July 16, 2010
At Alonso Garcés Galerí
By Germán Rubiano Caballer0 – It has been many years since we last saw in Bogotá an individual show of works by Fanny Sanín. Her work has continued to be on display, to be sure, in several group shows throughout the country, especially in art fairs, but it has been her international presence that has been a constant. I will cite, by way of example, the following individual exhibitions held in recent years: "Sublime neogeometría" at Galería Gómez in Baltimore,2003; "Estructuras cromáticas" 1974-2004, at the Colombian Embassy in Washington, 2005; "La estructura cromática, 1974-2004" at the Instituto Italo-Latino-Americano in Rome, 2007-2008, and "Un viaje cromático, 1966-2008" at Latin Collector in New York, 2008, among others.
The presence of abstract art in Latin America was interestingly yet incompletely examined earlier this year in the show "Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s-50s," presented at the Newark Museum. We have a high-quality tradition in the world of geometric and non-geometric abstraction, but, with exceptions like the show just mentioned, Europeans and North Americans continue to ignore us and in some cases to discover us only belatedly. One case that can be mentioned in this regard is that of Carmen Herrera, the Cuban artist long ago relocated to the United States and who only now, at an advanced age, is gaining recognition as a great painter.
In her geometric-abstraction work, Fanny Sanín has carried out a true feat: to follow a path all of their own, becoming a highly original artist. Throughout the years, some critics have linked her to several abstract painters, which is normal, but it truly is impossible to establish close connections with other oeuvres and much less to assert that the artist has followed a given geometric artist. Examining acrylics from 2009, it is evident that in some new compositions the artist emphasizes the elements in each acrylic, insisting on acute triangular planes, reiterating diagonal limits and chromatic variety. Three years ago her canvases were more "restful," containing less elements, with equilateral triangles, with more emphatic stripes in a vertical or horizontal directions, with a dominance of warm colors. From 2005, "acrylic No. 2" is comprised of five vertical bands: a red one at the center - cut into by a small yellow triangle - followed by two wider yellow bands, and at the edges of the canvas two darker bands - divided into two sections each, grays in the upper portion and black in the bottom. Thin yellow lines traverse the yellow bands. These are new elements that create effects of great subtlety.
We could continue to retrospectively analyze the acrylics in Fanny Sanín's extensive body of work. A gratifying experience that always honors the art of painting. Apart from the message of drive and discipline that obtains from the study of these geometric compositions, it is important to state that this Colombian artist - increasingly more recognized in the US and in Colombia - is a loyal inheritor of the ideas developed by Russian artist Kasimir Malevich, who defined his painting, which he dubbed Suprematism, as the "supremacy of pure feeling in the creative arts" Art, which in the past was at the service of religion and of the State, will assume a new life. The pure art of Suprematism will erect a new world, the world of feeling. Like music. In Fanny Sanín's impeccable paintings there are no references to the architecture of New York, nor any memory of pre-Columbian will to abstraction; only feeling exists, only sensibility, emotion, a sense of order.
- Fanny Sanín, Acrylic No. 4, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 26 x 30 in.
ArtNexus Magazine, Issue #77