Rosemarie Castoro. Focusing on infinity will be the first major institutional retrospective of Castoro’s work and will focus on the period 1964-1979. Castoro (1939-2015) began as an artist in the United States at a time when minimalism and conceptualism were part of the New York vanguard. The exhibition will show his work in detail for the first time, revealing the diversity of an artistic practice that includes abstract painting, conceptual art, performative actions in the street and in study, poetry, mail art, sculpture, installations and land art. It will analyze the context of his work, his activism in the Art Workers’ Coalition, his association with contemporary artists such as Carl Andre, Hollis Frampton, Sol LeWitt and Yvonne Rainer, among others, and his relationship with feminism.
Castoro began his career in the graphic arts, as witness the great importance of drawing in his production. Also interested in dance, while studying at the Pratt Institute in New York, she choreographed and performed her own creations. Although his interest later moved towards painting, what marks his work is precisely his way of reading space from the perspective of dance and his recognition of the interrelation between these two artistic forms. The simultaneous exploration of color and structure in painting was his main concern in the successive series of the sixties. Later, once the color was abandoned, Castoro introduced a new spatial element in his work with series of multiple panels of gypsum and graphite, resting directly on the floor. First exhibited at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1971, they are pieces on an architectural scale that, despite their pictorial origin, are closer to minimalist sculpture. The importance of dance as a reference is manifested in her diaries through performative photographs of her works, described by the artist herself as “containers” and scenarios for the body. Castoro transforms his explorations of the surface of the panels in sculptural brushstrokes mounted on the wall, in the way of shorthand signs like those dedicated to his friend Agnes Martin. His site-specific projects include Gallery Cracking, an architectural intervention created for Lucy Lippard’s flagship exhibit series, Numbers – this time 555,087 at the Seattle Arts Museum in 1969. For 955,000, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Castoro produced a Room Revelation (1970), one of the first examples of participatory installation, which we will recreate for the first time in the MACBA. Subsequently, Castoro explored postminimalist abstraction, with sculptural epoxy resin installations in 1974-1975, and a series of ephemeral interventions in the landscape using branches. Among his works on urban sites include Trap-a-Zoid (1978), created for Creative Time, and Flashers, totemic pieces of steel or concrete started in 1979.
The exhibition will highlight the great contribution of Castoro to the concept of “intermedia”, or interrelation between painting, sculpture, drawing, language and performance. The intention is to demonstrate how some of the most relevant figures of minimalism have not received the attention they deserve, especially the group of female artists belonging to a movement erroneously identified as essentially male, but which, as Lippard says, “subverted minimalism in their own terrain. ” As a consequence of this consideration of Castoro’s work, the exhibition will underline the need to rethink minimalism, expanding it to include a greater number of artists and questioning the hegemonic accounts of this movement.
Curator: Tanya Barson+info