Fanny Sanín, “La struttura cromatica di Fanny Sanín” - Istituto Italo-Latino Americano, Roma

Tre decenni di evoluzione dell'artista (Bogotà 1938) nel campo dell’astrazione geometrica
I tre decenni rappresentati in questa mostra attestano l’evoluzione di Fanny Sanín (Bogotà 1938) nel campo dell’astrazione geometrica, a cui l’artista si è avvicinata con una coerenza, con un lavoro sistematico e persistente simile a quello di un matematico impegnato nel trovare soluzioni alle più complicate equazioni. 
E, come succede in questi processi, la natura elusiva di molte espressioni pare provocare una nuova riformulazione della loro validità. L’artista coniuga le forme geometriche con le emozioni del colore, dando vita a creazioni che riflettono l’imago, fermata nella dimensione spazio-temporale, di un’idea preceduta da studi che la perseguono in un continuo divenire. E questo divenire è l’essenza primigenia dell’opera della Sanín, che ne determina la sua grandezza, offrendo un’altra significativa immagine della ricchezza artistica e costituendo uno dei percorsi più rilevanti dell’astrattismo in Colombia.

La Sanín non è solamente architetto, ma è anche ingegnere del colore. La pittrice ricerca l’articolazione dei valori e dei toni, analizzando le cariche e pressioni create da infinite combinazioni, positive e negative, nel campo fisico ed in quello virtuale, nei quali il colore esiste per sé, indipendente da ogni altro elemento. Una tale razionalità può apparire fredda e calcolata. 
Tuttavia la sensibilità determina le trasformazioni ed il corso emozionale resi dalle entità cromatiche, come si può vedere chiaramente nella serie di studi preparatori per ogni dipinto. Tali preoccupazioni possono sembrare futili, però, come pittrice, la responsabilità della Sanín è di scoprire l’invisibile.                                                                                                                                 Lo fa con successo, alle volte reinterpretando il passato e reinventando il nuovo, come scrive nel catalogo il curatore Félix Angel, Direttore del Centro Culturale della Banca Interamericana per lo Sviluppo BID. In Occasione dell’inaugurazione della mostra il curatore Félix Angel illustrerà l’opera ed il percorso artistico dell’artista Fanny Sanín.
 

Roma sucumbe al color abstracto de la colombiana Fanny Sanín", Terra Colombia/EFE

La pintora colombiana Fanny Sanín inauguró en el Instituto Ítalo-Latino Americano de Roma una retrospectiva de su obra abstracta, centrada en el color, para que el espectador sucumba al "contenido espiritual" de sus cuadros. "Fanny Sanín. La estructura cromática. 1974-2007" es el título de la exposición con la que "deleitarse en el color, en la composición, en la armonía y en el contenido que hay detrás del cuadro", explicó la artista a Efe. 

Sanín definió su obra como "muy meditativa, que da un poco de paz", donde el color es "muy importante", pues le sirve para expresarse en lo que no puede "traducir en palabras". Las líneas geométricas y la fuerza cromática caracterizan los cuadros de la exposición que, para su comisario, Félix Ángel, demuestran que Sanín es una "ingeniera del color" y la artista "viva más madura que tiene en este momento Colombia, a nivel internacional". 

Según Ángel, la colombiana maneja el color "no tanto en un aspecto formal sino estructural, porque la imagen resultante depende de las cargas que, como en una obra de ingeniería, lleva el color para definir" sus cuadros. El comisario también explicó que la carrera de Sanín "responde a una tradición muy particular del arte colombiano", pues éste ha sido siempre "muy figurativo y expresionista", de ahí que la obra de la colombiana sea "una faceta muy especial de la producción artística" del país latinoamericano. El embajador de Colombia en Italia, Sabas Pretelt de la Vega, aseguró que llevar la obra de Sanín a Italia forma parte del "empeño en mostrar las cosas buenas" de su país. Recordó que aunque en Italia se conozcan cantantes colombianos como Shakira o Juanes y pintores como Fernando Botero, también "hay una legión de pintores y artistas estupendos como Sanín".
 

The Chromatic Structures of Fanny Sanin, 1974-2007

“For the city of Rome, accustomed to great artists, it will be a privilege to receive the Colombian master painter Fanny Sanín at the Gallery of the Instituto Italo-Latino Americano. After a few minutes of attentively examining the paintings, trying to decipher the equation of its narrative, I decide to let myself be taken in by the rhythm of its multicolor geometry. Then, Fanny’s ouvre begins to transform itself as a catalyst between the critical thought and the meditative experience of the abstract language, which allows and looks for the interior relaxation that without violence cleanses the mental murmur and reactive thought, and permits us to reach our inner silence. Is as if the mind ceased its “judicious” action letting it be rocked in its entirety in the world of the senses where colors grow, intensify and surround us. 
It is a game of the mind which needs to be freed from the nervous attachment to control and the common linguistic codification. Only then, the geometry of the work appears accessible and sweet. All that is needed is to let yourself be taken in.” Patricia Rivadeneira, Cultural Secretary, Instituto Italo-Latino Americano, Exhibition catalogue, Introduction

“Fanny Sanín is probably the most understated international painter of stature that Colombia has produced in the last thirty years. The three decades represented in this exhibition attest to her evolution within the realm of geometric abstraction, which she has approached with the same coherence, the same systematic and persistent work, that a mathematician would demonstrate in trying to find the solution to the most complicated of equations. And as happens in such a process, the elusive nature of multiple expressions appears to provoke the reformulation of its validity over and over again.” Félix Ángel, Exhibition Curator, Catalogue essay: The Chromatic Structures of Fanny Sanin, 1974-2007.

Fanny Sanín • Around the foreign cultural academies and institutes in Rome

Fanny Sanín, “La struttura cromatica di Fanny Sanín” - Istituto Italo-Latino Americano, Roma

          Study for Painting 06 - 04 - 1976

          Study for Painting 06 - 04 - 1976

Colombian geometric art, Spanish-language films and a Dutch-language church tour are among the highlights this month. 

The Italian Latin-American Institute is presenting an exhibition that spans three decades of work by the Colombian artist Fanny Sanín. 
Bogotà-born Sanín uses abstract geometric forms, combining them with colours that give them an emotional force. According to curator Félix Angel, Sanín takes an almost systematic and mathematical approach to her work, preparing a series of preliminary sketches for each painting and testing the positive and negative effects of each colour combination. The institute’s cultural secretary, Patricia Rivadeneira, explains in the exhibition catalogue how Sanín’s colours “grow, intensify and surround” when the viewer surrenders to their rhythm. “Only then, the geometry of the work appears accessible and sweet. All you need to do is let yourself be taken in.” 
Italian Latin-American Institute, Piazza Cairoli 3, tel. 06684921. The exhibition is at the institute’s gallery at Vicolo dei Catinari 3, tel. 0668492274. 11.00-19.00. Sun closed.

Carmen Herrera • Latin American Modernism, the Sequel • The New York Times

“New Perspectives in Latin American Art • 1930-2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions” - MoMA, New York

By ROBERTA SMITH

New York has been invigorated by a one-two punch of Latin American Modernism this season. The first blow was “The Geometry of Hope: Latin American Abstract Art From the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection,” at the Grey Art Gallery at New York University. That show’s main drawback is that it will return home to Mrs. Cisneros in two weeks. Now the Museum of Modern Art is weighing in with a similarly long-titled exhibition whose 250-plus pieces are here to stay: “New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930-2006: Selections From a Decade of Acquisitions.” 

