Jene Highstein — Minimalism
Jene Highstein ( 1942 -2013 )
“Jene Highstein is a sculptor who, like his peers and friends Richard Nonas, Bob Grosvenor, and Gordon Matta-Clark, among others, emerged in the early 1970’s on a landscape in New York populated by powerful sculptors a few years older — Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier, Donald Judd, and Dan Flavin. Sharing many of their minimalist concerns, the new sculptors were however free men and women who were not wearied by the intellectual demands of the fight with Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, and were filled with a newer sense of adventure in materials, process, and occasionally romantic relationships with landscape and architecture.
Highstein’s early work in New York depended on large and brutal manipulations of common building materials such as giant pipes, concrete, and plywood. Brought to location in Soho and Tribeca in big pick up trucks and maneuvered into place with old fashioned rope rigging, the placements were daring: such shows depended on close circles of friends and trusted allies.
These early 1970’s works acted as a bridge between pure process pieces such as Richard Serra’s late 1960’s work, and later, more formal sculptural works by Highstein in the 1980’s. While Highstein’s 1980’s work moves towards more clearly defined forms using fabricated materials, his earlier body of work combines abstract shapes with raw, industrial materials and pure or geometrically rigorous measurements to create minimalist, transitional, carefully sited formations. “