Abstraction in Action Eduardo Costa: Acciones en la calle https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/eduardo-costa-acciones-en-la-calle/

Screenshot 2015-10-26 15.34.20

Artists: Vito Acconci, Artur Barrio, Rosemarie Castoro, Eduardo Costa, Cris Gianakos, Victor Grippo, Stephen Kaltenbach, Leandro Katz, Rosemary Mayer, Ana Mendieta, Marta Minujín, Hélio Oiticia, John Perreault, Regina Vater.

Acciones en la calle: Street Works in New York and Latin America circa 1970
Curator: Gillian Sneed
October 26 – December 4, 2015
Amelie A. Wallace Gallery
SUNY College
New York, NUY, USA

“Acciones en la Calle” considers the conceptual and performative strategies employed by artists in the 1960s and ’70s that rejected institutional spaces in favor of the street as the context and subject of their work. The exhibition’s point of departure is the six-part Street Works (1969-1970), a series of events during which numerous artists utilized urban public spaces in New York City’s streets as their performance and exhibition venues.

While New York is often considered the birthplace of this genre, street actions had also taken hold in Latin America, and relationships between Latin American and U.S. artists, critics, and curators developed. Latin American artists who sought exile from dictatorships or had been awarded grants came to New York, while many U.S. artists traveled to Latin America.

“Acciones en la Calle” demonstrates resonances and disjunctions between the works and their political, practical, and theoretical concerns. While the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War protests provided the backdrop against which street works emerged in the U.S., in Latin America limited art markets and repressive regimes left only the streets as venues for artistic intervention. These artists investigated the complex intersections of political repression, violence, and social marginalization in ways that challenged the traditional “center/periphery” model so often employed in canonical accounts of Latin American and U.S. conceptual art. Curator Sneed explains: “The relevance of these works could not be more urgent today, as activists across the Americas have returned to the streets to take action.”

The works in this exhibition revolve around three themes related to the urban setting: SiteDrift, and DebrisSite considers street works that mark or highlight the location where they unfolded; Drift engages works that wander through urban networks to produce dérives, or flows; and Debris explores what is revealed about a city’s inhabitants by the refuse that accumulates on their streets.

October 27, 2015 Monochrome Undone https://abstractioninaction.com/projects/monochrome-undone/

Monochrome Undone
SPACE Collection

Curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill
October 24, 2015 – April 1, 2016
SPACE, Irvine, CA

Artists: Ricardo Alcaide, Alejandra Barreda, Andrés Bedoya*, Emilio Chapela, Eduardo Costa, Danilo Dueñas, Magdalena Fernández, Valentina Liernur, Marco Maggi, Manuel Mérida, Gabriel de la Mora, Miguel Angel Ríos, Lester Rodríguez, Eduardo Santiere, Emilia Azcárate, Marta Chilindrón, Bruno Dubner, Rubén Ortíz-Torres, Fidel Sclavo, Renata Tassinari, Georgina Bringas, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Thomas Glassford, José Luis Landet, Jorge de León, Bernardo Ortiz, Martin Pelenur, Teresa Pereda, Pablo Rasgado, Ricardo Rendón, Santiago Reyes Villaveces, Mariela Scafati, Gabriel Sierra, Jaime Tarazona, Adán Vallecillo, Horacio Zabala.

The monochrome as a focus in the SPACE Collection began in a spontaneous form and soon became a systematic field of research. This exhibition is about the contemporary monochrome in Latin America. The monochrome is one of the most elusive and complex art forms of modern and contemporary art. If we think about its origins or meaning, we find that the monochrome is many contradictory things. The monochrome is neither a movement nor a category; it is not an “ism” or a thing. It may be painting as object, the material surface of the work itself, the denial of perspective or narrative, or anything representational. The monochrome may be a readymade, a found object, or an environment—anything in which a single color dominates. The monochrome can be critical and unstable, especially when it dialogues critically or in tension with modernism. This exhibition is organized into four different themes: The Everyday Monochrome, The White Monochrome, The Elusive Monochrome and The Transparent Monochrome. These themes have been conceived to create context and suggest interpretations that otherwise might be illegible.  These may overlap at times, pointing to the multiplicity of content in many of the works. The unclassifiable and variable nature of the monochrome in Latin America today is borne of self-criticality and from unique Latin contexts, to exist within its own specificity and conceptual urgency.

