Abstraction in Action Beyond the Supersquare: Art and Architecture in Latin America after Modernism https://abstractioninaction.com/contexts/beyond-the-supersquare/


Beyond the Supersquare: Art and Architecture in Latin America after Modernism
This exhibition is co-organized by Holly Block (New York City) and María Inés Rodríguez (Colombia), and designed by Benedeta Monteverde (Mexico).
May 1, 2014 to January 11, 2015
The Bronx Museum of the Arts 
New York, USA

Beyond the Supersquare explores the indelible influence of Latin American and Caribbean modernist architecture on contemporary art. The exhibition features over 30 artists and more than 60 artworks, including photography, video, sculpture, installation, and drawing, that respond to major Modernist architectural projects constructed in Latin America and the Caribbean from the 1920s through the 1960s. Beyond the Supersquare examines the complicated legacies of modernism through architecture and thought—as embodied by the political, economic, environmental, and social challenges faced by countries throughout Latin America—through the unique perspective of artists working today. This exhibition is co-organized by Holly Block (New York City) and María Inés Rodríguez (Colombia), and designed by Benedeta Monteverde (Mexico).

Artists in the exhibition include: Leonor Antunes (Portugal), Alexander Apóstol (Venezuela), Alexandre Arrechea (Cuba), Felipe Arturo (Colombia), Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck (Venezuela) and Media Farzin (USA), Alberto Baraya (Colombia), Carlos Bunga (Portugal), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Jordi Colomer (Spain), Livia Corona Benjamin (Mexico), Felipe Dulzaides (Cuba), Fernanda Fragateiro (Portugal), Magdalena Fernández (Venezuela), Carlos Garaicoa (Cuba), Mario Garcia Torres (Mexico), Terence Gower (Canada), Patrick Hamilton (Belgium/Chile), Diango Hernández (Cuba), Quisqueya Henriquez (Cuba), Andre Komatsu (Brazil), Runo Lagomarsino (Argentina), Pablo Leon de la Barra (Mexico), Maria Martinez-Cañas (Cuba) and Rafael Domenech (Cuba), Daniela Ortiz (Peru), Jorge Pardo (Cuba), Manuel Piña (Cuba), Ishmael Randall-Weeks (Peru), Mauro Restiffe (Brazil), Pedro Reyes (Mexico), and Chemi Rosado-Seijo (Puerto Rico) and Roberto ‘Boly’ Cortéz (Puerto Rico).

A catalogue was produced for the show. Beyond the Supersquare: Art and Architecture in Latin America after ModernismEdited by Antonio Sergio Bessa with additional research by Mario Torres. Published by Fordham University Press and The Bronx Museum, New York, 2014


Beyond the Supersquare (Mas allá del supercubo) explora la indeleble influencia de la arquitectura modernista de America Latina y el Caribe en el arte contemporáneo.  La exhibición presenta mas de 30 artistas y mas de 60 obras, incluyendo fotografía, video, escultura, instalación, y dibujo, que responde a proyectos arquitectónicos modernistas importantes, construidos en América Latina y el Caribe desde los 20 hasta los años 60. Beyond the Supersquare examina los complejos legados modernistas a través de arquitectura y pensamiento – ejemplificado en en los retos políticos, económicos, ambientales que enfrentan los países de América Latina- a través de la perspectiva única de artistas hoy día. La exhibición fue co-organizada por: Holly Block (New York City) y María Inés Rodríguez (Colombia),  y diseñada por Benedeta Monteverde (Mexico).

Los artistas incluidos en la exhibición son: Leonor Antunes (Portugal), Alexander Apóstol (Venezuela), Alexandre Arrechea (Cuba), Felipe Arturo (Colombia), Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck (Venezuela) and Media Farzin (USA), Alberto Baraya (Colombia), Carlos Bunga (Portugal), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Jordi Colomer (Spain), Livia Corona Benjamin (Mexico), Felipe Dulzaides (Cuba), Fernanda Fragateiro (Portugal), Magdalena Fernández (Venezuela), Carlos Garaicoa (Cuba), Mario Garcia Torres (Mexico), Terence Gower (Canada), Patrick Hamilton (Belgium/Chile), Diango Hernández (Cuba), Quisqueya Henriquez (Cuba), Andre Komatsu (Brazil), Runo Lagomarsino (Argentina), Pablo Leon de la Barra (Mexico), Maria Martinez-Cañas (Cuba) and Rafael Domenech (Cuba), Daniela Ortiz (Peru), Jorge Pardo (Cuba), Manuel Piña (Cuba), Ishmael Randall-Weeks (Peru), Mauro Restiffe (Brazil), Pedro Reyes (Mexico), y Chemi Rosado-Seijo (Puerto Rico) – Roberto ‘Boly’ Cortéz (Puerto Rico).

