May 18 – June 28, 2020
“I loved the 10 show. I just couldn’t bear seeing it come down. It really answered a need for me, and the direction, the flavor, the tenor, the philosophy—I’m not sure what term to use—that show seemed to [have a] contemplative quality…It was a very quiet show…So this show for me was like a sanctuary; seeing these works grouped together representing ten different artists and their approach was like going into a chapel or a place of meditation, or “contemplation” is the term I prefer.”
~~Virginia Dwan, 1984
ex ovo is very pleased to present After 10, a one-to-four scale model of the Dwan Gallery’s 1966 exhibition of minimalist painting and sculpture, 10, by artist and papermaker, Tino Ward. After 10 was originally slated to open at SMU’s Doolin Gallery in late April, but could not proceed as planned under the school’s lockdown order. Similarly, as ex ovo’s spring programming had to be rescheduled for later in the year, we were able to welcome After 10 into the gallery from May 18 – June 28, 2020.
Working entirely in handmade paper, Ward recreates each work included in 10, which along with Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum and Systemic Painting at the Guggenheim, heralded a new aesthetic tendency in American art that became known as Minimalism. While Primary Structures and Systemic Painting were big, unwieldy group surveys curated by institutional curators, Kynaston McShine and Lawrence Alloway respectively, the much smaller 10 was organized collaboratively by artists Ad Reinhardt, Robert Smithson, and Robert Morris with support from the young gallerist, Virginia Dwan. Significantly, despite their post-facto inclusion in the canon of minimal art, the artists involved in 10 failed to agree on a more descriptive title for the exhibition, no less a conclusive curatorial statement delineating their tendencies toward “reduction.”
Instead, as contemporary critics noted, 10 underscored the inherent limitations of defining artistic movements on formal criteria alone. 10 included painters, sculptors, and specific-object-makers, each of whom arrived at their visually austere, affectless conclusions by distinctive means for different reasons. By remaking formally, materially and intentionally diverse works in a single medium, handmade paper, Ward literalizes the way that critical efforts to define and identify “minimalism” as a style had a homogenizing effect in spite of the artists’ at times vitriolic disagreements. In doing so, however, those differences become increasingly clear, as making each piece in After 10 required a unique approach best suited to the parameters laid out by the original artist. Ward likens the process of making After 10 to producing a series of master copies, albeit in different media, as a way to understand and grapple with the artists’ ideas and forms. While all of the artists in 10 deemphasized the presence of the artist’s hand in one way or another, Ward’s After 10 is emphatically handmade. The exhibition stemmed from a series of projects Ward embarked upon about a year ago remaking in handmade paper artworks of certain significance to him. He began this as a way to experiment with the possibilities of papermaking as a practice, seeing each preexisting artwork as a scaffold to build a new skill upon. As a result, After 10 utilizes casting and sheet-forming in recycled paper, rag pulp, and raw cotton fiber to execute the works.
To accompany After 10, Ward prepared a small edition of signed and numbered exhibition catalogues modeled after the Dwan Gallery’s 1966 original booklet. Riso Bar at the Pollock Gallery at Southern Methodist University printed the books, which include photographs of the exhibition and a short text by the artist bound inside of a sheet of his own handmade cotton-rag paper. Exhibition catalogues can be purchased by contacting the gallery.
After 10 is open by appointment only, and masks must be worn during visits. The gallery is taking every precaution to regularly sanitize surfaces and maintain adequate distances between visitors. Additional images and an exhibition checklist are available upon request, and documentation will be live on exovoprojects.com. Please contact the gallery (firstname.lastname@example.org, 469.248.5639, or @ex.ovo.tx) to schedule a visit or for additional information.