…Less is more…
40 years of minimal art at Frac Sud

From January 20th to May 19th, 2024 September 1st, 2024

As part of its “Hors-les-murs” activities, the Frac Sud – Cité de l’art contemporain and the Bonisson Art Center are organizing the exhibition …Less is more…

The Frac Sud – Cité de l’art contemporain’s missions are to support contemporary creation, transmission and mediation for real access to contemporary art for all. Created 40 years ago, it runs a dual program in situ and in the region, intending to offer all audiences the opportunity to discover contemporary art. With more than 1,400 works with more than 650 artists represented, the Frac Sud – Cité de l’art contemporain has remained attentive through its acquisitions to the plurality of forms of artistic research.

The Bonisson Art Center wishes to intervene in the highlighting of works, but also in the development of the artists’ careers. It sets itself 3 priority missions: support for contemporary creation, the dissemination of contemporary art in its territory, training of audiences.

This exhibition brings together renowned artists and others who have more recently appeared on the contemporary art circuit. Works by regional, national and international artists intersect, highlighting different mediums such as drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and even installation.

Exhibition curator: Christian Le Dorze
All of the works presented belong to the collection of the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

The exhibition is open to the public during opening hours, Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm.
Guided tours of the exhibition are available on Saturdays and Sundays at 4pm, by prior arrangement.

Martin BARRÉ
Martin Barré, 91-92 – 104 x 108 – B, 1991/1992.
Collection Frac Sud – Cité de l’art contemporain © Adagp, Paris, 2023
Bernard Moninot, Les tours, 1987.
Collection Frac Sud – Cité de l’art contemporain © Adagp, Paris, 2023
Noël Dolla, Jalousie V ou portrait d’un membre du P.C.F. dans sa cuisine en 1940, 1992.
Collection Frac Sud – Cité de l’art contemporain © Adagp, Paris, 2023

The expression minimal art was born in 1965 by the philosopher Richard Wolheim in Arts Magazine. This reductive designation, defined by the concern for economy of means, will however not be accepted by certain artists who believe that the sober and “poor” aspect of their art is not enough to define it.

In 1965, the architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, director of the Bauhaus, commented on minimal art with the motto “Less is more” borrowed from Robert Browning, a British poet.

Earlier abstract movements (Russian Suprematists and Constructivists of the 1910s and 1920s, geometric abstraction) were a vital influence towards the techniques and ideas of minimalism.

In the years 64-65, in reaction to the subjective overflow of American abstract expressionism and the figuration of Pop Art, several artists (notably Ad Reinhardt, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Sol Le Witt, Dan Flavin, Frank Stella, Carl André…) questioned the conventional limits of what can be considered a work of art.

They published articles at the time that shaped and described the aesthetic of minimalism.

In particular, the viewer had to easily understand the work and its interpretation depended on the content and conditions envisaged in the objects. These artists wanted to get back to basics, to raw material, to space. The artist’s mark is almost completely erased and no symbolic meaning is claimed. Unlike classical art, the works initially seem devoid of emotional charge.

Minimal art is characterized by extremely spare works, emphasizing space, simple geometric elements and repetition (seriality). A work must therefore be neither decorative nor monumental.