GEGO • Gego's Galaxies: Setting Free the Line", Art in America

BY ROBERT STORR • July 1, 2003

Though born in Europe, Venezuelan artist Gertrude Goldschmidt—known as Gego—created a body of highly refined abstract work that, by its formal rigor and uncanny inventiveness, places her firmly at the forefront of South American modernism.
Fridamania has peaked. With the success of Julie Taymor's relentlessly colorful biopic devoted to the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), this once underrated painter has now become a refurbished symbol of the romantic artist, a feminist icon and an emblem of cultural vitality "South of the Border."

Gego Untitled 12 of 20

Gego Untitled 12 of 20

Although late in coming, Kahlo's rise to stardom seems meteoric when one considers that as recently as the mid-1970s the only book on her that was readily available was a small catalogue published by the Museo Frida Kahlo, housed in her out-of-the-way but now famous Casa Azul in the Coyoacan district of Mexico City. In the English-speaking world, at least, the artist's obscurity began to lift in 1982, with the Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. (The show traveled to the Grey Art Gallery, New York, in 1983, as well as to Berlin, Hanover and Stockholm.) The following year saw the publication of Hayden Herrera's well-researched and widely read Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo, on which Taymor's film is based. The rest, as they say, is history, although an account of the critical reception of Kahlo's oeuvre (and its oversimplification by enthusiasts) has yet to be written. Kahlo was so picturesque in life that she still tends to eclipse the thorny complexity of the pictures she made.

It is doubtful that there will ever be a dramatic film made about Gertrude Goldschmidt (1912-1994)--professionally known as Gego. Nevertheless, as her work gradually emerges from the background mosaic of post-World War II art, it becomes increasingly clear that she is of equal artistic stature to Kahlo, and indeed any Latin American artist, male or female, active, as she was, during the mid-1950s into the '90s. This is true even though her "career" barely registered on the seismic scale of mainstream taste while she was still working. It is high time for her achievement to be evaluated in relation to her modernist peers.

Chronologically and culturally, Gego's life marginally overlapped Kahlo's. She was born in 1912 to a liberal Jewish banking family in Hamburg; while Kahlo, whose father was a free-thinking photographer of Hungarian and German Jewish extraction, was born in 1907. In their separate ways, both Kahlo and Gego are products of the Central European migrations that helped populate Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries, and, more particularly, both have their place in the Jewish Diaspora. Although Gego did not bear witness to a revolution in progress as Kahlo did, she did experience the upheavals of post-World War I Germany and the rise of the Nazism, which forced her expatriation to Venezuela in 1938, the year she graduated from Stuttgart Technical School with a diploma in architecture and engineering. An emancipated woman from a comfortably well-off milieu, Gego was the last member of her family to escape their homeland. Although out of harm's way in Caracas, she fully experienced the stresses of that society as well, responding in her own subtle but substantive way to the technologically oriented forms of artistic expression supported by modernizing constituencies in the political and economic establishment of her adoptive country.

Gego 1970 Ink Silk Screen 13x19 Inches.

Spare and unequivocally abstract, Gego's art is the antithesis of Kahlo's. Though self-evident, this fact must be insisted on because North American perspectives on South American modernism tend to be skewed by the lens of Mexican, Central American and Caribbean art. Geographic proximity to these varied and, in many respects, heavily conflicted artistic traditions has led North Americans to focus disproportionately on the tropical, the folkloric and the exotic when taking account of South American artistic currents. Kahlo played all those cards, with dazzling results. And her work is seductive, provocative and richly problematic in ways she plainly intended.

By contrast, every gesture the self-effacing Gego made was out in the open; she had no cultural trumps up her sleeve. And yet, the very transparency of her sculptures, drawings and prints--a transparency of process, as well as of form--is itself a kind of prestidigitation. Gego demonstrates that, even when the hand moves no faster than the eye, relative unpredictability within a strict repertoire of possibilities, combined with sureness of touch, can be as artistically effective as the most theatrical of flourishes. We see this in the intricate tracery of Paul Klee, who was as essential to Gego's esthetic as the other Bauhaus artists, who in Germany pioneered the geometric language of forms she assimilated and pushed further. We see something similar in the De Stijl artists and the Constructivists. It is through the filter of such work and its pervasive influence in Latin America before and after World War II that Gego's position can best be appreciated. Recent scholarship giving proper breadth and depth to formalist abstraction in Latin America--particularly in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela--has begun to spawn exhibitions of a similar cast, and in these Gego has held prominent place. "Geometric Abstraction: Latin American Art from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection," which appeared at Harvard's Fogg Art Museum in 2001, was a particularly successful example of these corrective surveys.