Un catálogo fue producido para la muestra: Beyond the Supersquare: Art and Architecture in Latin America after ModernismEditado por Antonio Sergio Bessa con investigación adicional de Mario Torres. Publicado por Fordham University Press y The Bronx Museum, New York, 2014

July 19, 2016 Ricardo Alcaide: Down the Line https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/ricardo-alcaide-line/


Artist: Ricardo Alcaide 

Down the Line
June 8, 2016 – July 8, 2016
Johannes Vogt Gallery
New York, New York

Alcaide’s site-specific floor installation investigates notions of instability in urban environments as a result of the mistranslation of modernism and its inherent concept of progress to Latin America.

Alcaide has used the gallery’s white cube space as a studio to create a series of sculptural painting-panels in varying sizes that are presented horizontally on the floor. In order to make these works the artist mounts wooden slats onto the surface of the panels whilst applying glossy polyurethane paint regularly used in car shops. The screwed in slats leave marks on the paint underneath once removed, like remnants of the history of its making. Within Alcaide’s installation each work follows its own linear composition while engaging a dialogue with the works in its immediate proximity. In a flow of push-and-pull, the repetitive character of the compositional methods used by the artist alludes to the sometimes monotonous formalistic appeal of modernist architecture.

July 18, 2016 Alice Quaresma: Threaded https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/alice-quaresma-threaded/


Artists: Alice Quaresma and Jauyoung Yoon

July 5th – July 29th
Flatiron Project Space
New York, USA

An exhibition of work by SVA Summer Residency program alumni Alice Quaresma (Brazil/U.S.) and Jayoung Yoon (Korea/U.S.). “Threaded” investigates the psychic strands and physical sinews connecting an individual to her environment, while acknowledging the complex interaction of time, space and memory. Hailing from geographically opposed corners of the globe, and both currently living and working in the New York area, Quaresma and Yoon each refer back to their origins with intimate and architectural gestures enacted in two- three- and four-dimensional space.

July 14, 2016 Emilia Azcárate, Emilio Chapela, Eduardo Costa, Jaime Davidovich, Diana de Solares, Karina Peisajovich, Osvaldo Romberg, Luis Roldán, Eduardo Santiere, Horacio Zabala: Imagining Spaces: Constructions in Color and Text https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/emilia-azcarate-emilio-chapela-eduardo-costa-jaime-davidovich-diana-de-solares-karina-peisajovich-osvaldo-romberg-luis-roldan-eduardo-santiere-horacio-zabala-imagining-spaces-constructions/

Henrique Faria

Artists: Emilia Azcárate, Emilio Chapela, Eduardo Costa, Jaime Davidovich, Diana de Solares, Karina Peisajovich, Osvaldo Romberg, Luis Roldán, Eduardo Santiere, Horacio Zabala.

Imagining Spaces: Constructions in Color and Text
June 23, 2016 – August 19, 2016
Henrique Faria
New York, NY

Imagining Spaces: Constructions in Color and Text, a group exhibition focused on the formal and thematic elements of color and text in Latin American art of the last sixty years. The exhibition framework is based on the premise that color and text are two major building blocks of creative expression, and can therefore be seen as architectural components of a given composition.

July 1, 2016 Emilio Chapela: No Pain, No Brain https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/emilio-chapela-no-pain-no-brain/


Artist: Emilio Chapela

No Pain, No Brain
April 28, 2016 – June 18, 2016
Henrique Faria Fine Art
New York, NY

Building on the investigations of the material manifestations of human perspective and information systems that Chapela introduced in his 2014 exhibition at the gallery, No Pain, No Brain focuses specifically on the intellectual and physical environments of the Bell Labs complex during its 90-year history. As the premises were recently sold to Nokia and some buildings are on the verge of being converted into a “mixed-use lifestyle complex”, Chapela took on the role of archeologist and anthropologist as he explored the grounds and uncovered its vestiges: abandoned but yet stuck in time, as if the scientists would return at any moment to resume their experiments. The Do Not Erase series offers a tribute to the anonymous scientists whose musings remain un-erased on whiteboards inside the Laboratories’ buildings. Saved from the fate of demolition, these whiteboards preserve for posterity the ‘famous last words’ and calculations of some of these scientists, some of which include “No Pain, No Brain” and “Frieder Mach’s Gut!” As Ken Farmer writes in the exhibition text, “Appropriation and direct representation creates the space for abstract reflection and poetic speculation.” Re-contextualized in the gallery, these whiteboards offer glimpses into sets of knowledge and potentialities to which the public was not privy until now.

