Abstraction in Action Cipriano Martínez: Woven Cities https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/cipriano-martinez-woven-cities/


Artist: Cipriano Martínez and Christine van der Hurd

Woven Cities
November 27 – December 19, 2015
Maddox Arts
London, UK

Christine Van Der Hurd and Cipriano Martínez have a mutual appreciation for traditional artistic techniques and geometric design. When they were first introduced in the Autumn of 2013 their collaborative process was quick to develop. Cipriano Martínez paints with oils on canvas and then screenprints his artwork; while Vanderhurd rugs are woven by highly skilled craftsmen in India using traditional techniques. This process involves a strong mutual belief in the artistic, hand crafted approach to the creation of an original artefact of true lasting value.

In contrast to the ordered geometry found in Vanderhurd designs, Martínez enjoys disruption and dislocation of pattern, creating conflict between order and chaos. The greatest challenge for him during this creative process was adapting to a different format for the execution of these pieces, and that this would create an alternative interpretation of his original paintings. Though he was never expecting the process to be an easy one.

For example, the designs that included very small triangular shapes had to be enlarged to a minimum of 6 centimetres to enable sharp, straight lines to be achieved in the weaving process. The artwork represents aerial views of maps and cities, describing the juxtaposition of order and chaos found within them. Martínez has relished the implications of this new medium, while Vanderhurd’s considerable understanding of colour has been a key component in the development of these dhurries.

A small selection of Cipriano Martínez oil paintings will be accompanying the exhibition.

November 24, 2015 Cipriano Martínez: Weight for the Showing https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/cipriano-martinez-weight-showing/

Screenshot 2015-04-15 12.30.33

Artists: Richard Serra, Phyllida Barlow, Christian Jankowski, Nicolas Feldmeyer, Cipriano Martinez, Levi van Veluw, David Rickard, Livia Marin, Richard Schur, Liv Fontaine, Knopp Ferro.

Weight for the Showing
Curated by Paul Carey-Kent
April 23 – June 16, 2015
Maddox Arts
London, UK

Of the many competitors for our attention when we look at a work of art – meaning, narrative, form, colour, gesture, scale, sound, movement – its weight is not generally high in the list, heavy as much sculpture and some painting may be (Bram Bogart’s super-thick applications or Analia Saban’s container canvases come to mind). Indeed, although WEIGHT FOR THE SHOWING is themed around weight, all the works have other interesting agendas, most notably perhaps the frequency with which they skew logic and the zest with which they engage with art history.

Some artists playfully substitute the heavy for the light or vice versa: Gavin Turk’s bronze bin bags are well known, Andreas Lolis has made marble look very like card or polystyrene; Fishli & Weiss fashioned all manner of items out of polyurethane; and Sarah Sze recently made rocks out of photographs of rocks, which she showed alongside real boulders. Others have used surprisingly-weighted items, e.g. Andrew Palmer attaches rocks to paintings, and Aselm Kiefer fixes anything from soil to submarines to his canvases; Damien Hirst’s ping pong ball pieces might be the opposite end of that scale.

Such play is allowed here, but the show concentrates more on two other aspects: the relative weight of elements within or between works, which latter may be down to evident heaviness of mark, or else be a matter of ‘feeling’ heavy or light for no obvious literal reason; and the metaphorical association of weight with seriousness and being weighed down by troubles or history. There’s no neat division, but Barlow, Rickard, Schur, Ferro and Martinez are perhaps more in the first category; and Serra, Jankowski, Marin, Feldmeyer and Fontaine in the second.

Enough weight may also lead to collapse. Nietzsche worried about the possibility of Eternal Return, in which we’re doomed to repeat events for eternity, making existence a heavy burden, given the impossibility of escaping the cycle. Buddhism provides a potential way out of that by embracing the cycle, as does Milan Kundera when, assuming in contrast that such a cycle is impossible, he holds that ‘life which disappears once and for all, which does not return is without weight…and whether it was horrible, beautiful, or sublime…means nothing’. Decisions are then ‘light’ – they do not tie us down – but meaningless and potentially empty. That isn’t entirely welcome either, hence the ‘the unbearable lightness of being’. A more pragmatic view would be that we’re in the space between the baggage of the what’s gone and the disintegration to come – but the interim phase may last a while yet, and we might as well enjoy it. Just so, there’s plenty of wit in these works, that raise interesting issues but also help visitors to enjoy a few minutes of the gap.

Image: Christian Jankowski, Heavy Weight History (Ronald Reagan), 2013 – b/w photograph on baryt paper, 140 x 186.8 cm, ed.1 of 5+2 ap
April 21, 2015 Cipriano Martínez https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/cipriano-martinez/

The rain of this valley
drags everything, slowly, toward its entrance,
it does not have another slope.

ITACA. For a homage to Konstantinos
Kavafis.  Eugenio Montejo.