Finally, Gego has also become the subject of a series of one-person exhibitions, beginning with a full-scale retrospective mounted at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas by Iris Peruga in collaboration with the Fundacion Gego (2000-01), followed by a smaller overview exhibition organized by Marl Carmen Ramirez at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and a New York gallery show of works on paper at Latincollector (both 2002). Although the Museo de Bellas Artes was at that time already besieged by populist factions within the current government that at least implicitly militate against the kind of refined nonobjective art in which Gego specialized, the exhibition itself could not have made a better case for the artist it featured.
Indeed, the Caracas museum boasts two major works by her in its permanent collection. Reticuldrea cuadrada (1972) is a ceiling-to-floor grid-based sculpture made of stainless-steel wire and nylon filament that visually coalesces into cubic blocks. This piece comes closest to the sleek Op art works of her fellow Venezuelan Jesus Rafael Soto--one of the artists whose scintillating reliefs found official patronage in the 1960s--and by that very token makes it exceptional in her overall production. (1) The second, Reticularea (ambientacion), 1969, is an astonishing tessellation of suspended, interlocking stainless-steel wire elements that fills a large white room whose corners have been rounded so that viewers can more easily lose themselves and their sense of scale in the triangulated, volumetric webs that surround them, webs through which they move like planes navigating the gaps in a cloud bank.

This environmental Reticularea is Gego's masterpiece. (The title is a combination of the Spanish words reticula, meaning "net," and area, which is cognate to the English.) Given the work's fragility, it is unlikely to leave Caracas, and to see it one must make the pilgrimage. The sculptural stratagem on which it relies, however, was developed by Gego in many small and intermediate-sized works, and these made up a considerable part of the museum's three-floor retrospective. Assembled from slender lengths of rod or wire, often with circular "eyes" or wire twists at their ends to facilitate joining them one to another, Gego's geometric configurations vary from relatively simple intersecting, generally warping, planes floated in midair to fretwork spheres and skeletal variants on Brancusi's Endless Column--shapes that look as if they could collapse into themselves--and on to still more complex polygons and stacks or spirals of polygons. Although Gego brings Alexander Calder to mind, her work eschews pictorial biomorphism, instead suggesting crystal growth, helixes and astronomical mappings. Nor, in the realm of pure abstraction, did she juxtapose opaque silhouettes to wire lines, as Calder did. Instead, her sculptures are thoroughly integrated formally and of a piece in terms of facture, so that contour and volume, facet and void are the consequence of the nuanced manipulation of a consistent system of geometric variables using almost rudimentary sculptural means.
In that respect they recall the work of Tony Smith, another architect-turned-sculptor. But while his improvised massing and fusion of tetrahedra and other basic solids resulted in sometimes severe, sometimes extravagant aggregates whose generative but inorganic qualities resemble those of Gego's shapes, Smith's monoliths and space frames are uniformly "closed," while Gego's sculptures are always "open." HIS structures are rigid in substance as well as appearance; hers are pliant in both.

Gego may not have known Smith's work, although she lived in New York in 1960, had a residency at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963 and was included in the Museum of Modern Art's Op art exhibition, "The Responsive Eye," in 1965. In any event, what separates Gego from Smith also separates her from the whole gamut of sculptors whose recourse to modularity anticipated or exemplified Minimalism in the 1960s and '70s. The "primary structures" of Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt and their cohorts were spatially fixed and fundamentally symmetrical, even, as in the case of LeWitt's stalactitelike hanging grids, when they exfoliated, block by self-centered block. (LeWitt after the 1970s is a different story.) The geodesic armatures of Buckminster Fuller--whose work Gego saw at MOMA--and, to a lesser degree, the sculptures of Kenneth Snelson also depend on tautness and rigidity in relation to a basic unit or core.

However, Gego's objects--if one can call such airy things "objects"--do not so much occupy, displace or divide space as permeate it. Instead of absolute and unyielding geometries, we encounter forms that give in response to the tug of others, sustaining their own essential shape thanks to the tension thus exerted on them, forms and compounds of form that quiver in a draft and sometimes shimmer visually to the point of evaporating and yet remain clearly articulated. In other words, we are in the presence of sculptural textiles that take their shape from an exquisite balance between the tensile strength of their lightweight components and the artfully attenuated effects of gravity.

Gego may not have known Smith's work, although she lived in New York in 1960, had a residency at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963 and was included in the Museum of Modern Art's Op art exhibition, "The Responsive Eye," in 1965. In any event, what separates Gego from Smith also separates her from the whole gamut of sculptors whose recourse to modularity anticipated or exemplified Minimalism in the 1960s and '70s. The "primary structures" of Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt and their cohorts were spatially fixed and fundamentally symmetrical, even, as in the case of LeWitt's stalactitelike hanging grids, when they exfoliated, block by self-centered block. (LeWitt after the 1970s is a different story.) The geodesic armatures of Buckminster Fuller--whose work Gego saw at MOMA--and, to a lesser degree, the sculptures of Kenneth Snelson also depend on tautness and rigidity in relation to a basic unit or core.
However, Gego's objects--if one can call such airy things "objects"--do not so much occupy, displace or divide space as permeate it. Instead of absolute and unyielding geometries, we encounter forms that give in response to the tug of others, sustaining their own essential shape thanks to the tension thus exerted on them, forms and compounds of form that quiver in a draft and sometimes shimmer visually to the point of evaporating and yet remain clearly articulated. In other words, we are in the presence of sculptural textiles that take their shape from an exquisite balance between the tensile strength of their lightweight components and the artfully attenuated effects of gravity.



