Camden Arts Centre offers one-time chance to see mathematical Hanne Darboven

By Mark Sheerin | 17 January 2012
Colour photo of a grid of framed artwork featuring handwritten notation
Hanne Darboven, 9x11. Installation view at Camden Arts Centre© Camden Arts Centre. All rights reserved
Exhibition: Hanne Darboven, Camden Arts Centre, London, January 20 - March 18 2012

The international language of mathematics should ensure that artist Hanne Darboven makes just as much or as little sense here in the UK as she has done in the past in her native Germany and beyond. However, this posthumous show is her first in the UK.

So fans of international minimalism can expect to see epic serial works filled with oblique notations that might require a calculator to decipher. But semantic clues may include the Gregorian calendar, musical notation and found visual documents.

Before now, the artist's most notable foray outside her native Germany was a two-year stay in New York in the late 1960s. Here, she got to know some of America’s most cerebral artists, including Sol Lewitt, Carl Andre and Joseph Kosuth.

Although the use of thousands of numbers to mediate the world might sound clinical, a personal aesthetic of handwriting warms up the results and gives large scale works a surprising intimacy.

But as you might expect from such conceptual fare, Darboven has had work included in no less than four Documenta exhibitions. She also represented Germany at the Venice Biennale in 1982.

  • Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm (9pm Wednesday). Admission free.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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