Simple Forms: Contemplating Beauty

Dates: April 25 [Sat] - July 5 [Sun], 2015
Organizer: Mori Art Museum, Centre Pompidou-Metz
Special Organizer: Fondation d'entreprise Hermès
In Association with: l'Ambassade de France / Institut Français du Japon
Curators: Jean de Loisy (President, Palais de Tokyo), Nanjo Fumio (Director, Mori Art Museum)

The modern era has produced numerous artworks of simple beauty. In Europe between the 19th and 20th centuries, such “simple forms” were rediscovered in the fields of mathematics, mechanical engineering, biology, geology and archeology, having a significant impact in such areas as industrial products and architectural design. A number of masterpieces of modern art were inspired by them also, artists having been captivated by their graceful charm.
Such simple and beautiful forms within them are also found in nature and in many of the world’ s traditional cultures. “Simple forms” such as those found in stone implements and bird stones are seen in much of the folk art and primitive art from around the world. In Japan, a similar aesthetic takes on a physical form in crafts, the tea ceremony and Zen Buddhist paintings.
Incorporating a dynamic, cutting-edge installation of contemporary art, this exhibition will present “simple forms,” showing their geographical expansion and their historical connections and depicting the form of universal beauty they have in common, a beauty that transcends time and space.
In the increasingly complex world in which we live today, what questions do unadorned, modest and back-to-basics “simple forms” pose about true richness in living?

* With the generous support of Fondation d'entreprise Hermès, the exhibition held at Centre Pompidou-Metz (June 13, 2014 - January 5, 2015) will travel to Japan and be restructured by the Mori Art Museum.

Participating Artists [in alphabetical order of the artists' (sur)names]

Jean Arp, Étienne Béöthy, Karl Blossfeldt, Constantin Brancusi, Brassaï, Chōjirō, Le Corbusier (as a collector), Marc Couturier, Albrecht Dürer, Olafur Eliasson, Enku, Lucio Fontana, Susanna Fritscher, Hashimoto Heihachi, Barbara Hepworth, Anish Kapoor, Ellsworth Kelly, Koo Bohnchang, Kupka, Kuroda Taizo, Lee Ufan, Robert Mapplethorpe, Étienne-Jules Marey, Henri Matisse, Anthony McCall, John McCracken, Henry Moore, Patrick Neu, Carsten Nicolai, Nishikawa Katsuhito, Ohmaki Shinji, Okada Koyo, Okazaki Kazuo, Gabriel Orozco, Charlotte Perriand, Antoine Pevsner, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Medardo Rosso, Emmanuel Saulnier, Sengai, José Maria Sicilia, Carl Strüwe, Sugimoto Hiroshi, Tanaka Nobuyuki, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tsai Charwei, Xavier Veilhan, Not Vital, etc.

Anonymous
Birdstone
Production year unknown
Slate 4.8×10.2cm
Collection Ahrenberg, Switzerland

Anthony McCall
Line Describing a Cone 1973 / 2007
Cinematic installation Dimensions variable
Installation view: Musee de Rochechouart, 2007
Photo: Freddy Le Saux
* referential image