The range of formats Gego found for this type of incremental, lightweight constructivism is impressive. From tabletop sculptures in which planes are created with fringes of wire attached to thicker metal frames, posts or spines; to the most delicate sprung grids, dangling like sheets of crumpled graph paper; to her architecturally scaled "Chorros" (Cascades, 1970-71), waterfall screens made of chainlike shafts of metal that appear to have tumbled like pickup sticks from on high to touch or lean on the ground at odd angles, Gego was enormously inventive within the rigorous parameters she devised for herself. What's more, these sparkling works seem anything but austere. Seldom do her sculptures have the schematic look so common to neo-constructivist art--largely, one feels, because her process was intuitive rather than programmatic. Indeed, her sculptures have the fluency of visual poetry "spoken" in a geometric idiom, rather than the stiffness of "recited" equations. While never precious or merely decorative, material Irregularities and procedural quirks, such as the partial sheathing of wire by colored plastic insulation, the binding or knotting or clamping of connections between basic structural units, and the sudden erupting of haywire tangles from otherwise orderly configurations, add grace notes to the basic visual chords Gego sounds and the sympathetic vibrations they set off throughout her pieces.
And yet, for all its spatial sophistication, Gego's sensibility was in many ways graphic. The wealth of drawings and prints she produced was one of the revelations of the Bellas Artes retrospective, as well as the focus of the exhibition at Latincollector, and those are the mediums, at least until recently, in which most people have seen Gego at her best.

Her works on paper of the 1950s and early '60s--watercolors and pen-and-ink drawings--combine tonal nuance with crisp linearity and sheer, veil-like hatchings whose accumulation opens shallow spaces within the compressed format she favored. Although generally composed of striated and layered geometric lozenges, these drawings breathe out rather than in, and their forms hover within the framing edge of the page rather than locking into a geometric template, whether explicit or implied. Without actually looking like Eva Hesse's mature drawings, they nonetheless evoke the same sense of liminality and flux, with much the same tension between self-discipline and an innate responsiveness to gestural opportunity, between deft mark-making and authoritative shape-making. As the 1960s ended, these often pictorial motifs gave way to stretched, pleated and bunched allover linear fabrics that recall the brittle pen-and-ink hatch drawings of Jan Schoonhoven and the elastic "infinity nets" of Yayoi Kusama, except that Gego's grids never tend toward entropy as Kusama's often do. In their 1980s pale watercolor-wash versions, these motifs presage the patterns of Brice Marden and Terry Winters. Starting in late 1959, Gego also began to produce linocuts and etchings that have many of the same properties as her drawings, along with a crackling luminosity all their own. And in 1966, at the invitation of June Wayne, Gego made a series of lithographs at the Tamarind Workshop. With their rich, mysterious blacks and bold asymmetrical arrangements of form, these works brought an emotional density and an almost painterly physicality to her practice that one wishes she had returned to.

This is not at all to disparage the direction Gego took instead, which was to fuse her sculptural and graphic concerns in an innovative group of what she called "Dibujos sin papel," "Drawings Without Paper" (1976-89). These ingenious and varied works, for which there is no obvious precedent, consist of generally flat and approximately rectangular assemblages of wire, window screen, hangers and other components in which color, thickness of line and relative depth of field are all brought into play. The images presented in these works range from lacy contour drawing, zigzags and grids to passages of bundled wire, superimposed and off-square frames that bind and shift against each other, and other more erratic formal constellations.
As their name implies, Gego's "Drawings Without Paper" emancipate line from flatness, gesture from surface, and pry loose an interval between two and three dimensions in which a new kind of very low relief becomes an optical and tactile reality. Although they take advantage of shadows cast on the walls to reiterate and recast their designs, they are quite unlike Richard Tuttle's wire drawings in their substantiveness and intricacy. The subtlety and freshness of these avatars of a hybrid genre are nearly impossible to describe. Suffice it to say, then, that only very occasionally does one see something that, like the "Drawings Without Paper," snaps into focus so completely and alters one's sense of esthetic opportunity so forthrightly that it is hard to imagine why nobody hit on it before. It is equally hard, in this case, to imagine that anyone could have addressed a problem so inherently susceptible to overembellishment and have invested it with comparable nuance and less fuss or affectation.

