The grid defines art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries like no other structure. For the avant-garde, for Piet Mondrian and the Bauhaus movement this has been extensively researched; however, the importance of the grid in art since 1945 has never been presented in an overview.
The special exhibition Tracing the Grid. The Grid in Art after 1945, which is shown in the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart from May 5 to October 7, 2012, fills this gap with exponents by fifty artists. On 2,500 square meters of exhibition space works by Sigmar Polke, Chuck Close, and Roy Lichtenstein investigate the subject of the grid. Works by younger artists such as Esther Stocker, Sarah Morris, Michiel Ceulers, and Tim Stapel also make the immense artistic potential of the grid structure clear. The exhibition is organized around four main chapters:
Fitting into the Grid
A mathematical, logical treatment of the grid can be found in concrete art as well as in minimal art and the works of the Zero art group. Here artists construct consistent grids in various techniques and materials
The Grid as Medium
Breaking down the grid into dots or pixels is necessary for the reproduction of pictures. Many artists such as Sigmar Polke or Roy Lichtenstein make this sort of grid the focal point of their work through extreme enlargement
Falling through the Grid
A new generation of artists such as DAG, and Michiel Ceulers are interested in the failure of the system. For them, order and disorder are inextricably entwined. Their work is characterized by the experience that a highly technologized and rational society is prone to breakdowns and vulnerable
The Pattern Investigation
The "pattern" dragnet investigation is a classic method for apprehending criminals. But we also encounter it every day in the Internet, when consumer profiles are calculated using algorithms. Order is not established by the visible grid systems anymore, but by the virtual ones.