To purchase the catalogue click here.

El monocromo, como enfoque de SPACE Collection, comenzó de forma espontánea y a poco se convirtió en un campo de investigación sistemático. Esta exposición trata sobre el monocromo contemporáneo en América latina. El monocromo es una de las formas de arte más elusivas y complejas del arte moderno y contemporáneo. Si reflexionamos acerca de sus orígenes o su significado, nos encontramos con que puede albergar muchas cosas contradictorias. El monocromo no es un movimiento ni una categoría; no es un “ismo” ni una cosa. Puede ser la pintura como objeto, la superficie material de la obra, la negación de la perspectiva o de todo lo representativo o narrativo. El monocromo puede ser un readymade, un objeto encontrado, un cuadro o un ambiente: cualquier cosa definida como una superficie cromáticamente uniforme donde un solo color predomina. El monocromo puede ser crítico e inestable, especialmente cuando se dialoga críticamente o en tensión con el modernismo. Esta exposición está organizada en cuatro temas: el monocromo cotidiano, el monocromo blanco, el monocromo elusivo y el monocromo transparente. Estos temas han sido concebidos a fin de crear un contexto y sugerir interpretaciones que de otra manera podrían ser ilegibles. Éstos pueden superponerse a veces, apuntando a la multiplicidad de contenidos en muchas de las obras. La naturaleza indeterminada, inclasificable y variable del monocromo en Latinoamérica hoy en día es producto de la autocrítica y de los contextos propios, para existir dentro de su propia especificidad y urgencia conceptual.

Para comprae el libro haz clic aquí.

September 25, 2015 Eduardo Costa: International Pop https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/eduardo-costa-international-pop/


Artists: Delia Cancela, Eduardo Costa, Ushio Shinohara, Keiichi Tanaami, as panelists for the talks.

International Pop
April 11–August 29, 2015
Curators: Darsie Alexander with Bartholomew Ryan
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis, MN, USA

International Pop, a groundbreaking historical survey featuring some 125 works from more than 13 countries on four continents that chronicles the global emergence and migration of Pop art from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. Organized by the Walker and on view April 11 through August 29, International Pop will travel to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art through 2016.

Among the most broadly recognized phenomena of postwar art, Pop was strikingly nomadic,  spreading not only through Britain and the United States but also Japan, Latin America, and both Eastern and Western Europe. From its inception, Pop migrated across borders, seizing the power of mass media and communication to reach a new class of viewers and adherents who would be drawn to its dynamic attributes. Yet, as this exhibition reveals, distinct iterations of Pop were developing worldwide that alternatively celebrated, cannibalized, rejected, or transformed some of the presumed qualities of Pop advanced in the United States and Britain. While Pop emerged in reaction to the rise of a new consumerist and media age, it also emerged in specific socio-economic contexts that inflected its development and reception: from postwar Europe to the politically turbulent United States to the military regimes of Latin America to the postwar climate of Japan with lingering United States occupation to the restricted pop cultural palette of countries in East Central Europe.

Curated by Darsie Alexander with Bartholomew Ryan

Curatorial consultants: Erica Battle, Hiroko Ikegami, Godfre Leung, Luigia Lonardelli, Ed Halter, and María José Herrera

International Pop Cinema
The exhibition includes an ambitious dedicated in-gallery cinema program curated by Ed Halter of Light Industry, Brooklyn.

Opening day talks, April 11
Livecast on the Walker Channel

Speaker: Darsie Alexander (lead curator, International Pop)

The Internationality of Pop
Panelists: Erica Battle (associate curator, Philadelphia Museum of Art), Dávid Fehér (associate curator, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest), Hiroko Ikegami (associate professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies at Kobe University, Japan), and Christine Mehring (department chair and associate professor of art history, University of Chicago)
Moderator: Darsie Alexander

Argentine Pop and Its Dematerialization
Panelists: Delia Cancela (artist, Buenos Aires), Eduardo Costa (artist, Buenos Aires), and María José Herrera (director, Museum of Art, Tigre)
Moderator: Bartholomew Ryan

