Review | The Essence of Things at 48 Albemarle Street

Arriving at 48 Albemarle Street you immediately enter a stripped-back environment; surrounded by exposed brick, wood and metal. This industrial interior makes a refreshing change from the usual polished white-cubes of Mayfair and lends itself to ArtCircle’s second exhibition THE ESSENCE OF THINGS which features work by a number of artists associated with minimalism and post-minimalism.

Minimalism emerged as a form of abstract art during the late 1950s as artists reacted against and began to turn away from the gestural art of the previous generation. These artistic inquiries that developed throughout the 60s and 70s reduced art making to its essentials; they are typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes, attention to materiality, and a focus on the physical object in the space rather than any overt symbolic or emotional content.

THE ESSENCE OF THINGS brings together works by a diverse group of artists extending the narrative of minimal art to a wider circle of European and American artists, including work by Carl Andre, Richard Tuttle and François Morellet. While some artists focused on geometricity and systematic formal arrangements, others explored the poetic properties of materials like wood, iron or paper. The exhibition’s curator Berlin-based Daniel Marzona comments “the exhibition explores the essence of materials and forms showing that the formal clarity and simplicity of a work does not reduce the complexity of its perception.”

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