'Notes Sixteen Conversations on Abstraction', 2016, LaserJet print and pen, 21 × 29,7 cm
'Diagram Sixteen Conversations on Abstraction: Main Structure', 2016,
photogram, 90 × 115,5 cm
Born Venray (NL), 1988
Riet Wijnen’s ongoing research looks at the historiography of abstraction in different fields, starting with early modernism in art and slowly moving towards science, philosophy and activism. In those fields she examines its discursive and narrative gaps and openings. Wijnen started the cycle Sixteen Conversations on Abstraction in 2015 to imagine discussions between under- and unrecognized, mainly female figures in the history of abstraction. In this work, based on remaining documents, personal accounts as well as contemporary theories, the artist writes fictional conversations between these figures and the more prominent and recognized names in fields of humanities and science which are self-published as publications.
These conversations and the relation to figures and positions are then presented on different table sculptures that also function as diagrams, mapping the content and connections of the different conversations, which can be rearranged and updated throughout the development of the cycle. Here Wijnen transposes the research from a traditional autonomous artistic practice into a seemingly functional and household object, the table. The idiosyncrasies and the internal logic of the tables perform a function in underlining the connections between the various positions in each, and between each, discussion. On the one hand the sculpture makes the research ergonomically accessible to the artist and the viewer, while on the other hand it further underlines how the ideas and theories on abstraction have been applied into the organization of living spaces and environments. Still insisting that the affective and domestic labor at the kitchen table that contributed to the recognition of abstraction as an art form.