The work of Irma Blank (*1934, Celle, Germany; lives and works in Milan) associates writing and drawing in a unique manner, positioning her practice in a place that seems independent from any movement in art history. While the work maintains this distinctive position, it nonetheless does share elements with the history of asemantic writing, conceptual art and visual poetry. Blank’s body of work formulates a profound reflection about existence through the paradox of a text without words and a language that is truly personal. Indeed, while one might consider Blank’s art as visual poetry, a closer examination unravels it as a solitary quest, giving rise to a node where she posits art as life, writing as breathing, doing as pausing.
This project is conceived as an unprecedented collaboration with six other institutions abroad and is encapsulated by a comprehensive catalogue. The presentation in Tel Aviv is showcased in three locations: CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo, the Bauhaus Foundation, Tel Aviv and in the city. The exhibition generates a format unlike that of the “traveling exhibition”; in fact, the reformulation of such notion implies the adaptation of Blank’s oeuvres to different contexts. Furthermore, the ambitious goal behind such a tentacular project is to unfold the artist’s cohesive practice, which is conceived through series across several years with media such as drawing, painting, bookmaking, installation, sound, and actions.
The presentation in Tel Aviv-Yafo focuses on the role played by immateriality, ephemerality and site-specificity in Blank’s modus operandi. Guided by conceptual and aesthetic choices, the exhibition features a selection of works from different series. It includes works on paper, an installation, several artist books, the reenactment of a historical action, a live performance and a sound piece. While at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo, spectators will be able to experience works conceived through different media in a neutral space, at the Bauhaus Foundation, Tel Aviv, visitors will have the unique opportunity to engage with Blank’s works on paper and books in juxtaposition with the Foundation’s permanent display of Bauhaus design prototypes and artifacts.
“Irma Blank: Blank” is guest-curated by Johana Carrier and Joana P.R. Neves.
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue with content in English published by Koenig Books on the occasion of Blank’s seven exhibitions at Culturgest, Lisboa; MAMCO, Genève; CAPC, Bordeaux; CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo; ICA Milano; Museo Villa Dei Cedri, Bellinzona; and Bombas Gens Centre d’Art, Valencia; the exhibition in Tel Aviv-Yafo, presented at CCA, the Bauhaus Foundation, Tel Aviv and in the city is accompanied by printed matter in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, an exhibition catalogue also in three languages, an exhibition tour in English on August 15 and a live reading of Blank’s book Hdjt Ljr on August 20.
“Irma Blank: Blank” is supported by Luxembourg & Dayan, New York / London, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), Stuttgart, Invitro, P420, Bologna, Dr. Daniel Milman, and Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Tel Aviv.
“Irma Blank: Blank,” 2020
View of the exhibition at CCA Tel Aviv-Yafo
Photo: Eyal Agivayev
Irma Blank: Blank
October 9, 2020
July 22, 2020