Abstraction in Action Ricardo Alcaide, Darío Escobar: good news. https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/ricardo-alcaide-dario-escobar-good-news/


Artists: Ricardo Alcaide, Abdulaziz Ashour, Ernesto Caivano, Darío Escobar, Fernanda Fragateiro, Simryn Gill, Anne Lindberg, Yuri Masnyj, Julianne Swartz, Yuken Teruya, Rirkrit Tiravanija & Tomas Vu, Adam Winner.

good news.
July 28 – August 29, 2016
Josée Bienvenu Gallery 
New York, USA

good news., an exhibition of international artists working on and off paper to deconstruct and reconfigure information. With the daily deluge of bad news at our fingertips, we become disoriented in our distanced yet simultaneously intimate sense of connectedness to the world.

August 16, 2016 Marco Maggi: Unfolding https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/marco-maggi-unfolding/


Artist: Marco Maggi

September 10 – October 24, 2015
Josée Bienvenu Gallery
New York, NY, USA

Like in the Venice pavilion, Maggi separates the two basic elements of drawing. He draws with paper on the walls in the main space, and presents an installation of pencils in a separate area. “Drawing is a dialogue with a superficy and a certain superficiality. It is a superficial discipline that allows oneself to take distance from the depths of thinking in order to de-multiply an empathy for the insignificant. Drawing for me is like writing in a language that I don’t understand. I don’t believe in messages or ideas. Ideas have the tendency to become fixed and aspire ultimately to the status of ideology.” (Marco Maggi, 2015)

A portable kit composed of thousands of elements cut-out from self-adhesive paper becomes an insignificant alphabet folded and pasted onto the walls during the months preceding the exhibition. The diminutive papers are disseminated or connected following the traffic rules and syntax dictated by any accumulation of sediments. Some areas throughout the gallery are infected with color, the edge of the wall in red, blue or yellow, like the margins of a misprinted sheet of paper. The colonies of stickers on the walls enter in dialogue with the light upon them. Myriads of shadows and infinitesimal incandescent projections aim to slow down the viewer. The main ambition of the project is to promote pauses and make time visible.

In Putin’s Pencils, ten pencils are pointed against the wall, held by the tensions of bowstrings, ten arrows ready to be projected. The trajectory of these Soviet era color pencils is frozen, almost going backward in time. Leading to the project room, a ladder made of Fanfold, the already obsolete perforated computer paper, grows upward and downward from two dimensions to three-dimensional space in a symbiosis of hardware and software. Inside the room, two individual panels of cutout stickers face each other. Another wall installation, Stacking Quotes (Black Cachet), suspends bound sketchbooks with fragments of colored stickers pressed within their pages. These small referential stickers act as words cut out from a larger message, recoding the original context.

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1957, Marco Maggi lives and works in New Paltz, NY and Montevideo, Uruguay. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America in galleries, museums, and biennials. This year, he represents Uruguay at the 56th Venice Biennale, on view through November 22. His first monograph was published on this occasion. Maggi’s work is also on view at the concurrent exhibition Déplier Marco Maggi at Galerie Xippas, Paris. In 2013, he received the Premio Figari (Career Award). Selected exhibitions include Drawing Attention, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO (2015); Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions, The Morgan Library & Museum, New York (2015); Functional Desinformation, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012); Optimismo Radical, NC-arte, Bogota, Colombia (2011); New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930–2006, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008); Poetics of the Handmade, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2007); Fifth Gwangju Biennial, Korea (2004); VIII Havana Biennial, Cuba (2003); 25th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2002); and Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2001). Public collections include The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; The Drawing Center, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Cisneros Collection, New York; and Daros Foundation, Zurich.

October 6, 2015 Dario Escobar: Summer Hang https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/dario-escobar-summer-hang/


Artists: Ana Bidart, Linus Bill + Adrien Horni, Jonathan Callan, Jacob El Hanani, Dario Escobar, and Julianne Swartz.

