New York

Herbert Zangs, Plus-Minus, 1953, paint on cardboard, 55 1⁄2 × 51 1⁄8". From the series “Whitenings,” 1952–54.

Herbert Zangs, Plus-Minus, 1953, paint on cardboard, 55 1⁄2 × 51 1⁄8". From the series “Whitenings,” 1952–54.

Herbert Zangs

Blain|Southern | New York

The late German artist Herbert Zangs (1924–2003)—who worked primarily with cardboard, staples, wood, and white paint in the years following World War II—generated a sorely underrecognized oeuvre that’s as blissfully meditative as it is dense with painterly innovation. “Plus Minus” at Blain|Southern—the first New York exhibition of Zangs’s work in fifty years—unearthed yet another example of the white monochrome’s presence during the early 1950s. When Robert Rauschenberg was showing his 1951 White Paintings to audiences both dubious and offended and Robert Ryman was observing the modernist canon at New York’s Museum of Modern Art as a security guard, Zangs began his own exploration of achromia in a context removed from that of his American peers. (Zangs’s decision to paint abstractly was partially inspired by a visit to Jackson Pollock’s first Paris exhibition in 1952.) In one of the most

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