sense will be at the center of the exhibition – in keeping with the 100 year anniversary of the birth year of Concrete Art.

As precise as Concrete Art is, however, there is no correspondingly exact tradition about the exact birth of its name. While the term was officially and verifiably introduced into art theory in 1930 with the publication of Theo van Doesburg’s manifesto of the same name, there is a second, much less precise date of birth in 1924. According to tradition, van Doesburg already used the term for his own works in this year, i.e. he already formulated it linguistically at this time.

This quasi-unofficial birth year of Concrete Art, which will be 100 years old in 2024, is – despite its vague verifiability – a fitting opportunity to pose questions of a very fundamental nature to the long established art movement as well as to its not entirely uncontroversial name: How up-to-date and on the pulse of our time is Concrete Art? How intensively and with what intention are its principles (still) “lived” today? And how do artists of our day view the sense of mission of those artistic forerunners who tried to precisely define and propagate this art movement in its early years, especially in the form of manifestos?

Carsten Beck, Composition Black Ground

In order to address these and other questions and at the same time document the unbroken vitality and diversity of the art movement, a total of 24 artists whose work can be categorised as Concrete Art in a narrower or broader sense are at the centre of the planned exhibition – in keeping with the anniversary date. These are almost exclusively representatives of the generation born after 1980. Consequently, these artists are mostly in their 30s to 40s today and thus at a comparable age to the pioneers of Concrete Art in the mid-1920s, including Sophie Taeuber-Arp (*1889), Jean Arp (*1886), Theo van Doesburg (*1883) and Piet Mondrian (*1872). Today’s young generation of artists therefore seems to be particularly suited to provide information about similarities and differences with or compared to their artistic “forebears”. And last but not least, they are also predestined to report on the current and future relevance of the principles of Concrete Art – in the form of their art as well as through personal statements.

Carsten Beck in his Studio in Aalborg, Denmark

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