Bottrop, Germany

Michael Venezia

Josef Albers Museum Quadrat

In a career spanning more than half a century, Michael Venezia has pursued a mode of painting based on drastic forms of reduction developed under strict constraints. This exhibition, “Nacht wird Tag” (Night Becomes Day), gave an overview of his oeuvre since 1969 but with special emphasis on works of the past two years. From the first, the Brooklyn-born artist was influenced above all by his encounters with what would soon be known as Minimalism: After dropping out of college in 1958, he returned to New York, where he found a job at the Museum of Modern Art; his coworkers there were Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Ryman. Venezia’s earliest pieces in this show—large-format works, both Untitled, from 1969 and 1971—use spray paint to illustrate the dynamics and nuances of a single color: Traces of the aerosol mist of paint flicker across the canvas like silver flames. While in the first

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