While the Grey Gallery show stops around 1970, this one takes the many-splendored history of Latin American modernism right up to the present, to exhilarating and enlightening effect. It has been organized and sensitively installed by Luis Pérez-Oramas, who joined the Modern in 2003 and last year became its curator of Latin American art, the first curatorial position there to be designated by geography instead of art medium.

While the Modern has been remiss in displaying the Latin American works in its collection, it is hardly a late arrival to the field. It focused primarily on Mexican art during the 1930s, but by 1941 it was systematically collecting art from across the region and was the first museum in the world to do so. (Even Latin American museums tended to collect only national artists.) By 1943 MoMA was able to muster an exhibition (organized by Lincoln Kirstein) of around 270 Latin American works from its collection. Today this collection is probably the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. 

Acquisitions in this area dropped off in the 1970s and ’80s, even as broadly international exhibitions like the 1971 “Information” had a strong Latin American representation. Still, MoMA’s Latin American holdings now number more than 3,500. The current exhibition has been selected from some 530 pieces added since 1996. 
Until the late 1950s the museum’s acquisitions tended to favor figuration, whether Social Realist, Surrealist or Magic Realist. The recent acquisitions — mostly purchases — reflect a process of both catch-up and course correction. As in the Grey Gallery show, the latest additions emphasize abstract artists whose primary points of departure were Russian Constructivism and the more idealistic geometry of Mondrian. The show begins with the work of Joaquín Torres-García, a colleague of Mondrian in Paris in the late 1920s whose return to Uruguay in 1934 helped spread the gospel of abstraction in Latin America. 

The styles that emerged there after World War II ran both parallel to and in opposition to developments in the United States, especially the scale of Abstract Expressionism and the material opulence of Minimalism. But it intersected fruitfully with contemporary European developments like Group Zero and Arte Povera, played an essential role in Op Art and helped spawn a version of Conceptual Art that valued the collaborative, the implicitly political and the ephemeral. This in turn set the stage for artists who have emerged since the mid-1980s, among them Ana Mendieta, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Vik Muniz and Fernando Bryce. 

The selection here covers quite a bit of this ground, with large clusters of works by several artists and lots of inter-generational back and forth, both intended and unconscious. More than a dozen historic works from the late ’40s, the ’50s and the early ’60s, about half of which are gifts from Mrs. Cisneros, lay out various concerns of Latin American art. 
Foremost is a conception of abstraction as unusually body oriented and actively engaged with either the optics of perception or the possibility of function. These ideas crop up early in a beguiling gamelike sculpture from 1945 by Alejandro Xul Solar; it deconstructs the compartments of Torres-García’s canvases into a series of painted blocks that look eminently touchable. 

A more austere hanging sculpture by Gyula Kosice made of hinged strips of brass (1948) may be the world’s earliest example of Arte Povera; its casualness echoes in adjustable sculptures by Lygia Clark and later on Mira Schendel, whose woven rice-paper piece from the mid-1960s is one of the exhibition’s highlights. The idea of adjustability continues with Hélio Oiticica’s brightly colored box (which gains immeasurably from a higher pedestal than in previous appearances) and Cildo Meireles’s folding-rule sculptures from the early ’70s. 
Some works imaginatively cross-fertilize aesthetic approaches. Black-and-white paintings and works on paper by Carmen Herrera, Willys de Castro and Hércules Barsotti split the difference between Op Art and more traditional geometric abstraction, which means they are dazzling without being dizzying. Jesús Rafael Soto achieved a similar fusion of Op Art and assemblage, making brilliant use of things like driftwood and tangles of old wire in two works here. 

A related sensibility is at play in a sculpture from 1962 by Sérgio Camargo in which a chunk of driftwood is partly encrusted, as if by a crystal formation, with masses of small wood dowels painted white. The use of found material reaches opposing apotheoses in Ernesto Neto’s modest drawings (two use saffron) and Mr. Muniz’s large color photograph “Narcissus, After Caravaggio” (2005), which is the result of skillfully marshaling a pile of junk into an old-master image. And the emphasis on black and white abstraction is picked up, unexpectedly, in three small ink drawings by Gabriel Orozco. 

This show repeatedly reminds us that art can be made out of almost nothing, and that strong color is a viable substitute for large size. The point is made early on in a group of 10 resolutely abstract collages from 1950 by Alejandro Otero of Venezuela that simultaneously pursue the implications of Mondrian’s “Broadway Boogie-Woogie” and of Matisse’s cut-outs, and in the small, bright free-standing forms in gouache on cardboard of Lygia Pape’s marvelous “Book of Creation” from 1959-60. Ms. Pape’s faith in color obviously echoes in Oiticica’s work but also in Santiago Cucullu’s new prints, in which bright abstract swirls are punctuated by dark, sinister images redolent of the clandestine events that riddle so much of Latin America’s recent history. Also relevant are Rivane Neuenschwander’s colored-over newspaper comic strips. These in turn echo Álvaro Barrios’s earlier use of newspapers; in the mid-1970s he persuaded a Colombian daily to publish his pastels and collage images regularly. 

An obsession with fine lines, either organized or running free, is evident in drawings, prints and paintings on paper from the early ’60s by Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt) and by León Ferrari. It can be followed through the show in Waltercio Caldas’s tiny printed-word drawings from the 1970s, a single extraordinary ink and pencil drawing by Eduardo Stupía from 1985 and, more recently, the drawings of the collective Assume Vivid Astro Focus (on acetate) and José Damasceno. 

Plenty of other conversations and cross-references contribute to the richness of this exhibition, as do largely excellent selections, including, on the recent end, works by Los Carpinteros, Eugenio Dittborn, Abelardo Morell, Alfredo Jaar and Arturo Herrera. The implicit message throughout is that the house that classic Modernism built has always been more inclusive than previously thought, and is getting bigger all the time. 

“New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930-2006: Selections From a Decade of Acquisitions” continues through Feb. 25 at the Museum of Modern Art, (212) 708-9400.

Composition with pink • 1948

Composition with pink • 1948

Long Night's Journey Into Day • New York Press

By JULIA MORTON  
Last year, the Museum of Modern Art and London’s Tate Museum both acquired Cuban-born painter Carmen Herrera’s work. Since then, collectors have been swarming all over her geometric abstractions, although the 93-year-old painter has toiled for decades in near obscurity. Currently the Latin Collector Gallery is presenting Estructuras, a survey of her work from the 1970s to the present, which is an incredible opportunity to view the artist’s distinct visual vocabulary. 

Flatly painted in vivid two-color combinations, Herrera uses graphic tension to harness the power of color and geometry in her spare, elegant compositions and wooden sculptures, or “structures” as she calls them. 
Many artists would be jealous of her apparent overnight success, except for the fact that it took close to six decades her efforts to be prized by the art market. For her latest solo she’s created three new structures, which are featured alongside two others done in the ’70s. Still enjoying fine whiskey, she bakes a mean strawberry shortcake and is happy to recount the difficult, dark road to art stardom. 

Born in Havana in 1915, Herrera’s liberally minded mother sent her to study art in Paris. She was too young to associate with Picasso and his band of Bohemians, but she did absorb the classics and Modernist currents. In 1939, as WWII began, she married Jesse Lowenthal and came to live in New York where she befriended other avant-garde artists, including Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. Herrera remembers countless evenings spent debating art. “Barney felt strongly that abstraction needed a mythological, a religious basis,” says Herrera. “I, on the other hand, wanted something clearer, less romantic and dark.” 

