Poetics of Exactness is not an exhibition exclusively, or not only, dedicated to works of geometric abstraction and to the sober and precise beauty that characterizes them. Rather, it is an attempt to explore that precise moment in which a gesture – however discrete it is, but exactly because it is so – begins to awaken in its observers effects that are not those that regulate our relationship to the objects with which we normally surround ourselves, feelings of intellectual curiosity, of almost metaphysical strangeness, and of unexplainable beauty as well. It is an exhibit in which we seek to question what it is that makes an object – at times generated by an elemental craftsmanship, and others by means of industrial techniques and materials – what makes an object reveal itself as capable of eliciting that particular alteration, that sort of emotional agitation which we label poetic.
Nothing, however, seems further from that which is beautiful or poetic than the exact, which is the product of calculation. But art has among its functions that of connecting the present – with all it has that gratifies as well as that which threaten us – to our deepest psychic needs; in a certain way, in order to exorcize it, making it docile to human life. It was inevitable, then, for the most powerful forces of our times – technique, industry and its hallmark product, the machine – to be coopted by it, appropriating their processes, their techniques, and their materials to produce the exact beauty of the geometric, the concrete, the conceptual, and the minimalistic, all so present in many of the works found in the JCMAC.
Poetics of Exactness therefore looks to make us face the beauty of what has been produced by means of a precise calculation – carried out and thought of for the pleasure of the eye and its governing body, the human brain.
ALBERS Joseph, BELL Larry, CHACON Sigfredo, CHARLTON Alan, COOK Ethan, VAN DOESBURG Theo, JOSEPH Peter, JUDD Donald, KUWAYAMA Tadaaki, LEWITT Sol, MCLAUGHLIN John, PUENTE Alejandro, TAKAYAMA Nobotu and VAZQUEZ-FIGUEROA Tony.
Photo: Theo van Doesburg, Composition VIII, Leiden 1918/19 (detail)