PRINT Summer 2015

Catherine de Zegher

SPIRITUALITY IS A WORD contemporary art and theory strenuously avoid. However, a heightened receptivity both within and beyond was present at the inception of modernist abstraction and has never entirely faded away. Some artists in the second part of the twentieth century sustained the legacy of Kazimir Malevich, Hilma af Klint, Wassily Kandinsky, et al.—notably Gego, Nasreen Mohamedi, and Agnes Martin, who shared an impulse toward abstraction that can be seen as the materialization of a mental space striving for an impossible perfection. Their mesmerizing grids, in particular from the 1970s, emphasize the concern to eliminate egotism, in contradistinction to many artists of the time who rather focused on the individual. Ideas regarding the whole of being instead of one’s particularity in separation are key to their work practices. “To live as the ocean rather than as the bubble of

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