Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, and others

http://exhibitions.guggenheim.org/zero/






GRIDS IN EARLY 20th C. Art

"[The grid is] supposed to be indexical of all that is rational, but I think it's as mad as many logical things turn out to be – artificial, hysterical, subsuming its own version of chaos. It's rigid but flexible, a measure of scale but scaleless, it's flat with imitations of depth, democratic about space but really absolutist, stamped with rigidity but alert with permutational virtuosity. It's a container that contains itself, that is both form and content."

– Patrick Ireland (1998)

"In the spatial sense, the grid states the autonomy of the realm of art. Flattened, geometricized, ordered, it is anti-natural, anti-mimetic, anti-real. It is what art looks like when it turns its back to nature. In the flatness that results from its coordinates, the grid is the means of crowding out the dimensions of the real and replacing them with the lateral result not of imitation, but of aesthetic decree. Insofar as its order is that of pure relationship, the grid is a way of abrogating the claims of natural objects to have an order particular to themselves; the relationships in the aesthetic field are shown by the grid to be in a world apart and, with respect to natural objects, to be both prior and final."

– Rosalind Krauss: "Grids", October Journal 9, Summer 1979