many of the works in galerie hoffmann’s current exhibition “hartmut böhm” are ‘progressions,’ most of them ‘progressions towards infinity.’ hans-peter riese locates this group of works in the realm of the mathematically abstract rather than the visually representable. in the following böhm comments: why not both? the retrospective on his work from the past 55 years proofs again that ‘progressions towards infinity’ exist on walls and floors. “hartmut böhm” is open until september 12, 2021.
the question that arises is whether the system should be functionally assigned to aesthetic innovation […] or whether aesthetic information is the result of logical thought processes
in 1974 i introduced a new step into my "progressions": the dimension infinite (oo). within a stringent progression between parallels with steadily increasing angles (angular addition), the concluding step in the progression is beyond the visible and only exists in the imagination. hans-peter riese noted in a text (circular 15/16, bonn 1977) on the first work of this group of works:
“mathematically, therefore, abstractly conceivable—but no longer representable on the level of aesthetic information. this means that the logic of a chosen system, in this case the numerical value of the progression, extends beyond the aesthetic realm. the logic of the system cancels the logic of aesthetics. there is no doubt that we are entering an area that goes beyond the scope of aesthetics. the question that arises is whether the system should be functionally assigned to aesthetic innovation, i.e. not represent any value in itself, or whether aesthetic information is the result of logical thought processes—to put it bluntly: it must be accepted as such."
now, however, a number of extremely exciting conclusions have emerged from this work in which this transition into the infinite dimension represents the decisive step towards understanding and precisely this step removes the work from the arbitrariness of a series of numbers and gives it compelling conclusiveness. why should something only imaginable not be part of the aesthetic system?
hartmut böhm, 1985 (first published in the journal “temporale, rivista d'arte e cultura” (1985), translation from the original german by bob b. rodgers, 2021).