Yasuaki Onishi at ZKM Karlsruhe

Yasuaki Onishi is one of the artists selected for the exhibition Negative Space at ZKM | Karlsruhe. The Japanese artist will present a piece from the Vertical Emptiness series.

The last exhibition, which dealt comprehensively with the question “What is modern sculpture?”, took place in 1986 at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris under the title «Qu’est-ce que la sculpture moderne?». The exhibition “Negative Space” at ZKM | Karlsruhe picks up the spear where the Centre Pompidou dropped it.

Since antiquity, the history of Western sculpture has been closely linked to the idea of the body. Whether carved, modeled or cast, statues have been designed for centuries as solid monoliths – as substantial and self-contained entities, as more or less powerful and weighty positive formations in space.

Our expectations concerning modern or contemporary sculpture are still essentially driven by the concept of body sculpture, which is formally based on the three essential categories of mass, unbroken volume, and gravity. Whether body-related like Auguste Rodin’s or abstract like Richard Serra’s, sculpture is still and foremost mass, volume, and gravity.

The exhibition “Negative Space” endeavors to change the dominating view of modern and contemporary sculpture by telling a different story. It offers a comprehensive overview of the art of sculpture, which – in contrast to the traditional concept – is committed to contour, emptiness, and levitation. Visitors will encounter what is light instead of heavy, what is not full but empty, what is marked open instead of closed, what is not dense but diaphanous, airy, and light.

Opening Reception: Friday, April 5th from 7 pm onwards

Exhibition: 6 April – 11 August 2019