That indeed is the sense one gets from Gego's work as a whole, and insofar as the Caracas retrospective was, in breadth and depth, the most important presentation of Gego's art to date, it admirably served its function of honoring the essence of her accomplishment by accenting its lucidity and its surprises rather than its historical weight. It is too bad that more people could not have seen it, but the smaller exhibitions in Houston and New York and Gego's increasing presence in survey books are, one hopes, harbingers of more comprehensive and more accessible exhibitions in the future. In the meantime, the international public's appreciation of Latin American art's multidimensionality continues to grow, and if Kahlo represents one of its most striking facets, then it is, in a sense, to Gego that we must look to see the complex overall model into which that facet fits.

(1.) I would like to thank Adele Nelson for drawing my attention to this issue.
"Gego: 1955-1990" appeared at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas [November 2000-April 2001]. "Gego: Works on Paper 1962-1991" was seen at Latincollector, New York [May-June 2002]. "Questioning the Line: Gego, A Selection 1950-1990" appeared at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston [Mar. 17-May 19, 2002].
Author: Robert Storr holds the Rosalie Solow Professorship of Modern Art at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Brant Publications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group


BY LILY FAUST • June 4, 2003


Bojaya 1, 2008, Gouache on paper, 16.14x.12.20 in 

Bojaya 1, 2008, Gouache on paper, 16.14x.12.20 in 

In her first solo show in New York, Colombian-born painter Ana Patricia Palacios addresses the theme of identity within the confines of duality. There is a particular autobiographical element here; Ms Palacios is an identical twin. Apparent similitude is a natural topic for this artist, whose examination of such themes is closely bound to her experience as a mirror image of another human being.


Palacios gives her canvases an uneven whitewash that leaves parts of the canvas in thin veils of white, while strong white brush stokes remain evident elsewhere. This raw white wash then becomes a background for penciled-in outlines of forms that seem to have been copied onto canvas. The technique of outlining silhouettes, reminiscent of cartoon drawings, infuses a strong graphic presence in these paintings. Then she isolates her subject matter, usually one or two girls, in the center of the white background, while filling in their outlines selectively with a particular shade of blood red darkened with Venetian undertones.

This color, possibly reflecting the visceral communion between human beings, exudes a sense of melancholy reminiscent of Symbolist art. Forms having to do with duality, such as two identical girls, two similar looking boxers, and in some painting Japanese geishas; their hands cozy inside red boxing gloves, suggest a metaphor for the artist’s personal experience. In her Duality series, the girls are dressed in red identical dresses. Yet the gestural brushstrokes and amorphous dye stains, which help fill dresses, become painterly abstractions that help differentiate one twin from the other. The silhouette, a shorthand device for depicting a particular identity, is used for duplication here. The shared outlines of identical form, as in the shared genes of twin sisterhood, do not, however, result in duplicate similarity. It is the details, such as the lighter brown hair of one girl next to the darker shade, or the twisted left ankle of one versus the solidly placed feet of the other, that become important in determining crucial differences in identity through surface appearance.

Penciled-in words and numbers surround the images, houses in grids or scripted on lines that guide the words into a horizontal order. Words such as, “twins, identical, duplicata, copia, repeticion”and hundreds of others, with shared associations of duality and replication in several languages, form a notebook background for the figures while revealing the focus of the artist. In other works important personal dates, such as 1927, the year of Palacios’s mother’s birth, form a chronological basis for artist’s life. Even the exhibition catalogue is prepared with the careful intent to reflect the deceptive (and unique) nature of duplicates. Many of the reproductions in the catalogue, though very similar to the original work in the gallery, are actually reproductions of other. Subtle differences, such as changes in the order of words, differences in numbers and variations in the swirl of red pigments articulate the emphatic and cohesive manner in which the artist conveys the tight words of uniqueness within crushing similarity.

As the title of the exhibition suggest, Coming to blows is about the struggle within the self to define identity. This struggle is given expression in the boxing gloves that the artist paints over the hands of geisha girls, and on the boxing girls from a collection of twenty-five small paintings that depict scenes of struggle. While individual identity is indeed established in many of the painting; the extent of the struggle to find identity is what is so skillfully depicted here.

ANA PATRICIA PALACIOS • Galleries-Downtown, The New Yorker

By Zohar Lazar• March 31, 2003 • THE NEW YORKER

Palacios’s debut show of paintings and drawings is timed to coincide with the women’s Golden Gloves finals, and practically the only spots of color here are the red leather boxing gloves. Twins, geishas, and other battling woman, in various stages of undress, warm up and fight, both in the ring and outside of it. Two stacked grids of smaller works conceal some decorative pieces, but larger paintings, like the somber schoolgirls-legs akimbo, genital erased-and Kahlo-esque kings of her “Duality” series, hold their own against the height pictures.