Summer Hang
Through August 12, 2015
Josée Bienvenu
New York, USA

Ana Bidart explores the possibilities and more so, the impossibilities of drawing. She brings found objects together in space and across time, and her works establish a tangible record of ephemeral relationships encountered. With Disappointment she reconstitutes meaning in the potential interaction between a compass, that does not draw, and a coiled wire, that is precariously suspended.

Swiss artists Linus Bill and Adrien Horni create collages and paintings with powerful aesthetics, bold gestures and brave dimensions. Bill and Horni produce work by assembling smaller collages, which later become part of a larger collage. They only determine a final result after countless trials and manipulations to the images (physically and digitally). With NY P.5 TL, the pair continues their ongoing explorations of process, form, and presentational strategy by combining inkjet printing, silkscreen, painting, drawing, and assemblage.

Jonathan Callan explores the relationship of disembodied knowledge to embodied experience and materiality, working with publications – books, maps, and photographs – as a source material.Entertaining is made up of 72 separate pages from a cookbook, isolating a single dish or ingredient on each page and removing everything else with sandpaper. Together the dishes (though legible as food when close up) appear as strange planets or discs in space. Some of the dishes are isolated and then completely removed, leaving a ghostly blank. Along with all the pieces where a single aspect of a page is highlighted, Entertaining explores the illustrative notion of the self, the removal of context and the substitution of a painterly space. In fact the background can often seem rendered with pastel or even fresco, and Callan likes to think of Entertaining as a composition of drawings.

Jacob El Hanani’s work draws upon the tradition of micrography in Judaism, a technique utilized in decoration and transcribing holy texts. El Hanani creates highly intricate works, like Circle and Line, through the painstaking repetition of minuscule marks repeated thousands of times using ink on paper or canvas. He draws these images without magnification; in order to reduce eyestrain, he rests every ten minutes. The end result is a work of extraordinary detail that appears to be a pattern from a distance, and speaks of the passage of time and the link between the microscopic and the infinite.

Dario Escobar is renowned for his sculptural re-contextualization of everyday objects. His work explores concepts of cultural and historical hybridity ultimately attempting to reexamine Western art history from a Guatemalan perspective.  Reticula, part of Dario Escobar’s “ultramoderno” project commenting on the failed utopia of modernism in Central America, 50 pool triangles made in Taiwan becomes a relief, and its composition follows a modern grid. Escobar’s work, characterized by the use of materials charged with historical and symbolic meaning, is articulated in a minimalist language like in Yellow Composition, a linseed oil drawing, and the wall sculpture.

Julianne Swartz’s sound works explore the entanglement of subjectivities and sensations through multilayered arrangements. In Alma’s Blanket Israel, sounds are harvested from the everyday: fragments of recordings from people, nature, instruments and environments. Some are intimate, some generic, some identifiable, and some obscure. These sounds, entwined together, weave in and out of aural focus to make a symphonic collage. The dense textile of woven and knotted, colored electrical wires, forms a series of functional circuits that distribute four channels of sound to the numerous speakers interleaved in the weaving.

August 12, 2015 Marco Maggi: The Suspended Line https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/marco-maggi-suspended-line/


Artists: Ana Bidart, Jonathan Callan, Beth Campbell, Martí Cormand, Elena Del Rivero, Marco Maggi, Stefana McClure, Lauren Seiden, Sérgio Sister, John Sparagana, and Julianne Swartz.

The Suspended Line
January 10 – February 14, 2015
Josée Bienvenu Gallery
New York, NY, USA

The Suspended Line includes a series of intense tensions and ethereal suspensions: thoughts suspended in submerged books, knitted music sheets, perforated porcelain towels and socks, gold leaf constellations, fatigued newsprint, disjointed bricks: the works in the exhibition challenge the division between two and three dimensions and Newton’s law of universal gravitation.

Ana Bidart’s work is concerned with the possibilities and impossibilities of drawing, in space and across time. She explores nomadic and hyperactive art forms by bringing to life found objects: the formally exquisite yet intrinsically disposable or the materially precious but casually discarded. With Disappointment she reconstitutes meaning in potential interactions between two found objects. Born in Montevideo in 1985, she lives and works in Mexico DF.

Jonathan Callan explores the relationship of disembodied knowledge to embodied experience.  The books that form the footprint of Range are forever held in sedimentary layers that will never be opened. Knowledge is often thought to precipitate down through history and accumulate as the sum of many human additions, but here the plaster, like snow, sprinkles down in mountain peaks denying access to the books under the weight that covers them. Born in Manchester in 1961, he lives and works in London.

Beth Campbell creates works that challenge the notion of a physical world beyond our perception. Drawing upon philosophy, phenomenology and psychology, Campbell choreographs space, crafts uncanny objects, and maps thought. In Campbell’s installations and recent sculpture, what appears at first glance to be a facsimile of the everyday will reveal startling complexity: forms repeat and stutter, interiority is externalized and the familiar becomes strange. Born in 1971 in Illinois, she lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Martí Cormand’s work is a testimony to the degradation of certainty. For the past two years, he has been investigating the notion of conviction by observing and rendering iconic works of the conceptual art movement  “When no one has too many certitudes any more, processes become essential. I have nothing urgent to communicate, no absolute convictions. I investigate the certainties that others had in the 1960s and 1970s. My favorite subject is the study of conviction” (Martí Cormand).  Born in Spain in 1970, he lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Elena del Rivero’s works are rooted in estrangement and recollection. Work and daily routine often intermingle in her oeuvre to become one. In most of del Rivero’s work, delicacy and a sense of loving attention coexist with a feeling of neglect and abandonment. In Wound, a hint to Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, the punctured 24k gold leafed paper surface, bears the tool of its making with a needle and a thread, left over hanging in the center of the work. Born in Valencia, Spain in 1948, she has been living in New York for the last 30 years.

Marco Maggi’s drawings and sculptures encode the world. Composed of linear patterns that suggest circuit boards, aerial views of impossible cities, genetic engineering or nervous systems, his drawings are a thesaurus of the infinitesimal and the undecipherable. Marco Maggi’s abstract language refers to the way information is processed in a global era. Marco Maggi divides the act of drawing.  Born in Montevideo in 1957, he lives and works in New York and will represent Uruguay at The 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia this year.

Distillation of time and obliteration of information characterize Stefana McClure’s drawings and sculptures. All of her work involves translation, transposition and reconstruction as music is changed into text, and text is turned into image. The Planets (op. 32), is a spectacular symphonic suite scored for large orchestral forces and a wordless chorus, written by Gustav Holst between 1914 and 1916. The 192 page score has been sliced and rejoined as continuous lengths of paper yarn and each of the seven movements have been knitted back together again. McClure unveils and reveals the visual fabric of The Planets (op. 32): drawings to a symphonic suite by Gustav Holst as she translates and transposes the synesthetic structure that connects music and image. Born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, she lives and works in New York.

Lauren Seiden’s work explores the essential elements of process and materiality through an intuitive and intimate layering of graphite, breaking down the surface and transforming the paper into a physical, textural and structural form, further expanding upon the notion of drawing as painting and painting as sculpture.  The act of folding strengthens the structure while weakening the surface allowing for necessary manipulation of the material in order to maintain stability. These dualities of strength and fragility are encapsulated within a process that, like the work itself, strikes a balance between the internal and external. Born in 1981, she lives and works in New York.

Sergío Sister’s work stands at the edge between painting and sculpture. The Ripas, ladrillos, pontaletes appropriate the names of the manufactured products from which they are derived. Sergío Sister’s work relates to the US tradition of minimalism and to the Neo-Concrete movement of the 1960’s in Brazil. Many bridges can be drawn between Sister’s attempts to incorporate three-dimensional space and Mira Schendel’s Sarrafos or Willys de Castro’s Objectos Activos. Made of wooden beams dressed in canvas, Sisters ladrillos investigate surface and depth through subtle color dislocations. Born in São Paulo in 1948, he lives and works in São Paulo.

For more than a decade, John Sparagana has been working with found magazine images as his primary material.  His work has developed into a full-fledged investigation into the way information is presented and disseminated visually within contemporary culture. Born in 1958 in Rochester, New York, he lives and works in Houston and Chicago.

With lightness and gravity, Julianne Swartz places equal importance upon negative space, ambient sound, interruptions of sculptural line, and the interface between outside and inside. Her work encourages a quizzical reconsideration of our relationship to our body, to each other and to our surroundings. Lean, a steel rod defies reason as it leans towards a wall but doesn’t touch it, pushing the limits of physical gravity very literally, while exploring gravity metaphorically, in reference to the limitations, fragility and endurance of the body, and the weight of human relationships. Born in Phoenix, AZ in 1967, she lives and works in Kingston, New York.

Image: Elena Del Rivero, Wound, 2014, 24k gold leaf on punctured abaca paper, needle, thread, 11.75 x 11.75 inches
January 14, 2015 Diana de Solares: Present 2 https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/diana-de-solares-present-2/


Artist: Diana de Solares

Present 2: Alma Ruiz presents Diana de Solares
November 1 – December 13, 2014
Josée Bienvenu Gallery
New York, USA

The gallery presents a series of guest-curated exhibitions in the project space. For its second installment, curator Alma Ruiz presents the work by Guatemalan artist Diana de Solares.

Born in Guatemala City in 1952, Diana de Solares lives and works in Guatemala City. Recent exhibitions include: “Las correcciones/The corrections” the 9.99 gallery, Guatemala City (2014); “XIX Bienal Paiz “ Arte Centro Graciela Andrade de Paz, Guatemala City (2014); “Prótesis” [Prosthesis], Piegatto Arte, Guatemala City (2013); “En Tránsito” [In Transit], Sol del Rio Arte Contemporáneo, Guatemala City (2013); “Ensayo” Edge Zones, Miami, FL (2005); “Index miami”, Edge Zones, Miami, FL (2004); “En el filo”, Museo de Arte Moderno de Mérida “Juan Astorga Anta, Mérida, Venezuela (2003); “Picturing the female body”, The Latin Collector Gallery, New York, NY (2002); “Diana de Solares y Juan Paparella” Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL (2000).

November 15, 2014 Darío Escobar: Provisionals https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/dario-escobar-provisionals/


Artists: Ana Bidart, Martí Cormand, Elena del Rivero, Darío Escobar, Sérgio Sister, and Adam Winner.

August 7 – September 6, 2014
Josée Bienvenu Gallery

The title refers to a term coined by Raphael Rubinstein* in 2009 to describe an ongoing trend:  Provisional paintings, “look casual, dashed-off, tentative, unfinished, self-canceling”. They “demolish their own iconic status before they ever attain such a thing.” Their genealogy includes Robert Rauschenberg’s “cardboards” of the 1970s, Raoul de Keyser, Christopher Wools, Mary Heilman and extends to a younger generation of artists who have been working across the map from Berlin to Bushwick and Mexico City, qualified as “the new casualists” by artist and critic Sharon L. Butler*.  The exhibition connects three generations of artists whose work oppose to the monumental, the official, and the permanent to embrace the off-kilter and the awkward in a playful combination of deliberation and indecision.

Dario Escobar’s Blacksmith Paintings are based on two absences: the absence of the painted object and the absence of the subject who painted it. Part of a larger body of ‘self-generated’ or ‘performative’ works, the painting in the exhibition documents the back wall of a blacksmith workshop in Guatemala city.  A blank canvas, stapled to the backdrop wall used to spray paint metal objects, accumulates layers and layers of paint residue. The painting is executed unknowingly by blacksmith workers without direct intervention of the artist’s hand whose only decision is to pick-up the work after a certain time. The result is a condensed and effortless journey through the main painting movements of the last century – from 1960s color field painting, to Latin American geometric abstraction, minimalism, pop, and street art, depending on the day-to-day order of business at the shop.

Elena del Rivero’s Letter from Home in Cerulean is a monument to domesticity and its monstrosity. It is a giant canvas hanging from one nail in the corner, just like a dishcloth in a kitchen. The process starts with the traditional blue pattern of a European dishcloth made with stitch-like brushstrokes, followed by staining and altering the surface with dirt from the studio floor, coffee from the breakfast table, or leftover paint smudged on the surface.  Like in most of del Rivero’s work, delicacy and a sense of loving attention coexist with a feeling of neglect and abandonment.