Tokyo Pop
Panelists: Hiroko Ikegami (associate professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University, Japan), Ushio Shinohara (artist, New York), and Keiichi Tanaami (artist, Tokyo)

Image: Antonio Dias, O meu retrato (My Portrait), 1966.
March 16, 2015 Emilia Azcarate, Sigfredo Chacón, Emilio Chapela, Eduardo Costa, Diana de Solares, Marcolina Dipierro, Jaime Gili, Juan Iribarren, Bárbara Kaplan, Luis Roldan, Osvaldo Romberg, Horacio Zabala: Dirty Geometry https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/dirty-geometry/


Artists: Emilia Azcárate, Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, Cecilia Biagini, Sigfredo Chacón, Emilio Chapela, Eduardo Costa, Willys de Castro, Diana de Solares, Marcolina Dipierro, Eugenio Espinoza, Jaime Gili, Mathias Goeritz, Juan Iribarren, Bárbara Kaplan, Ramsés Larzábal, Raúl Lozza, Beatriz Olano, César Paternosto, Alejandro Puente, Luis Roldán, Osvaldo Romberg, Joaquín Torres García, and Horacio Zabala.

Dirty Geometry
December 2 -7, 2014
Curated by Osvaldo Romberg
Mana Contemporary
Miami, FL, USA

Dirty geometry has existed throughout 20th century art although not in a manifest way; it implies a subversion of the laws of logical rigor, systemism and utopian modernism that have pervaded geometry since Kandinsky. In his milestone book Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky argues against geometry as decoration; instead, he promotes geometrical painting as a spiritual tool. The quest of the spiritual, of a balance between the mind and intellectual order constituted the fundamental idea behind geometric art. Geometrical abstraction was used in different times, as we see for instance in Kandinsky’s compositions, in the rigorous nihilism of Malevich’s “Black on Black”, and in the concrete iconography of Max Bill.

Through my concept of “Dirty Geometry,” I want to undermine the rigid, global imposition of geometry that has dominated from the beginning of the 20th century. Of course, other artists have already played with this approach more or less consciously: Rothko when he broke the grid, Frank Stella with his Cone and Pillars series from the eighties.

However I came to realize that Latin-America offers the most prominent examples of “Dirty Geometry.” First, this might be explained by the often rudimentary absorption of the center by the periphery, as peripheral access to major art trends has long been mediated by art reproductions, and perceived through local cultural prisms. This is even truer in Latin-America where most countries lacked a radical and contemporary art scene. Secondly, in Latin America one always finds forms of political and existential resistance against the values of neo-liberalism embodied by the center.

“Dirty Geometry” will question different aspects of American, Russian and European abstract art such as the imposition of polished finish on paintings, the compositions and the purity of its lines, classical applications of colors inherited from the Bauhaus, Concrete Art, etc.

In the forties for instance, the Latin-American group MADI challenged the format of the canvas, the relation between two and three dimensions, etc. In the sixties the Latin-America group of Kinetic Art in Paris challenged the static geometry produced by artists such as Vasarely and Herbin, and introduced movement, light and shadow to abstract art.

I would therefore suggest that Latin-America has proceeded to elaborate a kind of creolization of the dominant geometrical art; this is a recurrent phenomenon in other fields of Latin-American culture, and we encounter it in religion, education, food, inventions, etc.

The more figuration moves away from reality and representation, the more it needs to resort to theory in order to retain legitimacy. Geometry as we traditionally conceive it can only be legitimized by a tight, rigid theoretical framework. “Dirty Geometry” is therefore a rebellious attempt to break from all theoretical frameworks and thus invent a geometry that would be free from theory. This is a dirty war, one that we could define as “below the belt”.  George Bataille believed that “divine filth” brings about true eroticism; likewise, I would suggest that it is possible to bring about an eroticism of geometry through dirt.

November 24, 2014 Eduardo Costa: Naturalezas https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/eduardo-costa-naturalezas/


Artist: Eduardo Costa

October 31 – December 3, 2014
Henrique Faria
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Un hecho pictórico

Arte y lenguaje confluyen en la obra de Eduardo Costa desde mediados de los sesenta, cuando se dedicó a revisar el status institucional de los géneros y las disciplinas artísticas. Más tarde, en los tempranos noventa y luego de diversas experiencias en la vanguardia argentina, brasileña y neoyorkina, trabajando con los medios de comunicación, la moda y la información, Costa abordó por primera vez a la pintura.

