HJ BOTT: a Baroque Minimalist

Anya Tish Gallery is honored to present HJ Bott: a Baroque Minimalist, the gallery’s fifth solo exhibition of legendary Texas artist, HJ Bott, whose career stretches over six decades. The exhibition will feature selected paintings and sculptures created between the 1970s and 2000s. Methodical yet intuitive, this body of work, stemming from a self-created system, displays the artist’s signature geometrically abstract shapes of rich and textured surfaces. Making his own polymer vinyl paints, Bott’s use of this industrial material gives the work an arduous layer, while color and movement give a sense of playfulness that speaks to the inventive nature of the work.
 
A proponent of the cross-disciplinary use of geometry, math, and science within a visual medium, Bott, in 1972, created a system he named the Displacement-of-Volume (DoV), which employs a combination of basic and universal archetypes to make way for a “new” archetype system. This formulaic method of working results in the ornate patterns that are always present in Bott’s sleek polymer-etched paintings and playful, curvaceous industrial wire sculptures. Throughout his prolific career, Bott has engineered countless combinations of shapes and patterns, but there has always been an underlying visual system that is based in quadrants, grids, and circles. Perhaps less visible to the eye is his use of dichotomy: Yin and Yang, Geometric and Organic, Baroque and Minimalist. Although there is a calculated and formalist approach to the work, embedded throughout is a political undertone that addresses the pressing contemporary issues of the world today.

 

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From the artist: “It is likely necessary to explain why I call myself a Baroque-Minimalist. This is not a contradiction of terms. First observe the noun Minimalist. In 1972, I was most fortunate to have found/discovered the quasi-unique DoV System of quadratic tiling (displacement-of-volume), opening the possibilities to explore most 2-D and 3-D archetypes and self-inventions. As the adjective, Baroque goes all the way back to my cookie-crumblier days exploring techniques, materials, color, light, textures, and themes, always steeped in political rants. Though since the late 1980s, most gallery exhibited works are principally exploring the many means of making marks, most specifically about our disregard of environmental damages to air, water and the planet; and, the forth coming Corporate Wars (are they here now?).” - HJ Bott, 2020 

About the artist:
Bott first came to prominence in the mid 1950s in Germany and France whilst working as a propaganda analyst for the United States Army. Since then, Bott has shown his work in hundreds of exhibitions, ranging from a bus station in Utah in 1952, to major galleries, art centers and museums in New York, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Dusseldorf and Mexico City, among many other locations worldwide. His work has been shown in over 75 solo exhibitions, 16 solo ROBOTT performances, 24 solo in-situ installations, and more than 700 group gallery exhibitions, including 330 invitational survey shows. His work can be found in over 60 public, museum, city and university collections, and more than 120 corporate collections. Bott has completed over 20 commissions for various government entities and over 160 private and corporate commissions.