SANTIAGO PICATOSTE "New paintings" • Galería Asbaek, Copenhague

FEBRUARY 14, 2003

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

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 le 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.






"Pinturas, A puño limpio", El Tiempo, Cultura

 By PAOLA VILLAMARIN • October 2002

La artista antioqueña, que acaba de ser seleccionada para concursar en el importante Premio Luis Caballero, presenta una muestra pictórica con la que continúa sus reflexiones sobre el tema de la gemelidad.

Las pinturas de Ana Patricia Palacios tienen una extraña mezcla de candidez y de tragedia. Dos inocentes niñas por una corriente de sangre, dos mujeres adultas vestidas de negro ocultan quizá un secreto que las atormenta y una colegiala se ve confundida entre las miles de palabras que abarcan su cielo.

No es para menos, para Ana Patricia Palacios el fenómeno del doble y la búsqueda de la identidad son tan fuertes como otros temas que tocan los artistas (acaso la muerte o la violencia).

En la Galería Diners, Palacios-que acaba de ser seleccionada para concursar con otros siete artistas por el prestigioso Premio Luis Caballero presenta tres series A punto limpio, Dualidad y Geishas.

La primera es una serie de boxeadoras, casi asexuadas y vestidas como si estuvieran en un día de descanso, que se enfrentan permanentemente. Se las ve niñas, adolescentes y adultas luchando por su identidad, por ser únicas: “Así haya esfuerzos, los gemelos idénticos siempre están metidos en un conflicto de identidad”, dice la artista.

En Dualidad las niñas y las mujeres dobles están enlazadas por “una conexión sanguínea”; agrega Palacios. Por eso el color rojo de estas pinturas se sale de sus vestidos y se pierde en el cuerpo de la otra.

Palacios trabaja con pigmentos naturales y colores básicos. “La pintura es un medio de expresión. Puedo decir que he dejado de pintar, que me he dedicado más al dibujo”, agrega.

“Los gemelos idénticos siempre tienen conflictos de identidad”.

Después de más de diez años de trabajo, esta artista que se la pasa entre París y Bogotá, tiene claro que lo único que le interesa es la economía de elementos y encontrar la esencia de los temas que trate.

Está dedicada al fenómeno del doble desde hace seis años. Durante el 2000 y el 2001, Palacios expuso en la Universidad EAFIT, en Medellín, y en la Galería Diners en Bogotá, una extensa serie sobre el tema. Ahí se insinuaban apenas los personajes de las boxeadoras, mientras que el de las geishas aparece en la actual exposición.

Las geishas llegaron a Palacios por una inequidad estética, pero después la artista de dio cuanta de que ellas constituían u fenómeno cultural de identidad que a ella le interesaba. “Ellas evidencian ese contraste entre su belleza y esa verdad terrible que las persigue : la esclavitud y la ausencia de identidad”, concluye Palacios.


Gego en Tribeca • "Plastica", TIEMPO LIBRE

Gego en Tribeca - Inaugura el 16 de mayo en Latincollector


Gego • Untitled • 1966 • Litograph on Paper

Un conjunto de 29 obras en papel sera exhibido hasta el 7 de julio en la ciudad de Nueva York.

Los dibujos, grabados y tejeduras de Gego exhibidod en el Latincollector Art Center de Nueva York, a partir dek próximo 16 de mayo, en una muestra organizada por la Fundación Gego y la mencionada galleria neoyorquina localizada en Tribeca , en el centre de Manhattan.


Gego: Obra sobre papel, 1962-1991, muestra coordinada por Bárbara Gunz y Josefina Manrique (fundacíon Gego) y Yolanda Pantin(coeditora e la página web de Latincollector Art Center), representa un esfuerzo valioso en el sentido per esta artista contemporanea venezolana conocida más por sus esculturas, algunas de las cuales hn sido subastadas por Sotheby’s y Christie’s en la ciudad norteamericana.


En este sentido, explicó Yolanda Pantin que las 29 piezas que integran la muestra des Latincollector Art center estarán a la venta, “lo que permitirá a la Fundación gego continuar con sus proyectos y darle a la obra realizada en papel por esta creadora un piso real en relación con su valor”.

A pesar de que la obra tridimensional de Gego ha sido mayor difundida, sus dibujos y grabados son muy significativos, más cuando se considera a la línea como el elemento unificador de su trabajo. Las creaciones abstractas de esta artista dialogan con las corrientes contemporáneas, incluyendo el minimalismo, la abstracción geométrica y el arte cinético, pero resisten la catalogación como parte de ninguna escuela o moviemto artístico. Su personal cuerpo de trabajo es permeable a muchas lecturas y siempre muestra gran maestría técnica. Partiendo de la línea y del espacio bidimensional, Gego logra expresar tension structural, luz, vibración óptica, ritmo, atmósfera y profundidad.

