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Primary Forms: Featuring Annenberg Foundation Acquisitions

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 to Saturday, Aug 07, 2010

Primary Forms: Featuring Annenberg Foundation Acquisitions features Minimalist and Post-Minimalist works from the 1960s and 1970s from the Museum’s collection, including several recent acquisitions made through a 2007 Annenberg Foundation grant: sculptural works by Carl Andre and David Rabinowitch and two iconic glass pane wall reliefs by Keith Sonnier. The works in Primary Forms are emblematic of the core of the Museum’s collection, which was augmented with these acquisitions made through this generous grant, as well as additional works by Mary Corse, Doug Wheeler, Erwin Redl, Tara Donovan, Robert Irwin, and Santiago Sierra, amongst others.

As circles and cylinders are the basis of the sculpture by Rabinowitch, so are circles and spheres the foundation for Sonnier’s 1970s incandescent light reliefs that explore this medium’s reflection and diffusion. Primary forms also echo in Stephen Antonakos’ staked neon light sculpture, as well as in the relief neon pieces of Las Vegas-based artist Pasha Rafat—an artist of a later generation whose work is indebted to Antonakos’ use of neon to inform and articulate space.

Two recent acquisitions of theatrical light and glass by Sonnier are presented with another work, their equivalent in neon. A light box by Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar utilizes the same shapes—the square and circle—but now as part of a documentary piece that remains a beautiful exploration of luminosity through colored film. A two-channel video by the Mexico City-based British artist Melanie Smith completes the exhibition’s lighthearted meditation on formal variation, revealing the sheer labor and exertion behind such pure manifestations of light and matter.

Primary Forms: Featuring Annenberg Foundation Acquisitions is made possible thanks to MCASD’s Annual Fund donors and the County of San Diego Community enhancement Fund.