Revisiting Rasheed Araeen’s Structures: 8bS at Manufactured Art, 1970
In May 1970, Rasheed Araeen’s work “8bS” appeared in Manufactured Art, a group exhibition dedicated to artistic engagements with industrial processes and advanced technology. Araeen’s contribution, like many of his 1960–70s works, comprised lattice-like structures that engaged forms and techniques common to his professional training as a civil engineer. Like the Minimalist object, “8bS” deployed the grammar of productive techniques to structure artistic form, breaking with the compositional principles of formalist modernism and moving towards art beyond objecthood. Yet Araeen’s contribution to Manufactured Art suggests that Araeen’s structures also avoided the limitations of the Minimalist object’s negative mimesis of technological infrastructure, while anticipating subsequent manoeuvres by artists such as Robert Morris. Revisiting Araeen’s structures in Manufactured Art reinforces the singular importance of Araeen’s structuralist modality, while provincializing US Minimalism as one of multiple trajectories working out of the stasis of modernist objecthood.
ARTMargins Online, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp. 30-53.
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