Caracas, the place where I was born, is a city full of contrasts that grew exponentially in just half a century as a result of the oil boom. It is a place where memory is constantly blurred, and where another city grows from within. It is precisely this mutant character, this kind of patchwork, what makes it both complex and fascinating.

Serial repetitions, dislocated structures, changes in the scale of representation, frontal and aerial views, and obsessive patterns constitute the strategy that I use to approach a notion of chaos, or perhaps a desired order suitable of a city that appears in my paintings as a vestige.

In recent years, my oil paintings have become increasingly informed by my parallel interest in printmaking. These investigations of the printing process have lent my work a mathematical precision that I believe enforces the underlying themes of the work.

In the exhibition catalogue for Destructive Testing (Maddox Arts, 2012) Patricia Velasco writes “It is the changing geography and accidental  architecture of the city which captures the artist’s interest, the misshapen and vague  cartography, the metamorphosis of  architecture in a state of constant transformation, the variety and, from a temporal viewpoint, the unstable nature of the layout and tissue on which the modern city is built.”


La lluvia de este valle,
todo lo arrastra, despacio, hasta sus puertas,
no tiene otro declive.

ITACA. Para un homenaje a Konstantinos
Kavafis.  Eugenio Montejo.

Caracas, el lugar donde nací, es una ciudad llena de contrastes que creció exponencialmente en cuestión de medio siglo, como resultado del boom petrolero. Es un lugar donde la memoria se borra constantemente, y donde otra ciudad crece desde adentro. Es precisamente este carácter mutante, esa especie de patchwork lo que la hace compleja y fascinante a la vez.

Repeticiones seriales, estructuras dislocadas, cambios en la escala de representación, visiones frontal y cenital, ausencia de gesto, patrones obsesivos, forman parte de la estrategia que empleo para aproximarme a la noción de caos, o a un orden quizá deseado propio de una ciudad que aparece en mi pintura a modo de vestigio.

En los últimos años mis pinturas–óleo sobre tela–han recibido una influencia cada vez mayor de mi interés paralelo en las artes gráficas . Estas investigaciones en el proceso de impresión han ofrecido a mi trabajo una precisión que refuerza los temas fundamentales de la obra.

En la presentación del catálogo de la muestra Destructive Testing (Maddox Arts, 2012) Patricia Velasco escribe “Le interesa al artista la geografía cambiante y accidental de la ciudad, la cartografía mutante e imprecisa, la arquitectura que se metamorfosea y que está en constante transformación, la variabilidad y el carácter inestable desde el punto de vista temporal de los trazos y tejidos sobre los cuales se edifica la urbe moderna”

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January 21, 2015 Rafael Reveron-Pojan https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/rafael-reveron-pojan/
Translated from Spanish

Some notes about the politics in my work, called “automatic architectures…”

Join together, get shelter, protection, appropriation. Appropriation of the space, creation of place, object.


To demolish,

To build…

“All build-up is refuge against danger.”

Flavio de Carvalho | Rio de Janeiro | 1899-1973

To a large extent, my work lies beneath like an architecture, as a strategy of ideological appropriation of space, the conquest of place, of the object, of the contained body… Do not think, do not live, do not feel… Let me build you, win that battle of “abitare,” I build you and think you, I appropriate you, live in you, in your space, in that space in between which surrounds you, that makes you, that molds you, configures you, and figures you.

The “Empty Box” becomes imposed in its abstraction, its economy knows no rival, and its synthesis is undefeated. That subdivided, fragmented, quadratic, cubic, universal, reproducible, “built-up” space. Optimal, minimal.

The ultimate ending: winning


defeat the


Totalitarianism of the majority; nothing and no one can win the battle over this cubic formula…



My “automatic architectures,” are conceived as models of “creation and destruction.” Their origin is tangentially dominated by patterns, actions around the notion of “appropriation.” To make myself one with space, place, and object, through a predetermined and preconceived model. An ideological, formal structure that models actions. To think of void as a structural content, is that border between collapse and equilibrium of content and container… Lines that intersect, supremacy battles between horizontality and verticality of space, of the object and its drifts. The imminence of matter to be transformed into an object, regroup and reconcile as a new form. To join spaces… imposing the plural to the singular, to the individual… Making the indivisible visible. To join as defense, not as addition. Build up to distract, to sublimate, to delete, eliminate, destroy.

Lines draw themselves in a describing without writing. As with the spiral, the constructive space is an internal ideology; its limit emerges on every layer, from intimacy.

To build and destroy. Collapsing is not an improper accident of the structure, but an inevitable stage of existence itself. Collapse, implosion, deflation… Strategies in the poetics of the terminal. To build and destroy. Modernist therapy of an infinitely delayed agony. Running an incomplete defeat.

Matter is raw, quotidian, on the verge, cyclical, re-oriented, re-conceived, resented, re-lived… Every skin suggests its needlework, its stitches… in its reusing, a corner disappears; it’s filed down, making its own way, its exile. To sew and undo… String together and undo, and gain aerial space, the dream of “flying,” of the suspended, the pending. Always an imminent departure, or loss. Stringing together without completing the fabric… Weaving looms without instructions. Too many complications for the pre-functions. Improvisation of survival, of error, of the everyday, of the doing without thinking, of being without being, without permanence.

Today, the promised paradise… Looks more like hell.

I do not see, I do not speak, I do not listen, I do not feel…

I do not exist.

I only







Algunas notas sobre las políticas asumidas por mi trabajo en las llamadas “arquitecturas automáticas”…

Aglomerar, refugiarse, protegerse, apropiarse. Apropiación del espacio, creación del lugar, objeto.




“Toda aglomeración es un refugio contra un peligro”.

Flavio de Carvalho | Rio de Janeiro | 1899-1973

En gran medida mi obra subyace como una arquitectura, como una estrategia de apropiación ideológica del espacio, la conquista del lugar, del objeto, del cuerpo contenido… No pienses, no vivas, no sientas… Déjame construirte, ganarte esa batalla del “abitare”, yo te construyo y te pienso, me apropio de ti, vivo en ti, en tu espacio, en ese intersticio que te bordea, que te hace, te moldea, te configura, te figura.

La “Caja vacía” se impone, en su abstracción, su economía no tiene adversarios, su síntesis esta invicta. Ese espacio subdividido, fragmentado, “cuadrático”, cúbico, universal, reproducible, “aglo-merable”. Optimo, mínimo.

El fin supremo: ganar


vencer al


Totalitarismo de las mayorías, nadie, ni nada, puede ganarle la batalla a esta fórmula cúbica…



Mis “arquitecturas automáticas”, se piensan como modelos del “crear y destruir”, su génesis viene dominada tangencialmente por patrones, acciones en torno a la noción de “apropiación”. Hacerme con el espacio, el lugar, el objeto a través de un modelo predeterminado, pre-pensado. Una estructura ideológica, formal, que modela las acciones. Pensar en el vacío como contenido estructural, es ese filo entre el colapso y el equilibrio del contenido y el contenedor… Líneas que se entrecruzan, batallas de supremacías entre la horizontalidad y la verticalidad del espacio, del objeto, de sus derivas. Esa inminencia de la materia por transformarse en objeto, reagruparse y conciliar una nueva forma. Aglomerar espacios… imponiendo lo plural a lo singular, al individuo… Haciendo invisible lo indivisible. Aglomerar como defensa, no como sumatoria. Aglomerar para distraer, para sublimar, para borrar, eliminar, destruir.

Las líneas se dibujan solas, es un describir sin escribir. Como en el caracol, el espacio constructivo es una ideología interna, su límite emerge capa a capa desde la intimidad.

Construir-destruir. El colapsar no es un accidente impropio de la estructura, es una fase inevitable de la existencia misma. Colapso, implosión, deflación… Estrategias en las poéticas de lo terminal. Construir-deconstruir. Terapia modernista de una agonía retardada al infinito. Gestión de una derrota inacabada.

La materia, es cruda, cotidiana, al borde, cíclica, re-orientada, re-pensada, re-sentida, re-vivida… Cada piel sugiere su costura, su punto y cruz… en el re-usar, la esquina desaparece, se lima, se hace su propio camino, destierro. Coser y descoser… Hilar y des-hilar y ganar el espacio aéreo, el ensueño de “lo volador”, de lo sus-pendido, colgante, siempre inminente partida, perdida. Hilar sin llegar nunca a completar la tela… Telares sin instrucciones, demasiadas complejidades para las pre-funciones. Improvisación de la supervivencia, del error, del cotidiano, del hacer sin pensar, del ser sin estar, sin permanencia.

Hoy, el paraíso prometido… Parece más un infierno.

No veo, no hablo, no escucho, no siento…

No existo.







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January 21, 2015 Marta Chilindrón, Magdalena Fernández & Jaime Tarazona: Degrees of Separation https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/marta-chilindron-magdalena-fernandez-jaime-tarazona-degrees-separation/

Screenshot 2014-08-26 15.39.46

Artists: Marta Chilindrón, Magdalena Fernández, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Caio Fonseca, Julio Le Parc, Cipriano Martínez, Daniel Medina, Abraham Paltnik, Rafael Reveron-Pojan, Jesús Rafael Soto, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, and Jaime Tarazona.

Degrees of Separation
June 27 – September 14, 2014
Maddox Arts
London, UK

Curated by Mario Palencia and Laura Culpan, this exhibition looks specifically at the legacy of the Modern Masters born in the 1920s who were pioneering geometric abstraction and kinetic art across Latin America in the 1950s and 60s and how the younger generation is carrying this aesthetic on, in their own contemporary way.


September 9, 2014