In 1948, Herrera returned to Paris and began showing in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles exhibitions. The event promoted geometric and pre-minimal abstraction, art forms the Nazis had outlawed. As supplies were hard to find in post-war France, Herrera worked on horse blankets. She began to question every aspect of painting, slowly stripping away distractions in order to explore the essence of color and line. American Ellsworth Kelly was also in Paris at this time experimenting with his first hard-edged paintings. 

In the late ’50s she returned to New York. Despite her Parisian success and her bold ideas, Herrera was told that because she was a woman and didn’t “paint like a Latin,” even female dealers would not exhibit her. Her male friends also refused to help and some even ended their friendship with her as they became famous. She was left to work in obscurity. “Letting go,” Herrera sighs, “of the old realities, the old baggage, is very difficult.” 
Feminists rediscovered Herrera along with artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Frida Kahlo in the 1970s, but Herrera took the renewed attention in stride; her art, after all, was never dependent on fame or money. For contemporary artists who live impatiently, Herrera offers useful advice: “I feel art is a calling. To be an artist, you have to be strong.” 

Through Jan. 19, 2008 at Latin Collector, 37 W. 57th St., 4th fl. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 212-334-7813.
 

Bulletins From a Bustling ‘Undiscovered’ Land • The New York Times


By HOLLAND COTTER    

It’s a little embarrassing to watch the New York art world “discovering” Latin American modernist art year after year, as if forever only half-aware of its existence. And it’s depressing to know that the Museum of Modern Art, which could have been collecting widely in the field for decades, had to wait for a windfall in the form of a gift collection to deal with this material in a serious and committed way. We are, after all, talking about the art of a continent and a century, not just a fad from yesterday. 

No surprise then, given the circumstances that the city is only now getting its first fair devoted to Latin American art. And no surprise to anyone familiar with this art that the fair, called Pinta and installed at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street through tomorrow, looks as good as it does.                                                                                                                                                     With just 35 galleries, Pinta is a big event in a small package. The layout, by the architect Warren A. James, is stylish and airy. In general a less-is-more sensibility prevails. For once, a fair looks like an art exhibition, not a job-lot display. And when a booth is crowded, the pieces can be blamed, as is the case at Appetite, a gallery with branches in Buenos Aires and Brooklyn that shows young artists working in an accumulative mode. 

The thread that runs through Pinta, and partly accounts for its stripped-down appearance, is modernist painting and sculpture from the 1940s through the ’70s. The first thing you see is a group of open-work steel and glass sculptures by the Brazilian artist Waltércio Caldas presented by Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud from São Paulo. “Transparent” is the word Mr. Caldas applies to this work, and it is apt. 

Durban Segnini Gallery of Miami has abstract pieces, including a kind of tabletop tower with a curling window from 1967 by Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar, a mini-Frank Gehry before Frank Gehry came into his own. At Leon Tovar there’s a subtly kinetic piece by Jesús Rafael Soto (1923-2005); the slightest breeze will set its curtain of dangling rods into optically shimmering motion. 

A 1952 sculpture in clear plastic by María Freire at Sammer Gallery Miami is exemplary of the soaring utopianism of a heady era. And something like this spirit survives into the present in paintings by Fanny Sanin and Tony Bechara at Latin Collector, of recent date but in classic abstract geometric style. 

At the same time “classic” is defined many ways in Latin American art: by a spidery 1962 León Ferrari ink drawing at GC Estudio de Arte; by figurative paintings by Wifredo Lam at Treart; by a booth full of Xul Solar watercolors at Rubbers International Gallery; and by the marvelous etchings by Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt, 1912-94) at Cecilia de Torres, a gallery that, along with Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art (not in the show), has long been one of the city’s primary showcases for Latin American material, old and new. 

Pinta has its share of new art too, with up-to-the-minute work by Alexandre Arrechea, Eugenia Calvo, Arturo Duclos, Darío Escobar, Nicolas Guagnini, Marco Maggi and Damián Ontiveros Ramírez scattered here and there. (Don’t miss the witty and moving 2007 video by Liliana Porter at Hosfelt Gallery.) 
Notably sparse, however, is overt religious or political imagery of a kind that still defines contemporary Latin American art for many people. And it is hard not to see a direct correlation between the playing down of such content and the current spurt of interest in Latin American work by the New York art world mainstream. 

In any case all such balances could shift next year when, if things go as planned, the fair will increase the size of its exhibition space and, presumably, the number of participants. If strength really is in numbers, maybe New York, a Latin American city, will finally see what it has been missing all this time. 
But why wait a year? Check out Pinta, and start to get smart now. 
Pinta, the Contemporary Latin American Art Fair continues through tomorrow at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, Chelsea; pinta-art.com.

Tatiana Parcero Awarded in Molaa Juried Art Competition

Latincollector is proud to announce that Tatiana Parcero was granted the fourth place in the Molaa Juried Art Competition 2007 with the work title: Reinvencion #25 / Re-invention #25 (bandaged torso), 2006, Lambda and acetate print. 

The Museum of Latin American Art (molaa) announced the Award Winners for the 2nd annual juried art competition, the molaa Awards on Sunday, September 30, 2007. A jury of four art scholars in the field of contemporary art selected the final 7 finalists who were competing for a purse of $50,000 prize money. Each work of art, except the Honorable Mention, is now included in the molaa Permanent Collection. Congratulations to the Award Winners! MoLAA congratulates all the artists that participated in the competition and appreciates their support.
 

Carmen Herrera featured in Exhibition at Eli Klein Fine Art

Carmen Herrera, "Referencing Alexander Calder: A Dialogue in Modern and Contemporary Art" - Eli Klein Fine Art, New York


We are pleased to announce that Carmen Herrera is included in the inaugural exhibition of Eli Klein Fine Art, curated by Rebecca Heidenberg: Referencing Alexander Calder: A Dialogue in Modern and Contemporary Art. This group show brings together 24 diverse artists from modern masters to emerging artists including: Jean Arp, Bo Berkman, Alexander Calder, Amilcar de Castro, Daniel Chadwick, Jean Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Monique Van Genderen, Jean Gorin, Jean Hélion, Barbara Hepworth, Carmen Herrera, Shirley Jaffe, Judith Larsen, Fernand Léger, Micah Lexier, Clement Meadmore, Joan Miró, Graeme Patterson, Joel Perlman, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, José de Rivera and Yves Tanguy. The exhibition will run from September 29th – November 15th, 2007. 

Included in the exhibition will be the following works by Carmen Herrera, which are fine representations of her greater body of work: Shocking Pink #20 (1949); The vision of Saint Sebastian (1956); The Way (1970); and Rising (1971).

Iberic • 1951

Iberic • 1951

Santiago Picatoste • "Debaten sobre el estado del arte" • EN PALMA

El crítico de arte Biel Amer, el galerista Ferran Cano y los artistas Rafa Forteza y Santiago Picatoste analizan el estado del arte en Mallorca. 

Ferran Cano, que interviene de manera virtual y no paralela, participa sólo en algunas fases del debate. 

Santiago Picatoste: En provincias no se puede pedir peras al olmo. ¿Pero cuándo la gente va a empezar a cambiar esto? Porque aunque estemos en Mallorca, hay galerías y artistas que podrían ser importantes. ¿Estamos jugando en primera o en segunda?... 


Rafa Forteza: El problema no es Mallorca, sino que España no pinta nada en el mercado del arte, por mucho que nos quieran vender lo contrario. 
SP: Porque así lo hemos hecho. 
Ferran Cano: Y eso que aquí, dentro de lo malo, por nuestra situación socioeconómica y geográfica, somos un lugar al que viene más gente interesante del mundo del arte que a otros sitios de España. 
RF: Pero Mallorca, España, quieras que no somos un pueblo, unos acomplejados en el fondo. 
FC: El eje está perfectamente marcado: Nueva York, Londres, Berlín. Y todo lo que se salga de ahí no cuenta para nada. Desgraciadamente Warhol tuvo razón cuando dijo que “el arte es el mercado”. Y la tiene Julian Schnabel, cuando dice que “el mercado impone mucha basura”. Aún así, hay gente de una calidad impresionante. 
SP: Parece que aquí las galerías no están muy unidas que digamos. 
Biel Amer: Hay varias asociaciones de galeristas, ¿no? 
SP: Ahí está. Y yo no digo que compartan agenda de clientes, pero sí que tengan un enfoque de futuro, porque lo contrario perjudica a los artistas. Mira Chelsea en Nueva York, por ejemplo, hay una galería al lado de la otra y eso les da fuerza. 
BA: El otro día leí que había abierto la galería número trescientos ahí. Pero aquí, en Mallorca, yo creo que las galerías venden, siempre han vendido bien. El problema es el mercado, que está imponiendo demasiado una ley que no sé si es buena para los artistas. Desde luego, para los críticos de arte es nefasta. 
SP: Hay artistas que están muy apoyados por las críticas y a lo mejor esa crítica no es tan coherente. 
RF: Aquí en Mallorca, y en todo el mundo, hay artistas a los que tendrías que preguntarles a sus hígados cuántos martinis y cuántas fiestas les ha costado llegar al lugar que ocupan. 
BA: Hoy en Mallorca el arte está muy cogido por la mano de los galeristas, que son las que deciden quien expone y quien no. Ellos son los que cortan el bacalao. 
SP: ¿Qué os parece lo de Art Cologne en Palma? 
BA: Yo creo que puede ser interesante, sobre todo porque sitúa a Palma a nivel europeo. 
SP: Pero lo que hay que ver es la repercusión. 
RF: Todo evento es interesante para jugar, así hagas una feria de orquídeas. La pregunta es: ¿va a repercutir en el mercado del arte a nivel local? El nombre te lo dice: Art Cologne en Palma. No es Palma la que genera una feria, sino que alguien ha elegido una ubicación para hacerla. 
BA: Piensa que viene mucho coleccionista y que los alemanes trabajan muy bien estas cosas. De entrada yo creo que es un acto muy positivo. 
RF: Lo que yo dudo es a quién va a atraer esta feria, qué coleccionistas van a venir a Mallorca cuando no salen de Europa. Yo creo que esta feria es un acto público más que otra cosa. 
SP: ¿Pero creéis que hay buenos coleccionistas de arte contemporáneo en Mallorca? 
BA: Hay buenos coleccionistas. Lo que pasa es que tener una buena colección de arte contemporáneo es caro. 
RF: Es muy difícil… 
BA: Pero hay coleccionistas que tienen una idea muy clara de lo que quieren comprar. Una de las mejores colecciones de videoarte del mundo está en Mallorca, es de un mallorquín que vive en Cala Rajada. ¿Qué quiere decir esto? Que hay gente que yo no conozco, que tú no conoces, que tiene o va haciendo una colección interesante. El coleccionista es muy anónimo, salvo aquel al que le gusta presumir. 
FC: El coleccionista mallorquín es muy clásico, la mayoría compra sobre seguro, prefiere apostar por un artista mallorquín poco conocido que por alguien de fuera que haya expuesto en Chicago, Sevilla, Ámsterdam… 
RF: Lo primero que tiene que hacer un coleccionista es definirse. Y eso no se improvisa. El coleccionista bueno viene de casta, y aquí en Mallorca casta hay muy poca. Las grandes fortunas locales son sólo de hace cincuenta años. El tiempo que se han dedicado a hacer dinero no lo han dedicado a culturizarse y asesorarse. 
BA: El problema es también interno, de las instituciones, que no generan un movimiento artístico rápido y ágil. Es difícil venderle a un patronato o a una fundación un nombre que no conoce. Arriesgarse se arriesgan muy pocos, quizás sólo en Barcelona…Y luego está lo de la amistad, la falta de criterio. Aquí hay muy poco criterio. Hay instituciones que tienen veinte cuadros de un mismo artista y ninguno de otro artista de su misma generación. 
SP: Faltan canales, medios para saber más, para dar a conocer el arte emergente, qué esta pasando de nuevo en España, tratar de culturizar a las generaciones que vienen. 
BA: Fíjate incluso cómo sufren las páginas de cultura en los periódicos, a nivel local y nacional, cada vez tienen menos espacio. Van dejando la cultura a un lado. Y eso es malo para todos
 

Santiago Picatoste • "Siguen los Nervios"

By ANNA MALAGRIDA - Se acerca la fecha del 9 de septiembre, en la que el comité ineffable de ARCO se reúne para dictar sentencia. 

Los galeristas mallorquines están que trinan, y los artistas por ellos representados, y los críticos conocidos, y los coleccionistas relacionados, no dan crédito a que en Madrid puedan tomarse decisiones de tanta relevancia-la expulsión de todas nuestra galerías, excepto una, de la feria de febrero-sólo como desplante por la feria Art/Colonia de Palma. Si la cosa es sustancial, se abrirá una crisis de enormes consecuencias, cuyo final, nefando en todo, no nos atrevemos a vaticinar. 

Cita en Copenhague. 

Para arrancar la temporada, nada mejor que una visita fugaz a la ciudad de la sirenita enana con motivo de la exposición de uno de nuestros más dinámicos artistas, cuya obra está en plena expansión. El próximo día 6 de septiembre, por la tarde, inaugura exposición con sus últimos trabajos Santiago Picatoste en la galleria Asbaek de Copenhague, una ocasión muy adecuada para seguir de cerca su trabajo y además dares una vuelta por las orillas templadas ahora del Mar del Norte. La incógnita será contrastar la acogida de esta obra, de gran aliento y color audaz, en territorio tan próximo a la cuna del frío e intellectual arte de los Bergmann y compañía. Desde aquí siempre hemos apostado por la aventura Americana para esta obra desmelenada y neoexpresionista de Picatoste, y su progression norteeuropea entraña más de un interrogante, De todos modos, y dado que los primeros pasos del artista, además de inaugurar el Espai Quatre del Casal Solleric, estuvieron ligados al centro cultural que el matrimonio Jacob y Patricia Asbaek tienen en Andratx, muy concurrido de visitantes europeos y de artistas relacionados con la galleria madre en Dinamarca, hay que deducir que se tiene ya medido el interés que la obra de este artista puede despertar allí, y de ahí que se haya materializado esta exposición, justo a las puertas de la celebración en Palma de la ya famosa feria Art/Colonia de la segunda quincena de septiembre. En todo caso, para principios de año el artista mallorquín tiene previsto hacernos caso,, y valorá a Nueva York para trabajar al menos medio año seguido en un taller que ya tiene contratado. Suerte para todas aventuras, que el éxito llegará sin duda cuando ella se sume al trabajo enorme y magnífico que está an la base de todo

Santiago Picatoste • Últimos paseos por la feria de Art Cologne • El Mundo

Bird, Francis, Torres, Sard y Picatoste están entre los imprescindibles de la cita.


