Grids surround us every day. They are the foundation of our buildings, the roads that shape our cities, the network that brings power into our homes, and the binary system that allows our electronic devices to function. Architects use grids when drafting blueprints; accountants use them in the form of ledgers; graphic designers use them as a tool to create balanced designs.
In the visual arts, the grid is most often associated with mid-20th century Minimalism, Op Art and Color Field painting. Artists associated with these movements were interested in the flatness of the picture plane and were not concerned with painting for the purpose of representing the natural world. They wanted to create art for art’s sake. Art that alludes to itself. Art that was about pure form. Art devoid of an explicit narrative. The grid became the perfect emblem for this pursuit.
Like its presence in our day-to-day lives, the grid manifests literally and covertly in the artwork selected for this exhibition. In some instances, it is a visible, blatant motif, and in other instances, its presence is implied through the measured, and sometimes, modular, construction of the compositions. This collection of work is intended to remind us of the grid’s tremendous influence on 20th-century art and architectural discourse, but also to lead us to contemplate its enduring presence. On the Grid is comprised of works from the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Curated by Shannon Bingeman, Alberta Society of Artists, TREX Region 3
Cover Image: Harry Kiyooka, Sky Scape, n.d., Silkscreen on paper, Collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts