Abstraction in Action Eugenio Espinosa: Going Blind Faith https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/eugenio-espinosa-going-blind-faith/

Eugenio Espinoza at Blackston - Going Blind Faith install

Eugenio Espinosa: Going Blind Faith
November 3 – December 22, 2013
New York, NY, USA

Blackston is pleased to present Going Blind Faith, Eugenio Espinoza’’s first solo exhibition in New York.

In this exhibition Espinoza presents recent sculptural works that embody the artist’s interest in using simple means to construct a system based on contingencies that emphasize dissonance and equilibrium. The wall pieces in the gallery employ painted and manipulated aluminum sheets layered and balanced, seemingly precariously, on household shelf brackets of varying sizes. Other painted oil on aluminum works lean against the gallery’s walls – balancing at a single point or against the length of one wall. The six gray metal cubes in the center of the gallery are spare testimonies to a focus on repetition and space in the artist’s practice.

Painted monochromatic brushstrokes and grid-like patterns emphasize the hybridization of painting and sculpture, yet each surface remains somewhat unfinished, raw, and devoid of seamlessness. These sculptural works confirm their existence as objects yet embrace a grit that rejects a straightforward acceptance of their aesthetic condition or whole. The choice of supports assails the apparent simplicity of the pieces – and possibly their direct appeal. Each work in the exhibition provides its own counterpoint to resolution, and in this tension a new dynamic is created. As a result, the experiential qualities of the works emerge to both enhance and reject their deceptive simplicity, collapsing aesthetic notions and evidencing the artist’s considered practice.

In the rear of the gallery a minimal black and white painting references the lineage of Espinoza’s practice: iterations of the artist’s black and white geometric paintings have continuously appeared in his canon since his seminal piece “Impenetrable” – a painted black and white grid floor canvas suspended parallel to the floor of an entire room at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, Venezuela in 1972.

The “Impenetrable” (in the permanent collection of the Tate Modern, London) was Espinoza’s response to a strong orthodoxy in geometric abstraction prevalent in Venezuela at that time and is and was celebrated as a groundbreaking and radical conceptual piece, taking the orderliness of geometric form into the wild territory of the experiential.

Since the late 1960s, Espinoza has perpetually challenged, explored and embraced art historical conventions in his prodigious output of installations, photography, paintings, drawings and sculptures. Espinoza’s practice evidences a profound and rigorous conceptual exploration of modernist traditions (Minimalism, Arte Povera, Geometric Abstraction) and an equally powerful conceptual and physical reworking of his own oeuvre and challenging aestheticism.

In conjunction with this exhibition a catalogue has been produced with essays by Gean Moreno and Jesus Fuenmayor, Director and Curator of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation.

Eugenio Espinoza was born in 1950 in San Juan de los Morros, Venezuela and lives in Archer, Florida. He has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally in museums and galleries. His work is in the permanent collections of the Tate Modern, London, U.K., the Fine Arts Museum of Houston, TX; Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; Museo de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo, Brazil; Museo de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela; Galeria de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Caracas, Venezuela; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Bogota, Colombia; Fundacion Gego; The Cisneros Collection, New York, NY and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, FL, among others. He received a Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2011.

November 18, 2013