By CARLOS JOVER

 Un artista que nos ha llamado la atención poderosamente con su técnica de pintura-pintura desvaída e inquietante ha sido Hans Broek (Utrecht, Países Bajos, 1965), cuya obra puede verse en el stand de la galería berlinesa Fahnermann (Hall 2, stand 69), y también en el de la holandesa Tanya Rumpff (Hall 1, stand 5). 
En el expositor de Asbaek (Hall 1, stand 16), nadie debe perderse las cuatro fotografías en gran formato de la pareja formada por Trine Søndergaard y Nicolai Howalt, una de ellas de la serie realizada en campos de nieve. La técnica de realizar diversas tomas desde el mismo punto a lo largo de un tiempo, y luego superponerlas en una sola copia, uniendo así la secuencia fílmica con la instantaneidad de la fotografía, dan un resultado, en su caso, de absoluta belleza más allá de lo que la realidad plana puede ofrecer. Una auténtica obra de altura. 

Tanto en el stand anterior como en el de la galería Xavier Fiol (Hall 1, stand 12), la última obra de Santiago Picatoste reclama la máxima atención por su potente poder de seducción y de golpeo en el centro del espíritu a la vez, fenómeno que desde sus inicios ha levantado todas las polémicas imaginables. Por cierto, en estos mismos días el artista expone también en la sede de Asbaek en Copenhague, una individual extraordinaria que ha cosechado un gran éxito en la capital danesa. 
Para terminar con la reseña de las galerías de aquí, hay que desatacar un fantástico Jim Bird en gesto rojo sobre fondo negro que muestra la galería Altair (Hall 2, stand 57) y la cada vez más valorada Amparo Sard en la Ferran Cano (Hall 1, stand 18), cuyos trabajos de puntillado sobre papel son de gran sutileza y personalidad. 


Una pequeña maravilla es el Mark Tobey colgado en el espacio de la galería alemana, concretamente de Munster, Hachmeister (Hall 2, stand 60), tal vez la pieza que uno compraría en esta feria, si estuviera en condiciones de hacerlo y sólo tuviera una opción a su alcance. A su lado, un gigantesco, para lo que nos tiene acostumbrados, Juan Uslé, siempre acertado, siempre en el lado más preciso de la maestría del genio. Naturalmente, y esto no es añadir nada al paseante entendido, los Sam Francis que abundan en este stand, de factura impecable, nos hacen creer que hemos llegado al cielo de la pintura sin coger ningún avión en la vieja terminal del aeropuerto. 
Una cita también, como triunfador, al portugués Baltazar Torres, cada día más presente en el circuito internacional, y que aquí ha sido mostrado en los stands de las galería Xavier Fiol y Mario Mauroner, con una obra cargada de significaciones y de crípticos mensajes ácidos en torno a la errática postura del ser humano respecto al medio ambiente, a la vez querido, añorado y violentado, en una suerte de amor-odio que nos conduce directos a una tragedia colosal sin vuelta atrás. 

Naturalmente, la feria cuenta con todas las grandes estrellas que se le suponen a un evento de esta relevancia: Barcelós, Picassos, Soulages, Kiefers, etc., pero citar a las grandes estrellas es perder un poco el tiempo, pues ya se supone que saben brillar ellas mismas por sí solas. Como última curiosidad, en la foto que ayer reproducía el periódico con Pilar Citoler, nueva presidenta del Patronato del Museo Reina Sofía, como protagonista, aparecía en el trasfondo una obra del artista de Pollença Amador. ¿Razón? 


Pues sí, es la última adquisición del Patronato, realizada precisamente en la feria de Palma. Enhorabuena, y que sirva todo esto para que la feria entre de verdad en el circuito internacional, y coja la fuerza que ya ha apuntado en la primera edición que se merece el sector artístico balear, cuyo dinamismo reclama con todo derecho un lugar preferente en el mundo del arte

A Latino Biennial That Bucks a Global Trend, The New York Times

Sebastián Patané Masuelli - Art & Design - Art Review | 'The (S) Files 007'                                  

By MARTHA SCHWENDENER

This age of international art biennials has produced a class of continent-hopping artists identified less by nationality and ethnicity than by an allegiance to issues raised by globalization — or, as the art world likes to call it, “globalism.” (An exception is the Venice Biennale, founded about the same time as the modern Olympics and following a similar protocol, with nations selecting those they consider their strongest artists to represent them.) 

Curiously, the opposite has occurred in cosmopolitan New York, where surveys of contemporary art at the smaller museums — they don’t all call themselves biennials or happen every two years — tend to emphasize ethnicity or where an artist lives. 

This is to be expected at El Museo del Barrio, a museum devoted to Latino and Latin American art (that is, art by artists of Latin American descent living in this country, and Latin American artists or émigrés living abroad). At the same time you feel the growing pains and attempts to stretch out in the fifth edition — the largest yet — of “The (S) Files.” Short for “the selected files,” the show provides a survey of 51 emerging artists working in New York and from this year’s invited “guest country,” Ecuador. 

Some of the works, like Eduardo Gil’s installation, “Atlas of Bolívar,” distinctly consider location, displacement and identity. Mr. Gil has assembled a display of objects — postcards, matchbooks, police badges, license plates — from towns in the United States named after the 19th-century Venezuelan independence-movement leader Simón Bolívar. They both allude to the current tensions between the United States and Venezuela and poignantly mirror the way immigrants see reflections of their old land in their new one. Mr. Gil calls each object in the display a “memento without borders.” 

The Latina experience is explored in Adriana López Sanfeliu’s series of black-and-white photographs titled “Life on the Block,” which documents young Puerto Rican women living in Spanish Harlem. There is a dated look to Ms. Sanfeliu’s images. They could have been taken in the 1960s or 1970s. But the grit of old-school, straight-ahead photography is still effective in images of a pregnant woman examining herself in a mirror and a woman displayed in an open coffin. (The title indicates she was stabbed to death.) 

Immigrant struggle is depicted in a lighter but more aggrandizing way in Dulce Pinzón’s photographs of men and women going about ordinary tasks while dressed in comical superhero costumes. A nanny in a Catwoman outfit looks after her charges; a man in a padded Hulk costume unloads boxes outside a fruit and vegetable market. 

Among the Ecuadorean artists in the show Maria Teresa Ponce’s lush color photographs of the oil pipeline running from the Amazon region in Ecuador to the Pacific coast stand out. You can’t see the pipeline in every photograph; sometimes it is partly or completely buried. But a bucolic image of children playing near a stream where a woman washes clothing is an eerie reminder of how global trade can affect remote regions. (Even more unsettling, as Rodolfo Kronfle Chambers points out in a catalog essay, is that a promotional tourist campaign for Ecuador uses “Life at Its Purest” as a slogan.) 

Elsewhere in “The (S) Files” artists are less concerned with identity or issues that make for good biennial panel discussions and more interested in mining older art — Surrealism, Minimalism and Postminimalism — and in employing craft techniques. 

Two works that pay homage to Surrealism are Sandra Valenzuela’s “Midnight,” photographs and a sculpture in which fruits and vegetables are cradled in colorfully knitted hammocks suspended from the ceiling. (The title, “Media-Noche,” also plays, in a fittingly Surrealist way, on the Spanish word for stockings, “media.”) Sebastián Patané Masuelli’s installation, wedged into a gap in the gallery wall, is like a dream space, outfitted with a narrow bed and table and papered with old documents from the United States House of Representatives, the Interior Department and the Bureau of Reclamation, and lighted by hypnotic fragments of video. 