“La obra de Gego refiere a la vida y se coloca en el centro mismo de lo humano” – Iris Peruga.

Recientes exposiciones alrededor del mundo han llamado la atención acerca de la importancia e la obra de Gego. En efecto, esta exposición en Latincollector coincide con la clausura, el próximo 19 de mayo, de la exposición de esta artista en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Houston, curada por Iris Peruga y Maricarmen Ramírez, y anticipa muchas otras inportantes enP.S.1, The drawing center en Nueva York en 2003, y el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (Marco), así como otras en Portugal y Loa Angeles.

“Como organización que pretende ampliar la apreciación des arte de America Latina, Latincollector siente orgullo en unirse a tan prestigiosas instituciones y continuar con la excelencia de sus programaciones”, acotó Pantin.


ANGELA FREIBERGER • Individuais no Paço Imperial, Veja Rio, Exposições

ANGELA FREIBERGER • September 2001

Bath's House performance 2001

O pouco uso da pintura é notado nos trabalhos dos onze artistas que vão fazer as individuais. É o caso de Angela Freiberger, que mistura escultura, instalação e vídeo, Chico Cunha, que construiu uma instalação com areia, e da escultora Ana Linnemann. Completam o programa Milton Machado, Frida Baranek, Luiz Alphonsus, Matheus Rocha Pitta, David Cury, Daniel Feingold, José Patrício e Anna Bella Geiger. Praça Quinze, 48, Centro, 2533-4407. Ter. a dom., 12h/17h30. Grátis. Até 4 de novembro.


Ana Patricia Palacios • "A Puño Limpio"


Por MARÍA MARGARITA GARCÍA - Ana Patricia Palacios luchó a puño limpio para encontrarse a sí misma, hallar la identidad a partir de la diferencia, sumergirse en el mundo de la dualidad y ahondar en la esencia de la condición humana. Todos estos interrogantes la inquietaban desde niña cuando miraba a su hermana gemela y veía su propia apariencia. Sabía que era un ser único e irrepetible, tenía su propia personalidad y luchaba a puño limpio para que la sociedad la observara en su individualidad y no la mimetizara en otro ser distinto.

Fue a partir de su autobiografía como logró quitar capa a capa su propia piel hasta llegar a la esencia. "Hace un par de años, a través de dibujos de pequeñas boxeadoras y de guantecitos simbólicos, me preocupo por el problema de la identidad al cual me refería en la serie Dualídad, donde hacía énfasis en la lucha constante no sólo de los seres dobles, sino de la mujer y su problemática de identidad"

En su serie A puño limpio, Ana Patricia Palacios crea obras figurativas representadas por dos mujeres que expresan sus inquietudes y sus juegos desde la niñez hasta la edad adulta. Allí los rojos se transforman en símbolo de consanguinidad, que es el que une a los seres dobles. Ana Patricia Palacios alude a un tema vital en el siglo consagrado a la globalización: la identidad. Porque la diferencia es hoy la base de la identidad. Cada país, región y localidad expresa diariamente su propia manera de sentir, de actuar y de pensar. La memoria es la diferencia con la que es posible establecer líneas de lectura que podrían expresar lo heterogéneo y la diversidad cultural.

Mediante el manejo del espacio, el establecimiento del contraste, el aprovechamiento del accidente técnico y haciendo énfasis en la mancha que es la que une a los dos personajes como si se tratara de uno solo, Ana Patricia Palacios ahonda en un tema determinante en el ser humano y en cualquier cultura.

Ahora ha comenzado a trabajar en una serie de bañis tas africanas en las cuales expresa algo de su autobio grafia. "Trato de meterme en los personajes, sobre todo en la forma fisica". Sin embargo, en sus polípticos (siempre múltiplos de dos) se advierte la silueta y la figura lavada que ha sido característica de sus trabajos más recientes.

Sumergida en el mundo de lo simple, la artista tras ciende la cultura contemporánea y cuestiona la globa lización al mismo tiempo que deja ver la tela virgen, las texturas, la cera y las tintas. A través de obras sencillas sigue el brochazo lavado y escueto en el cual la man cha identifica las siluetas en el espacio pictórico carga do de símbolos.

El Juego del poder

Atrapado en el silencio, sumergido en un mundo irreal en el que es posible gritar sin ensordecer a los que están a su alrededor, Nicolás Cárdenas pasa 17 horas diarias. Allí, en su estudio, enfatiza en su interés por la naturaleza, por la ecología, la violencia y tam bién el juego del poder. Estos conceptos los expresa con el mismo rigor con que lija las diferentes maderas,

pega las láminas y enlaza las figuras que a veces se asocian a partes del cuerpo de los felinos.

