This exhibition is part of a production in collaboration with different international institutions (Culturgest, Lisbon; MAMCO, Geneva; CAPC, Bordeaux; CCA, Tel Aviv; ICA, Milan and Museo Villa Dei Cedri, Bellinzona) where the work of the artist Irma Blank is presented, from her first works with the series Eigenschriften (1968) to the most recent, Gehen (2017). Thus, this is an exhibition particularly worked for the space of Bombas Gens Centre d’Art under the artistic direction of Sandra Guimarães.
Irma Blank (Celle, Germany, 1934 – lives and works in Milan, Italy) has always used references to writing and the space of the book as a constant in her creations. Through different forms and connotations, all her work develops from the relationships produced between writing with drawing and painting. However, the strokes and signs represented by the artist are stripped of the meaning associated with language, giving them a radical value of their own, not linked to understanding or comprehension.
Her work is always interpreted as a ritual that contributes to understand the artistic process as a record of time and life, in which repetition is essential. In this sense, Blank’s work is related to the work of the artist -also German- Hanne Darboven, who filters her experience through time in installations full of handwritten numbers, mathematical calculations or philosophical passages.
In practice, Blank works with absolute concentration and dedication, tracing on different surfaces the relationships between signs and time: papers, canvases, panels or books; and ink, pens, watercolors and oil or acrylic paints are the tools with which she creates the body of the work.
Irma Blank has had numerous solo exhibitions such as “Transkriptionen” (Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, Hamburg, 1975), “Irma Blank. Libri e giornali” (Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Milan,1984), “Konfrontation 1974-1989” (Artothek im Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, 1989), “Bleu Carnac e storie e simili” (Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, 1992), “Irma Blank, Breath Paintings” (Mostyn Museum, Llandudno, 2014), “Irma Blank, works from the collection of Museion” (Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Bolzano, Bolzano, 2017). She has participated in group exhibitions such as “Temporale” (Städtische Galerie Lüdenscheid, Lüdenscheid, 1990), “Poesia Totale / 1897-1997: Dal Colpo di Dadi alla Poesia Visuale” (Palazzo della Ragione, Mantova, 1998), “Inventur Ii. Struktur Prozess Aktion” (Kunstmuseum Kloster unserer lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, 2004), “Alfabeti Della Mente” (Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini, Città di Castello, 2011), “Group show” (Salon für Kunstbuch, Vienna, 2015), “1978 Arte e Femminismo in Italia” (FM Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, Milano, 2019) or “Hiperespacios. Per Amor a l’Art Collection” (Bombas Gens Centre d’Art, València, 2020). She has also been part of Documenta 6 (Kassel, 1966), Artissima (Turin, 2014), International Contemporary Art Fair (Paris, 2016) or 57 Biennale di Venezia (Venice, 2017).
1. Irma Blank, Radical Writings, Rosa geatmet, Rosa geschrieben, 1987. Per Amor a l’Art Collection © Irma Blank
2. Irma Blank, Ur-schrift ovvero Avant-testo, 25-7-01, 2001. Per Amor a l’Art Collection © Irma Blank
Photo: Miguel Lorenzo