Minimalism and Postminimalism are expanded upon in Courtney Smith’s white, modular cube propped on furniture legs, and by Analia Segal’s simple spread of lavender carpet squares wrapped around a corner and raised in places by suggestive pieces of rubber, which poke through where the tiles intersect. 

Many of the artists in “The (S) Files” have appeared in other local biennials and contemporary survey shows, particularly the Queens International at the Queens Museum of Art, but also in the Bronx Museum’s “Artist in the Marketplace,” P.S. 1’s “Greater New York,” the Studio Museum of Harlem’s “Frequency,” and “L Factor,” a survey of contemporary Latin American art held at Exit Art in 2003. 

This exposure is undoubtedly good for the artists. But if the same people turn up repeatedly in local shows, just as a different group does in the name-brand international biennials, what separates “The (S) Files” from the Bronx Artists Biennial or from art fairs like Scope? 

On the positive side this might mean that Latino and Latin American artists have entered the mainstream, now that the mainstream has gone “global.” In her brief, astute catalog essay E. Carmen Ramos, an assistant curator at the Newark Museum, makes the wry point that “hyphenated institutions” like El Museo “were global — defined then as bicultural, Nuyorican, Chicano, etc., and now as multicultural, biracial, diasporic, or transnational — before global was in vogue.” 

Where a visit to the Whitney Biennial used to prompt the question “What makes an ‘American’ artist?” (a criterion that has all but been discarded), here you are prodded to consider what makes a Latino or Latin American artist. Short of administering DNA tests or certifying residency, who can say? 

Of course the repeat appearance of artists in local biennials might be a sign of something less positive: the homogeneity some claim is the result of the biennial movement, in which attempts to cover the waterfront of contemporary art end up making the waterfront look, from every angle, increasingly featureless. 

“El Museo’s Bienal: The (S) Files 007” through Jan. 6 at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, at 104th Street, East Harlem; elmuseo.org, (212) 831-7272
 

Patricia Claro•Gazing upon the landscape

                     Another Landscape 2009

                     Another Landscape 2009

 

A typical pictorial theme, landscapes, has been interpreted in three different ways by two female artists, in “Instituto Cultural de Las Condes”, and by a male artist with trajectory, in “Sala Gasco”. This last painter mentioned, Pablo Chiuminatto, shows new perspectives of an argument to which he has maintained himself loyal to. 

In this way, he puts in comparison his recent panoramic series from 2006 with his sepia photography from 1998. Yet, unlike all human attendance, the same protagonist results to be much more subjective through the delicacy of watercolor, gouache or oil in diverse degrees of monochrome painting. The fickle dynamism and the capital importance of brightness and darkness, allows discussions about suggestible paintings of light. And next to the emphasized luminosity, the strong synthesis that translates the visual and mental painter’s sensations, starting from the variations about countryside panoramas, Central-Chile’s archetypical, finish by placing a significant amount of them in abstract atmospheres.  

The illustrations and canvases oscillate between the yet figurative –three vigorous “Otros Paisajes”– and the abstraction of twelve cardboards –“Atlántico”– poured through a well developed, and a rather colorful transit from night to broad daylight. Similarly to Chiuminatto, one of the exhibitionists of Las Condes chooses as a subject and artwork, the conventional Chilean landscape.

This refers to the young painter, Maria José Concha. The close physical vicinity with her exhibition colleague turns the comparison inevitable. In Concha’s case, black, gray, and raw ochre are her colors, used for the wild scenery of Southern Chile. Although she tends to withdraw from the recognizable, there is no lack of dense foliage with a tormented tree upon it –which resembles those of Isabel Saa– or mountainous masses accusers of realism. Its making, prodigal in drips and stains, offers a certain coarseness that underlines the dramatic character of these oil paintings on canvas. Nevertheless, the most interestingly personal of this author is the very graphic and little figurative “Patagonia gris y blanca”, from 2007.

Being completely different from the previous painter and Chiuminatto, in the same institute, Patricia Claro proposes indeed original visions of the landscape. Still, calm, lyrical, its intimate corners knowing how to synthesize the aquatic softness, the light upon it and from it, the peculiar vegetation adapted to the water, converting them in the most united natural ensemble.

Notwithstanding her particular landscape spirit, all of the above are enough to transmit with plentitude the deep sensation of finding ourselves wrapped by a global nature, valid for anywhere in the world. Yet in the same way, these faultless canvases with acrylic and oil, predominating green and blue, show different closeness to the model.

In this way, the four paintings in a smaller format, from 2005, lean towards an abstraction with an intense ornamental meaning. In one of them, at the same time, the defined texture takes away the softness and calmness, typical of this artist. On the contrary, the bigger these paintings get, the more they connect to realism. For example, in the majestic “Corte I, II and III”, from 2007, those who stood out by harmonious aquatic waves, in a certain measure, demonstrate their indisputable beauty with Simon Este’s notable hyperrealism.

After the calm and quiet that provoked the previously mentioned landscapes, passing by the “Instituto Las Condes”’ to the showrooms exhibiting the most recent World Press Photo, means for the spectator to submerge in the most chattering and anecdotal present time. Violence rules in it. And it is about the violence in relation to today’s wars; also through the amusement of sports, nature, and the attitude in the personal story. Nevertheless, other than the condition eminently journalistic and documentary of these photographs, there are some good shots. To mention the outstanding, in that manner, the North American, Spencer Platt; the Israeli, Oded Balitz; the Norwegian, Espen Rasmussen, the only participant who was capable of expressing hope.Pay close attention to the sensorial calm beauty that Patricia Claro obtains in her personal interpretation of the landscape.

Angela Freiberger and Yana Kraeva • Body Recycling

Figment, Imagination island, Governors Island

We will create 7 to 14 sculptures that consider the interaction and relationship between humans and nature and our thoughts about the role of the human species on the Earth. At the beginning of the performance we cut out square pieces of nylon fabric, then we trace different parts of our and audience's bodies [head, feet, etc.] onto the nylon surface.

2007 Governors Island, New York Photography by Maira Donoso

2007 Governors Island, New York
Photography by Maira Donoso

We fill the outlines with cotton and plant sprouted wheat seeds into the cotton. As time passes the sprouts start growing, transforming the outlines of our bodies, connecting the idea of bodies back to nature.                                                                                                                                    By planting new life in our own image and thus envisioning nature as ourselves we invite a positive and constructive relationship with nature that can be a solution for contemporary environmental problems. We are striving to demonstrate the potential for reconstructing our lost relationship and return back to Mother Nature with peace. The performance implies a message of action encouraging the viewer to awaken and relate to the urgency of the growing problems with our environment and ourselves.

http://angelafreiberger.com http://kaylem.name

El Museo Del Barrio Celebrates The Last Two Years In Latino Art • NY1

Sebastián Patané Masuelli - Arts
El Museo del Barrio is taking the temperature of the contemporary art scene with it's fifth biennial. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report on the exhibit. 
By STEPHANIE SIMON - At El Museo del Barrio, with its biggest biennial, or bienal, ever, there is something behind every corner. 

“This piece by Patane Masuelli is one of the pieces I like most because it was the most surprising,” said the museum’s director Julian Zugazugoitia. “So he is working in the interstitial spaces, or spaces that are technical spaces. So here you will see a very poetic room he created and it’s like a dreamscape and it is really between walls of the museum.” 

Its fifth biennial is called S Files and it showcases New York-based Latino artists. Some of it feels hyper local like, like one photograph of an East Harlem ice-cream truck driver. 