Sus esculturas abstractas no sólo siguen sus conceptos, sino que son el resultado de un rudo trabajo manual. Sus bocetos se transforman en pequeñas maquetas hasta convertirse en grandes obras tridimensionales con las cuales logra establecer el contraste entre lo liviano y lo pesado, entre el animal agredido y el cazador agresor, entre la batalla del cazador y del cazado, entre la vanidad de aquel que porta una piel y la reacción de los ecologistas que lo señalan.

Allí han surgido sus esculturas colgantes "que hacen alusión a los cuartos de caza donde se advierte el peso de la muerte y a la vez el ego del cazador". Se trata de una gran instalación en la cual el espectador es partícipe en la medida en que se ve reflejado a través de un espejo. "Hay muchas interpretaciones, pero para mí una de ellas es el juego del poder o también el precio de la imagen". Se trata de cabe zas colgantes con las cuales el espectador se siente anonadado, a veces angustiado y aplastado. Con estas obras no sólo apunta a la eco logía sino a la violencia que se vive en Colombia.

A manera de rompecabezas, arma obras que tienen diferentes alternativas de ensamble. "Me expreso de una manera, pero dejo abierta la posibilidad para que la persona pueda interactuar no sólo visual sino fisicamente con la obra". De este modo entra en juego el razonamiento abstracto y además la opción de integrar varias piezas que en apariencia no tienen relación, pero encuentran el equilibrio a través de un punto central. Es precisamente en el equilibrio donde expresa su conocimiento como diseñador industrial y su visión de movimiento. Sus obras en madera surgen "de formas orgánicas y naturales. Tienen que ver con el cuerpo y con el movimiento".

Nicolás Cárdenas ahonda en el mundo de la naturaleza y también en el del ser humano. Con sus obras per mite al espectador preguntarse sobre su propia realidad, pues une las láminas delgadas de madera como si se tratara de la piel de un personaje. Ahora, su obra ha superado la anécdota y la representación de la rea lidad.

Con un buen manejo de la técnica, Nicolás Cárdenas ha creado obras en las cuales se advierte su interés por lo orgánico y lo mecánico, su inquietud por lo individual y lo colectivo, por la globalización y la identidad basada en la diferencia.


Ana Patricia Palacios • Yo Soy Doble / I Am Double'', Arte al Dia




By FELIPE AGUDELO TENORIO - From the time of the first nightmares, when language was already there to give us support, we man have intuited the existence of an intruder who not only copies us, but also command us. He is not the copy of an image like the one produced by mirrors, portraits or memory; neither is he what genetics pretends to produce with its clones. He is not a duplicate struggling with exactness. He is something more profound and ineffable, since individuality is more powerful than sameness. We are to the existence of a double or the belief therein, which is present in most mythologies. He is considered a source of power and an obligatory requisite for wizards, with doctors and shamans; there is even a whole catalogue of techniques aimed at finding him. On the other hand, he is sometimes regarded as the evidence of an irrefutable evil, a source of terror, or a door opening onto madness. This is because a double is not an other, he is one’s own self; he is not a copy, or an exact resemblance, but rather a magic and psychological identity. The double is myself. I am the double.

I am two who are one. ‘An other’ who is myself and with whom I can. And must, have a legitimate exchange. He dreams and I sleep. I open my eyes and he disappears. He brings consolations for a loneliness that the others (in spit of their love) do not alleviate. I confront the blank pages and the writes. Suddenly, he paints on the blank canvas, and when I return I discover what he has done, using me- that is to say, using his own self, our hand- as instrument. I forget and he remembers. I suffer and he heals me; he takes my pain away. He and I=I. Not two ‘I’s’, not even a divided ‘I’, but rather the merging point of different levels of reality; different strata of conscience that nourish the yearning for oneness, a wish that has to do with the unity with one’s own self. 

                       Bust • 1998

Mystics make reference to a state in which there are no opposites, in which one’s double, where ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’ dissolve into light. To become one with that undeniable and undemonstrable ‘other’ has been man’s longtime dream. I build and he destroys. I exist now and he lives in another time. While I live, he grows accustomed to death. When I die, will he continue to live? Are we the same illusion? The issue of the double nourishes that of individual identity and acquires subtle and deep implications not only in myths and in art, but also in the current ambit of science. A thing, a being, can only be its own self. One may establish equivalencies, deprive a being of hid essence and change him into something else. Interchange is an old trick with men. Identity is a different problem. Something tells us, thousands of years of existence murmur it: an irreducible core exists. In its effort to find different -and, consequently, its own- ways. Contemporary art seeks in the usual themes a source of inspiration and reflection. This is what Ana Patricia Palacios has done in her most recently exhibition, devoting all her amorous sapience as a painter to the exploration of the theme of the double, of identity and duality, She has also tried to warn us about dangers and possibilities that stalk us and her palette, she has accomplished a solid and suggestive exhibit, attuned with the present and, at the same time, with deep roots. Hers is an art that induces us to ponder on unresolved enigmas, on territories of our inner life that are donors of vitals riches. To stand facing the paintings by Ana Patricia is a moving and alarming experience; it implies posing questions in the midst of a great silence. It is also a subtle experience, because she does not impose her point of view: rather, she shows us the panorama –profound and beautiful- of her interrogation.

