George Brecht: Chair with fug rugl

George Brecht: Chair with fug rugl, 1966

Morra Collection, Napoli .© George Brecht


George Brecht: Table

George Brecht: Table (right)

.© George Brecht


George Brecht: Chair Events__George Brecht: Chair Events

George Brecht: Chair Events (black chair & yellow chair)

.© George Brecht


Review of a George Brecht retrospective in the MACBA of Barcelona

(theArtWolf advises: not suitable for stuckists)

George Brecht (New York, 1926) is really a not conventional artist. Not only for the conceptual and experimental ideas expressed in his works (in that sense it's quite possible that no contemporary artist could be described as "conventional") but also for the little habitual that result to see his works displayed together forming a retrospective exhibition (the MACBA affirms that this is the first great retrospective of the artist in almost 30 years). For this reason, the Barcelona exhibition is not only an interesting approach, but also a unique opportunity to understand and appreciate the oeuvre of this New York artist.

The exhibition follows a chronological order, beginning with the room entitled "The classes with John Cage", the audacious artist who played a pivotal role in the formation of George Brecht in the late 50s, when he begins to work with clearly experimental elements, such as the Chance Paintings (large pieces of cloth randomly painted) or the Drip Music , the famous drip used by Jackson Pollock in his canvases applied here to the sound. Besides Cage, Brecht kept in contact with other contemporary artists like Robert Watts, whose Stamp Dispensary is included in the exhibition. With Watts , Brecht prepared, at the beginning of the 60s, the YAM Festival, dedicated to the alternative and usually-not-accepted Art.

In the early sixties, Brecht conceived the Chair Events , daily objects (chairs) displayed on an absolutely conventional way as a protest against the formality of most of the Art galleries. The work with daily objects, in this case physical or political maps, is present in Landmass Translations , a series of maps with small alterations that would allow "to improve the climate" (one of them proposes to place one of the English Channel Islands next to the Canary Islands) or "to solve geopolitical conflicts" (the Marriage and between Miami the Havana proposes to move the Peninsula of Florida and the Island of Cuba so that the two mentioned cities could be physically -and therefore politically- connected). The derivations of the subject Smoking (occupying an entire wall in the exhibition) also follows this conceptual direction.

George Brecht moved to Europe in the middle of the 60s, living in France with his friend and also artist Robert Filliou. The exhibition in the MACBA displays two interesting projects conceived by Brecht during his first years in Europe: The San Antonio Show , works based on a series of French best-sellers; and The Brunch Museum , an imaginary museum dedicated to W.E. Brunch, an also imaginary but " of great historical importance " -according to Brecht himself- personage.

More information in the MACBA website:

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