Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates at The Shed, October 9, 2019 – March 22, 2020

 “The Shed presents the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition to date of the work of Agnes Denes (b. 1931), a leading figure in Conceptual and environmental art. On view across both of The Shed’s expansive galleries, Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates brings together more than 150 works in a broad range of media spanning Denes’s 50-year career, including three new works commissioned by The Shed. Denes rose to international attention in the 1960s and 1970s, creating work influenced by science, mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, ecology, and psychology to analyze, document, and ultimately aid humanity. Her theories about climate change and life in an ever-changing, technologically-driven world demonstrate a deeply prescient understanding of society today.” — The Shed

“Agnes Denes was ahead of her time. She saw the coming of an ecological crisis, and in the 1960s started working with land, mathematics, philosophy, language, and technology to consider and offer solutions to the challenges facing humanity,” said Emma Enderby, Senior Curator of The Shed. “She alerted us to humanitarian and environmental issues through beautiful, sensual visual forms combined with a deeply researched and scholarly philosophy. Her vision was radical, and in retrospect, terrifyingly prophetic.” 

Photographs by Corrado Serra. 


Center: Studies for Echo Chamber


Installation view


Human Dust, 1969. Glass and calcareous human remains with text panel


Installation view


The Human Argument IV—Light Matrix, 1987/2012


The Debate—One Million B.C.—One Million A.D., 1969


Series: Isometric Systems in Isotropic Space—Map Projections


Work commissioned by The Shed. Center: Model for A Forest for New York, 2019


Installation view


Work commissioned by The Shed. Front: Model for Teardrop—Monument to Being Earthbound, 2019


Probability Pyramid—Study for Crystal Pyramid, 1976


Work commissioned by The Shed. Model for Probability Pyramid —Study for Crystal Pyramid, 2019

Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates was organized by Emma Enderby, The Shed’s Senior Curator, with Adeze Wilford, Curatorial Assistant.