There are also the roses, so difficult in art due to the fact that they are continuously used. And in spite of this, as we watch them the induce us he think about their reproducible beauty, like sweet wounds, and they remind us, according to poets who are the ones who know them best, of the multiplicity of their copies. For each rose has double that has a double…a rose is all the roses. And still, a rose is unique. This is, perhaps, the way in which the painter understands it, so in spite of everything, she never attempts to produce the identical. She knows that this is an inner quality, and so her images are duplicated with their small and very significant differences.


Ana Patricia Palacios • Trazos y Espejos" • Revista Buen Vivir No. 63


Por ZANDRA QUINTERO OVALLE - Su pintura es imán y enigma. AI callar dice, pero lo hace en unlenguaje cifrado, susurrante y suave que termina por atrapar, o mejor dicho, por seducir la mirada errante sobre la superficie del cuadro.

                                        Duality # 6

Tablero de ajedrez, espacio para la memoria, la interrogación, el juego inteligente, la duda y la investigación rigurosa, la obra de Ana Patricia Palacios constituye hoy por hoy una de las más interesantes y valiosas propuestas de la plástica colombiana contemporánea. Nacida en Medellín y radicada en París desde hace quince años, Ana Patricia no cree tanto en las musas como en el trabajo serio, en la constante investigación formal e intelectual que se construye con la lectura y el estudio, cuestionando a la historia del arte, miran do lo que se pintó y lo que pintan los contemporáneos, devorando museos y galerías. Por eso, para ella la pintura es un oficio que se sustenta en pequeñas conquistas y largas reflexiones.

AI mes de terminar la carrera de artes plásticas en la Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Ana Patricia ya estaba estudiando en París historia del arte y museología en la Escuela del Museo del Louvre. Fue entonces cuando entendió que lo suyo era pintar e ingresó a la Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de París.

La estancia en esa ciudad se extendió naturalmente y vive allí desde hace tres lustros, donde al principio experimentó una sed insaciable, convirtiéndose en "una devoradora de museos, bibliotecas y galerías, mientras al mismo tiempo pintaba en el taller. Fui atrapada por un remolino extenuante, afortunadamente ahora estoy más sosegada". A pesar de la distancia, nunca ha dejado de exponer en Colombia, consolidándose en el medio con paso firme, además de dar cursos en la Universidad de los Andes.

En el transcurso de quince años de trabajo ha ido descubriendo su lenguaje estético, que hoy por hoy muestra madurez y autenticidad. Trabaja series en las cuales juega con temas que no alcanzan a agotarse, por el contrario, se entrelazan sin cambios bruscos. Las últimas series son "Naturaleza muerta" e "Identidad". En la primera introdujo un concepto diferente dentro de ese género tradicional; en realidad se trataba de transgredirlo. Por eso utiliza temas recurrentes como la maceta invertida y las flores secas, fuertes, llenas de carácter. Objetos que inserta solitarios en el espacio del cuadro, de pronto sobre una cuadrícula o un mapa donde el color puro puede explotar o contenerse en una paleta muy sobria.

En este sentido, Maceta, mapa y autorretrato (1997) es una obra síntesis que reagrupa elementos de series anteriores -la maceta, la cuadrícula, la cartografía- e introduce el tema de la identidad que actualmente trabaja la artista: en lugar de flores, de la maceta surgen tallos con efigies. "Identidad" surge del deseo de abordar la figura humana y del cuestionamiento sobre uno mismo que llevó a Ana Patricia a encontrar en ella y su vida un como modelo de reflexión filosófica y estética. Además, al ser gemela idéntica, la cuestión imponía mayor profundidad: "Estos cuadros son muy míos porque soy yo quien está en ellos. Es pensar el ser que es fenómeno, la identidad doble o hasta triple, la problemática de ese que ves siempre reflejado y que también eres tú". De aquí surge una serie de dibujos que resultaron ser una especie de diario -trascendiendo la memoria anecdótica- que terminó por plasmar en el lienzo. Las figuras, parcas. sin estudio anatómico, escuetas, son más bien presencias.

En su obra la expresión del dibujo es muy marcada, lo mezcla con la pintura y experimenta con técnicas mixtas, incorpora veladuras de cera caliente que aplica sobre la superficie del cuadro. El resultado tiene una carga nostálgica, algo misteriosa. donde uno parece observar a través de un velo que no alcanza a silenciar lo que grita. Es como si Ana Patricia pusiera en juego las fuerzas del yo, de la memoria, de los espejos y el revés para invitarnos a emprender con ella la reflexión por lo esencial.