“They are a recreation of everyday life of Latino immigrants in their in environment and I dressed them as superheroes,” explained the artist Dulce Pinzon. “This is like a satirical documentary fiction that I started two and a half years ago in the intention to pay a tribute to the Latino workers and the immigrant's workers to the American society.” 
But it's also a very international exhibit, with 51 artists from more than a dozen countries. In a light installation piece, artist Cesar Cornejo makes a statement on our global culture and what gets lost in translation. 

“In this work I tried to present that transformation: language, cultural, general,” said Cornejo. “And in a way, the transformers do that to the light and then you'll see how the intensity of both, even though being from the same watts strength, they come differently from the change in the transformers.” 
Bienal is the Spanish word for biennial, which, of course, means every two years. But, like art, itself, the word is open to interpretation. 

“We're Latinos, so if it was every two years exactly, it would not be Latino that would be in Germany perhaps, or Switzerland; they are very precise,” said Zugazugoitia. “We are two years and something.” 
The exhibit opens to the public on Wednesday, July 25th and runs through January 6, 2008. For more information on this even and others at the museum go to www.elmuseo.org. 

Stephanie Simon
http://www.ny1.com/ny1/Living/arts.jsp

Lauren Van Natten
Manager of Public Relations
El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street
New York, NY 10029
Tel. 212.660.7102
Fax 212.876.0969
lvannatten@elmuseo.org
www.elmuseo.org

Angela Freiberger • MFA Thesis 2007, The Statesman

By NANDITHA DAS• February 19, 2007 

The University Gallery at the Staller Center for the Arts recently had their 19th MFA Thesis exhibit. It ran from Saturday, Mar. 17 to Saturday, Apr. 14. The exhibit featured the work of eight students in the Master of Fine Arts program offered by the Department of Arts here at Stony Brook University, including Alton Falcone, Angela Freiberger, Melanie Gerules, Karsten Grumstrup, Takafumi Ide, Athena LaTocha, Tim Murray and William Sherrod Tyson. The exhibit consisted of paintings, sketches, sculptures and electronic and mixed media components. 

Having gone to the MFA Thesis exhibit last year and enjoyed it thoroughly, I was looking forward to viewing the creative and innovative handiwork of the MFA students this year. This year’s exhibit was different from last year’s, although still quite interesting and thought-provoking. Art changes with time, as do most aspects of life, so changes were expected. However, sometimes it seems as if the only tradition we keep is not to keep tradition. More and more of the exhibits that I have visited seem to employ more modernistic expressions of emotion and life in general. The word “modern” has both positive and negative connotations, but the negative undertones always seem to overpower the positive ones in my mind. And it is with this handicap that I approached the artwork of this exhibit. 

The themes of these art pieces were very mature, inspiring and stimulating. Falcone’s artwork, for example, consisted of dilapidated cylindrical wood installations. In the accompanying catalogue he wrote, “The simple, monolithic, centripetal quality of the form is meant to contrast with the breaks and openings from torn wood edges and knot holes. This should give the viewer the sense of both solidity and openness.” He went on to write, “Worn wood, rusted iron and other such materials, corroded through the slow insistence in time of atmospheric elements and human abuse, offer a contrast to the purity of the geometrical form, a cylindrical dodecahedron.” From where I saw it, it was a successful attempt at portraying the ephemerality of life. I found great joy in knowing that I understood the work when I saw the artist’s following statement: “There is a beauty to endurance, a dignity to aging, and an existential quality of fragility in firmness to works of this nature.” 

The death of innocence (Tyson), questioning the meanings of signs that are the result of societal concord (Grumstrup), open interpretation (Murray), the use of color and shape to generate dynamic objects and people (Gerules), using landscape unconventionally to portray strife, turbulence and disorder (LaTocha), juxtapositions of fragility with tranquility (Ide), and the examination of emotion and mood (Freiberger) are among the other themes that were explored in the exhibit. 
While Falcone’s work was more encompassing, with its examination of impermanence, Freiberger’s presentation of mood and the contrast of viewer versus narrator was more personal and equally interesting. She stated in the accompanying catalogue, “By layering references to woman, body, and landscape, the installation merges feelings of desire, sensuality, and childhood memories to create an emotional experience. Through dual video projections, large-scale installations that envelop the viewer, my work aims to dissolve the conventional boundaries between artist and audience.” 

Sound proves to play an important role in such media installations. Deep utterances in the video presentation that I thought were noteworthy include, “Place there is none. We go forward and backward and there is no place. Empty space that needs to be fulfilled. We are living in a placeless society.” Freiberger also commented on technology and how human accessibility has declined as a result. 

While Freiberger’s piece involved mixed media and Falcone’s work was 3D, Gerules’ presentation included several self-portraits. But at the same time, dynamism was achieved through the use of color. Also, what struck me is the consistency of the self-portraits - each looked like the one preceding and the one following. As she stated in the catalogue, “My objective in painting is to create a believable world that comes alive through the play of color and form. I seek to show a certain drama with the objects of people.” 

Two-dimensional pieces are quite capable of making a shattering impact, just as 3D sculptures are. LaTocha’s work depicted chaos and distress through landscapes. Landscapes usually employ a lot of color and show scenes of serenity. The most striking characteristic of LaTocha’s pieces were their lack of color. She stated in the catalogue, “My landscape imagery implies a state of unrest and a sense of discomfort through the struggle, as well as the tension, between representational and abstract imagery, the known and unknown, the other and the self. I am concerned with the ideas and sensations resulting from conflict, doubt, rejection and resistance. My work is process-based, dependent upon the manipulation of the paint surface and sense of movement and forms found inside the recurrent image.” 

Grumstrup’s questioning of symbols and the meanings of signs that were collectively agreed upon by society can be paralleled with Murray’s work. Grumstrup said, “Comprised of symbols, the pictorial acts as an emblem, but as an emblem of what? How do we arrive at meaning? The proliferation of signs and their collectively agreed upon meanings obscures and important possibility; pointless mundane life has more to do with meaningful experience that it is given credit. My formal decisions are intended to lead the viewer into the picture, making the act of looking fun.” He further stated, “I want viewers to answer their own questions and come to their own conclusions.” 

Murray, like Grumstrup, encourages the viewers to examine the work and make their own conclusions. “The work is a vehicle for the critique of what is perceived as (and subsequently presumed to be) a fundamental truth(s) and how these assumptions guide our finite existence in society.” 
Ambiguity can be a plus point in art, because it allows the artwork to be interpreted from multiple perspectives. However, too much ambiguity makes the art lose its purpose. The piece that I enjoyed the most was by Ide, which I felt had the perfect combination of ambiguity, mixed with innovation and creativity. As Ide said, “I have controlled my installation by incorporating delicate objects, sound, video, and light. As a result, the viewer can feel the harmony and participate in my installation, rather than only see and feel the individualistic energy from only one. I hope the experience created by my work encourages audiences to reflect on important transitional moments in their own lives.” 

Everything combined together created a unique sense of calmness. The sounds that were repeated over and over again included, “I love you. Don’t worry. Take care. I’ll see you soon. I’ll never forget you. Good luck. Thank you.” The repetition of these phrases created a beautiful spiritual experience. If you were looking for a moment of reflection and peace, this would have been the perfect place to be. 

Each piece of artwork has something distinct to offer, and can arguably stand on its own. I found an interesting link between the artwork, but am unsure whether it is fabrication or fact. Tyson’s work, depicting the massacre of innocence, in some ways connected all the other pieces in the exhibit. By scattering everyday objects we associate with childhood, like crayons and drawings, he was easily able to convey his message. 

