ens Hoffmann, the Jewish Museum’s deputy director, re-imagined the institution’s 1966 show “Primary Structures,” organized by Kynaston McShine. Hoffmann’s version, “Other Primary Structures,” was presented in two installments: the first, with work from 1960 to ’67; the second covering 1967 to ’70, with a response focusing on artists from once-“marginal” areas of the world, such as Rasheed Araeen, Gego, Hélio Oiticica, Jiro Takamatsu, and Edward Krasinski.
The original exhibition launched and defined Minimalism and included American and British artists Anthony Caro, Donald Judd, Carl Andre, and Robert Morris. “Other Primary Structures” replicated that show in a wonderful miniaturized model of the museum, while floor-to-ceiling blowups of the initial venture worked conceptually but proved distracting. Hoffman was not interested in restaging “Primary Structures,” but in expanding its geographical and esthetic parameters.
Standouts were the blank gessoed canvases Relatum (1969) by Korean artist Lee Ufan and Phase of Nothingness—Water (1969/2005), by Japanese artist Nobuo Sekine, with its undulant water forming the surface of a black lacquer-and-steel box and cylinder.
Hoffmann’s exhibitions might have had more impact if the two parts were shown together and given the run of the museum.
A version of this story originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of ARTnews on page 97.