Kabinett der Abstrakten (after El Lissitzky)

Macuga, Goshka
In 1926 the constructivist artist and designer El Lissitzky created a room for abstract art at the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Dresden, and two years later he was invited to recreate this idea for what is now the Landesmuseum in Hannover. Called a Kabinett der Abstrakten the room presented works by avant-garde artists such as Picasso, Leger and Mondrian at a time when no other European museums were showing them. By the early 1930s abstraction, along with most other progressive forms of art had been deemed 'bourgeois' and 'degenerate' by the incoming totalitarian regimes in Europe, and were removed from public exhibition. Goshka Macuga's work Kabinett der Abstrakten (after El Lissitzky), 2003, unearths this historical relationship between the museum and the avantgarde. As with many of her works, this large-scale installation simultaneously evokes the figures of the artist, the curator and the collector. Based on a simplified version of a Japanese curio cabinet, visitors are invited to open the cabinet to reveal the objects within. Chosen with their relation to each other in mind, Macuga’s borrowed objects are then displayed within her sculpture.
  • Artwork Details: 200 x 200 x 200cm
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  • Material description: MDF, oak veneer, lacquer
  • Credit line: © the artist Image credit: Installation view Star City- The Future Under Communism, Nottingham Contemporary, 2010. Photo: Andy Keate courtesy Nottingham Contemporary and Kate MacGarry, London.
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  • Accession number: ACC64/2009



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