Rosemarie Castoro. Focus at Infinity
Exhibition
until 15.04.2018

Rosemarie Castoro. Focus at Infinity

Rosemarie Castoro. 'Guinness Martin' 1972

Rosemarie Castoro. Focus at Infinity is the first major institutional exhibition of Castoro’s work, and concentrated on the years 1964–79. Castoro (1939–2015) established her career in the context of Minimalism and Conceptualism in the U.S., circulating at the heart of the avant-garde in New York. The exhibition shows her work in detail for the first time, revealing the diversity of her practice, which encompassed abstract painting, conceptual works, performative actions in the street and studio, poetry, mail art, sculpture, installation and land art. It explores the context of her work, her activism including her role in the Art Workers’ Coalition, her association with contemporaries such as Carl Andre, Hollis Frampton, Sol LeWitt and Yvonne Rainer among others, and her relation to feminism.

Castoro began her career in graphic art, accounting for the persistent importance of drawing in her work. She also became involved in dance and while a student at Pratt Institute choreographed and performed in her own works. Though Castoro turned to painting, what marks out her work is precisely a dancer’s understanding of space and she acknowledged the interdependence of the two art forms. Simultaneous explorations of colour and structure in painting preoccupied her in successive series in the 1960s. Then, abandoning colour, Castoro brought a new spatial element to her work with monochrome gesso and graphite freestanding multi-panelled works. First shown at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1971, these attain an architectural scale that, though they originate in painting, is closer to Minimalist sculpture. The importance of dance as a constant is revealed through her journals containing performative photographs of her works that she considered ‘containers’ and settings for the body. Castoro translated the surface explorations of the panels into wall-based sculptural brushstrokes, sometimes mimicking shorthand such as that dedicated to her friend Agnes Martin. Site specific works include the architectural ‘gallery cracking’ shown in Lucy Lippard’s landmark ‘Numbers’ exhibition 557,087 at Seattle Art Museum, in 1969. In 955,000, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Castoro made Room Revelation (1970), an early example of participatory installation art, which will be recreated for the first time at MACBA. Later, Castoro explored post-Minimalist abstraction, making sculptural installations in epoxy resin in 1974–75, then a series of ephemeral landscape interventions using branches. Works sited within urban settings included Trap-a-Zoid (1978) made for Creative Time, and the totemic steel or concrete Flashers, begun in 1979.

The exhibition will consider Castoro’s unique contribution to ‘intermedia’, interrelating painting, sculpture, drawing, language and performance. It will address how key contributors to Minimalism have yet to be given due attention, particularly the coterie of woman artists in a movement that is often erroneously identified as essentially masculine, who, as Lippard said, ‘subverted minimalism on its own turf’. As a result of a consideration of Castoro’s work, the exhibition will emphasise the need to rethink Minimalism, expanding it to include a greater range of artists and to question its accepted tenets.

Curator: Tanya Barson

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dates
9 November 2017 – 15 April 2018
documentation
title
Rosemarie Castoro. Focus at Infinity
artist
Rosemarie Castoro
New York
1939
Rosemarie Castoro (New York, 1939–2015) lived and worked in New York at a time when Minimalism and Conceptualism dominated the artistic scene of this city. She actively collaborated in the Art Workers’ Coalition with artists such as Carl Andre, Hollis Frampton, Sol LeWitt and Yvonne Rainer, among others, and with feminist groups. Although she began her career in the field of graphic arts, as evidenced by the importance of drawing in her work, she was also interested in dance. While studying at the Pratt Institute in New York, she choreographed and performed her own productions. Although she opted for painting, what distinguishes her work is precisely the way she interprets the space from the perspective of dance and the dialogue between these two artistic forms. Indeed, dance played a key role in her diaries, with performative photographs of her works, described by the artist as ‘containers’ and stage-sets for the body. Extending the concept of ‘intermedia’, Castoro’s work ranges from pictorial abstraction to performative actions in the street and in her studio, as well as poetry, postal art, sculpture, installations and land art. Her first exhibitions, in the early 1970s, were at the Tibor Nagy Gallery in New York. In addition to exhibiting her work in galleries in New York, Paris and London, she also exhibited at the American Center in Paris (1983) and the Newark Museum, New Jersey (1991). In 2017, MACBA, Barcelona, organised the artist’s first major retrospective. Her work is part of collections such as MoMA, New York; Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris; Newark Museum, New Jersey; and MACBA, Barcelona.
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Rosemarie Castoro. Focus at Infinity
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MACBA presenta "Rosemarie Castoro. Enfocar a l’infinit" – YouTube
MACBA presenta "Rosemarie Castoro. Enfocar a l’infinit" – YouTube
ROSEMARIE CASTORO. ENFOCAR A L’INFINITPrimera gran retrospectiva dedicada a l’artista nord-americana Rosemarie Castoro (1939-2015). La mostra reuneix el treb…
playlist
00:35
MACBA presenta "Rosemarie Castoro. Enfocar a l’infinit" – YouTube
13:13
Rosemarie Castoro. Enfocar a l’infinit – YouTube
01:42
La veu de la comissària: Tanya Barson parla sobre l'exposició "Rosemarie Castoro" – YouTube