Tyson’s work was a 3D representation, in color (like Gerules’ work), of LaTocha’s sketches that showed disorder and chaos. At the same time, it allowed the viewers to develop their own interpretations, like Murray and Grumstrup’s work. The death of innocence symbolizes the birth and growth of adulthood, which is also aging, like Falcone’s work. And finally, his work seems more relevant when compared with Ide’s depiction of calm. 

At a time when we try very hard to be unique, so that we may leave a mark on the world, sometimes we forget that simplicity is invaluable. While complexity adds spice to art and life, it further complicates what can easily be accomplished in a much simpler manner. I feel as if some of the artwork was too much a tribute to the out of the ordinary. At the same time, I can understand the desire to be different, just to avoid monotony. 

In the end, if the artist was able to successfully convey their messages they can be satisfied, even if their art was meant to be up for open-ended interpretation that is neither right nor wrong. I suppose, then, that Murray and Grumstrup were right. Although I was confused, I had approached their work with my own expectations and experiences. And they were able to allow me to discover the truth about myself-perhaps I am more conservative than I cared to admit or realized.

Santiago Picatoste • A caballo entre Nueva York y Madrid Picatoste disgrega el contorno • Arte

By R. C • February 2, 2007

El artista mallorquín Santiago Picatoste (Palma, 1971) expone actualmente y hasta el 6 de octubre en la Galería Asbaek de Copenhague. 

Dentro de su línea grafista en la que lleva trabajando el motivo floral desde hace varios años, presenta en esta ocasión una obra más depurada. La forma se diluye e el blanco de la tela y el color va perdiendo presencia. La color se descompone expandiéndose por la tela como si de goteo se tratara. Un juego entre lo nítido y lo brumoso, lo limpio y lo sucio, un binomio que se aleja de las referencias más grafistas para expandirse fuera de la tela. 

A caballo entre Nueva York y Madrid, Picatoste disgrega el contorno en la superficie en un acto de expansión y de unión de materiales que parece transgredir más allá de su línea figurativa para entrar en la total abstracción. 

La transformación de la flor se dirige hacia la unión total de la luz, la forma y el color.

Tony Bechara • Art Nexus, No. 62, 2006

By Claudia Calirman • November 2, 2006

At first glance, Tony Bechara’s paintings appear very chaotic. This apparent chaos however, is the result of a meticulously orchestrated labor of juxtaposition myriad colorful squares. 

From far away, these canvases appear to be randomly composed, but the closer the viewer is, the more it becomes clear that each work is a very organized, abstract, geometric grid. 

The most striking effect in Bechara’s canvases is the infusion of chance elements into the rigidity of the grid. In their disruption of the organized, geometric grid, bringing to it the Dada element of chance, Bechara’s painting are about the madness of order or the order of chaos. As a matter of fact, they recall Jean Arp’s celebrated work from 1916-17, Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance, in which Arp-one of the founders of the Dada movement-randomly arranged torn-and-pasted, uneven squares of paper on a gray surface. 

Each of Bechara’s painting is constructed with a predetermined number of colors. They vary from using twenty-five to one hundred different colors in each work, systematically distributed and randomly applied in small quarter-inch dabs of acrylic paint-first laid out with multiple applications of tape-covering the whole canvas in a grid of thousand of squares. The painting process is mechanical, obsessive, time-consuming, and repetitive, yet the final work is a play of light and color that creates an illusion. 

Bechara cannot predict the shapes that the works will eventually take in the viewer’s eyes. He systematically controls the dabs of paint applied to each square of the canvas, but due to the complexity of his technique-through the mixture of numerous colors in the palette-the element of chance always becomes part of the work. According to the Puerto Rican artist and writer Antonio Martorell, “Bechara’s chromatic grid is woven like a spider’s web though not one that becomes a deadly trap, but rather a trampoline of color that pulsates into new forms that appear and vanish as the eye moves throught ths canvas.” 

The works have some of the impact of George Seurat’s pointillist landscapes, though Bechara ‘s canvases reject all narrative elements. His paintings look as if they reach back in time-from Seurat’s scientific approach to color theory to Clement Greenberg’s ideas about the modernist grid. Bechara has been called the “pointillist of the digital era”, creating a painted acrylic surface that suggests a computer-generated image constructed of thousand of pixels. 

Bechara’s “Random Series” at Andre Zarre Gallery in Chelsea emphasized his continuous interest in the optical effects that resonate between the viewer’s eye and mind and play on visual perception. Born in Puerto Rico, Bechara came to Washington, D.C. in the 1970s to study law and international relations at Georgetown University. Since then, he has substituted his interest in law for his immersion in painting, but he still uses his diplomatic skills in his post as the chairman of the board of El Museo del Barrio, in New York, where he has served for the last seven years. 

Simultaneous to his exhibition at Andre Zarre Gallery, Bechara’s “Recent Paintings at Latin Collector Art Center’s newly inaugurated space on 57th Street showed an artist trying to extend his work into new avenues. In his recent paintings, the artist adopted new formats, creating works like Quadryptich 1, which joins four separate canvases,, each one made with forty different shimmering tones of green, yellow, blue, and red, respectively. He also created small paintings in box-like shapes such as 29 Colors in which the sides of the canvases are also painted; each is approximately 12 x12 inches. 

In these late paintings, the artist also moves into more fluid forms. The paintings are more organic, are more loosely organized, and employ biomorphic and organic shapes, so that the forms are less geometric and rigid than in the earlier works. This new series suggest the interplay of figuration and abstraction inside the geometric grid, and they Bechara’s work in a new invectigation that will be interesting to follow.

Tony Bechara at Latin Collector and Andre Zarre • Art in America

By Jonathan Goodman • November 1, 2006

Since the 1970s, Puerto Rican-born, New York-based Tony Bechara has been making paintings in witch he arranges small, square dabs of colors in patterns resembling mosaics or pixilation. 

For all the artist’s reliance on systems-he uses tape to subdivide his paintings into grids and applies the quarter-inch squares one at a time, having chosen a fixed number and combination of hues-he relies as much on intuition as reason, with the individual colors laid down in random order. These vibrant, energetic paintings play tricks with the eye, sometimes unfolding in organic waves that belie the geometric substratum on which they are based. Bechara’s ultimate purpose is to capture a play og light; most of hi canvases shimmer from a distance. Remarkable, too, is the distinct set of rules he imposes. 

Both galleries showed recent work. At Andre Zarre, Bechara’s 48 Colors (2005) was a standout; the acrylic-on-linen painting, 5 feet square, has a surface dense with pointillistic blues, reds, yellows ad greens. The effect is musical, syncopated and jazzy; the entire composition seems to pulse. Because the colors randomly, the painting cannot be discerned as schematically balanced; the order resonating in 48 Colors comes from chance, which liberates the work from his own strictures. In another large painting, Greys (2005), Bechara creates a striking effect with white, black and gray squares. Looking at the work up close, we notice that the edges between colors have little ridges, resulting in a woven effect and giving it a quality of low relief. Bechara’s show at the Latin Collector was equally brilliant and coherent. Red/Red (2006), a 50-inch-square acrylic on canvas, is constructed of red and orange-red squares that form a series of concentric circles around a deep red nucleus. A contrast is set up between the curved rows and the individually colored squares that compose them. In Yellows (2006), four canvases placed next to each other in a horizontal alignment present animated swathes and stripes. Here and elsewhere, Bechara bring a heat and verve to his closely considered methodological decisions.