Desde su visión de artista conceptual, la pintura no es solo una técnica sino que concentra una visión del mundo: involucra aspectos de índole cultural y psicológica que subyacen a las imágenes que nos rodean y forman el horizonte cognitivo de nuestra época. Así, sus primeras pinturas volumétricas dotan a la pintura de aquello que le faltaba, la tercera dimensión, y demuestran que la representación en el arte es una convención llena de metáforas que apenas distinguimos como ficciones. Capa sobre capa de pintura acrílica Costa hacía frutos, flores, animales y objetos que podían formar parte del universo que el arte europeo occidental denomina “naturalezas muertas”.

Al igual que el derrotero de la pintura en la historia del arte, las pinturas volumétricas pasaron del naturalismo a la geometría y luego a la completa abstracción. De las esferas, cilindros, paralelepípedos, nacieron los actuales monocromos expandidos, fragmentos de paisaje, el tema que le faltaba explorar. Sin dudas, el paisaje no es la naturaleza sino una construcción cultural acerca de cómo la percibimos, un género artístico. Así, la iniciativa del artista fue invertir la operación y buscar los monocromos en la naturaleza. Revisando la tradición, la pintura es concepto y también es materia. El hecho pictórico, como lo reivindican los pintores, es aquello que sucede cuando el tema, la representación, se desvanece. Las obras de Costa podrían ser solamente el enunciado que les da existencia, como fueron en los años sesenta cuando experimentaba con la comunicación. Sin embargo, hoy el artista siente en la rotundidad de la materia un mensaje encriptado, como un código genético que tal vez garantiza la pervivencia de ideas, imágenes y percepciones. Un sistema cuyo sentido sea sostener antiguas codificaciones que definen lo humano.

María José Herrera

Image: Eduardo Costa, “Zapallo redondo”, 2008-2009, Pintura acrílica maciza, 20 x 46 x 38 cm
November 5, 2014 Eduardo Costa https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/eduardo-costa/

My “volumetric paintings” are created by adding layers over layers of acrylic paint with brush and spatula. Volume is obtained with no materiality other than acrylic pigment and the eventual thickener.

My pieces include representational and abstract examples. In representational paintings –fruits, people– I work not only the surface of subjects but also the internal space.

A volumetric painting of a watermelon is green in the surface, white and red inside.  A head portrait is as true to the internal organs, muscles, bones–which will be invisible– as to the visible features shown in flat painting or in sculpture.

The geometric abstractions are usually monochromes painted the same color through and through. The knowledge of all the color we do not see completes conceptually the visual perception of the work. When a viewer knows he or she is seeing a volumetric, pure monochrome, he will integrate into the resulting perception an element of imagination: A mass of the same color he is sampling with his eyes.

I am hoping my volumetric paintings will change art teaching. Currently acrylic paint is taught as if it was oil based. There is at least one basic difference; utilizing the appropriate techniques, acrylic paint can be employed to build volumes.

Traducido del inglés

Mis “pinturas volumétricas” son creadas al añadir capas sobre capas de pintura acrílica con pincel y espátula. Se obtiene volumen sin otra materialidad que el pigmento acrílico y el aglutinante.

Mis piezas incluyen ejemplos representacionales y abstractos. En las pinturas representacionales (frutas, gente), no trabajo sólo con la superficie de los temas sino también de sus espacios interiores.

Las abstracciones geométricas son a menudo monocromos pintados con el mismo color de principio a fin. La comprensión de todo el color que no vemos completa la visión perceptual de la obra. Cuando un espectador sabe que él o ella está viendo un monocromo puro y volumétrico, integrará a la percepción final un elemento de la imaginación: una masa del mismo color que está siendo percibido con sus ojos.

Espero que mis pinturas volumétricas cambien la manera en la que se enseña el arte. Hoy en día se enseña a pintar con acrílico como si fuese óleo. Existe por lo menos una diferencia; utilizando técnicas adecuadas, la pintura acrílica puede ser utilizada para crear volúmenes.

Selected Biographical Information

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October 5, 2013