Index: Doug Ashford, Matts Leiderstam, Karel Martens, Bruno Munari
Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam presents Index, a group show with works by artists Doug Ashford, Matts Leiderstam, Karel Martens and Bruno Munari. These works deal with forms of abstract painting or printing but are informed by different artistic strategies. The exhibition is an intermezzo with the recent solo show of Matts Leiderstam in the winter and two new solo presentations of both Doug Ashford and Karel Martens later in 2018.
Doug Ashford (1958) is an artist, writer and teacher who comes from a background of socially engaged public practice. A member of the New York-based artist collective Group Material from 1982 to 1996, he took up painting in earnest after the collective ended. Ashford now focuses on the mediating role of the artwork itself by re-depicting social and political expressions through a recovery of abstract painting. Ashford’s work has been exhibited recently at MASS MoCA (2017-18), MOCA Cleveland (2017), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015) and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012).
In Matts Leiderstam’s (1956) work every painting is an object of its own; however, presented together on shelves, they form sequences and rhythms in space. Leiderstam’s work has often started from his experiences relating to images, from classical painting to the contemporary. The panels are not only beautiful objects, but also impressions of a ‘deep’ archive of images. Matts Leiderstam holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the Malmö Art Academy, where he also teaches. Recent shows include the 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2015) and the 8th Berlin Biennale (2014).
Karel Martens (1939)–artist, graphic designer, tutor and co-founder of the Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem–can be characterized as the godfather of contemporary Dutch graphic design. His autonomous work has also gained much attention internationally, with recent solo shows in New York, Munchen, Gent and Seoul. From this body of work, a selection of small monoprints on found archive cards, which has not been shown before in the Netherlands, will be exhibited in dialogue with Leiderstam’s panels. A large abstract clock will be positioned in the central nave of the space.
Bruno Munari (1907-1998) was an artist, designer, maker of children’s books and an inventor. Bruno Munari joined the ‘Second’ Italian Futurist movement in the late 1920s. In 1948 he was one of the founders of Movimento Arte Concreta. Most Munari’s paintings, from the end of the 1940s until his death, are informed by principles of mathematics and geometrics. Within the scope of this exhibition is shown a monumental piece from his body of abstract geometrical paintings. This work is based on the Peano-curve (named for the influential mathematician who discovered the fractal curve in 1890).