In Pasaportes, Mexico based conceptual artist Ana Bidart examines access and identity. The paintings are a record of her last two years working as an artist’s assistant, her time spent packing and labeling the works of other artists. Incorporating the vocabulary of tracking numbers and of various discarded materials, the paintings allude to various techniques of mechanical reproduction to explore traces left of relationships. Silkscreening, xeroxing, and photoshopping are done here in a low-tech, low-key way, by directly applying objects to the canvas (bubble wrap, footprints) and rubbing the surface with solvents in large areas of grayish brushstrokes.

Martí Cormand’s work is a testimony to the degradation of certainty. For the past two years, he has been investigating the notion of conviction by observing and rendering iconic works of the conceptual art movement  “When no one has too many certitudes any more, processes become essential. I have nothing urgent to communicate, no absolute convictions. I investigate the certainties that others had in the 1960s and 1970s. My favorite subject is the study of conviction” (Martí Cormand).  With no effort to hide its labor and adjustments, the work in the exhibition, a rendering of Yoko Ono’s 1964 Grapefruit, dissects its own process by showing the three stages to a finished painting. As if scanned at three points during its making, it becomes a self-amused and unassuming work that does not invite any transcendental reading.

Most of Sérgio Sister’s work stands at the edge between painting and sculpture. The small monochromatic paintings, from 1995 – 2010 included in the exhibition, convey a sense of calculated tentativeness. The individual paintings, made with an unflashy handling of paint can be re-positioned into distinct groups and assemblages, within a skillful game of subtle tonal variations.

Adam Winner’s paintings are concerned with multiple forms of imperfection. Made with a palette knife, in layer upon layer of oil, gesso and linen, the paintings expose their own accidents and mistakes, laying bare the seams, showing ripped linen strips and frayed edges. Winner’s paintings of imperfect gestures are imbued with a feeling of permanent self-doubt. They embrace a sense of their own failure yet reveal an intimate familiarity with the materials.

September 5, 2014 Ricardo Alcaide: Incidental Geometry https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/ricardo-alcaide-incidental-geometry/

Ricardo Alcaide, Untitled no. 4, 2011, high temperature glassed ceramic, 11.4 x 8.7 x 4.7 inches

Ricardo Alcaide: Incidental Geometry
October 31 – December 14, 2013
Josée Bienvenu Gallery
New York, NY, USA

Josée Bienvenu is pleased to present Incidental geometry, an exhibition by Ricardo Alcaide. In this project, Alcaide addresses his interest for geometric abstraction, modernist constructions, and social dynamics in urban centers. His new body of work oscillates between the poetic and the political, juxtaposing playful and stern elements.

In Intrusion, Alcaide conceptualizes aesthetics that refer to vernacular and modernist architecture, along with the geometric abstraction that marked his academic background. In this group of over painted images of Modern mid-century interiors, the geometrical shapes subtly deconstruct the carefully designed rooms. These incidental openings, thickly painted planes of colours, alter the dynamics of the interiors, invading the space and creating a new reality. Alcaide attempts to hinder the pictorial and symbolic reality of these immaculately designed spaces with a foreign and striking element which appears to be floating in the space like an abandoned shelter. A group of sculptures Fabric, Paper, Plastic, Book made of found and recycled materials finds temporary shelter on a metallic shelving structure which alludes to the city’s vertical and geometric urban landscape.

Ricardo Alcaide was born in 1967 in Caracas, Venezuela, he currently lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. Select solo exhibitions include: Una Forma De Desorden Invasivo, Galería Lucia de la Puente, Lima (2013);Intrusiones, Galería Tajamar, Santiago de Chile (2013); Prototipo Vernacular, Oficina #1, Caracas,Venezuela (2012); A Place To Hide, Baró Galería, São Paulo (2011). Select collections include: LIMAC Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Lima; Colección Fundación Cisneros, Caracas; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela; Galeria de Arte Nacional GAN, Caracas; Zabludowicz Collection, London.

Click here to view Ricardo Alcaide on Abstraction in Action.

November 14, 2013