Other works also speak to Chapela’s interest in opening up the boundaries of knowledge in light of the on-going technological boom. Bell Nobel Prizes (2016) presents the brains of the eight Nobel Prize-winning scientists that worked at Bell Labs. The brains here are made of silicon, “an atomic relative of the carbon that comprises our own brains and the key ingredient in the computer chips that power society today”, and continue the speculation started by early science fiction writers of whether it too could be a life-generating and sustaining element. The sculptural series Semi-transistors (2016) also uses silicon as a base, this time for amplifying an electrical current, and pays homage to the first transistors that were created at Bell Labs in 1947. In the midst of the surge of artificial intelligence and machine learning, these works acknowledge the present issues brought forth by the machine’s challenge to the singular power of the human mind.

June 13, 2016 Felipe Arturo, Adrián S. Bará, Ximena Garrido-Lecca: DIVAGATION https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/felipe-arturo-adrian-s-bara-ximena-garrido-lecca-divagation/


Artists: Felipe Arturo, Adrián S. Bará, Alberto Borea, Radamés “Juni” Figueroa, Derek Franklin, Ximena Garrido- Lecca, Leor Grady, José Carlos Martinat, PS3* and Slobodan Stosic

Curated by Meyken Barreto, Carlos Garcia-Montero, Cecilia Jurado and ghostwriter.
May 6, 2016- May 30, 2016
Y Gallery 
New York, NY

The show brings together a group of international artists whose practice is characterized by a special sensitivity towards the aesthetic and symbolic potential of everyday materials and objects. Their approach to artistic creation is strongly informed by the context in which their work is produced and by the background from which they come. With different points of departure, from performative to space- based concepts, they investigate and generate narratives about contemporaneity. From Mexico, Peru, USA, Israel, Spain and Serbia, the artists gathered here address different topics from social or politics to contemplative or physics, but they are all joined by a peculiar way to transform their reality in poetic ways.

May 20, 2016 Richard Garet: Sound vs Sense: Intersections https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/richard-garet-sound-vs-sense-intersections/

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 4.48.54 PM

Artists: Víctor Aguado, Miguel Álvarez-Fernández, María Chávez, Ferrer-Molina and Richard Garet.

Sound vs Sense: Intersections
March 22, 2016 – April 9, 2016
ICNY Instituto Cervantes New York
New York, NY, USA

Sound and language have a challenging relationship. What exactly does it mean to “understand” what we hear? This doubt is expressed through various artistic forms in this exhibition, taking the form of a dialogue and blurring the lines that divide aesthetic categories as apparently well-defined as music, poetry, or the visual arts.

In their installations, artists Víctor Aguado, Miguel Álvarez-Fernández, María Chávez, Ferrer-Molina and Richard Garet place us face to face with some of the infinite nuances that constitute and inhabit our language.

March 30, 2016 Diana de Solares: The Material Space of Radiance https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/diana-de-solares-material-space-radiance/


Artist: Diana de Solares

Diana de Solares: The Material Space of Radiance
March 17, 2016 – April 23, 2016
Henrique Faria Fine Art
New York, NY, USA

It is no coincidence that my immersion in art began through my brief studies of architecture as a very young woman. In retrospect, it makes sense to me. I now realize that I wasn’t seeking tools for creating buildings and houses, but trying to get at some kind of knowledge about space in human life. Some years ago, my paintings became three-dimensional, and then my three- dimensional constructions became installational.

The notion of space led me to that of place. And to questions such as, Where are we when we are in the world? How does an object become a place? How do we experience the world?

Andrew J. Mitchell begins his brilliant monograph of Heidegger’s ideas on sculpture proposing, “sculpture teaches us what it means to be in the world…to be in this world is to be ever entering a material space of radiance1”. Mitchell is referring to Heidegger’s reflections on the relation between space and body. In this context, space is no longer deemed as the void where bodies are contained, but as an almost material entity that facilitates and embraces, that allows bodies to appear, radiate, and thus, constitute a world. In Heidegger’s novel conception of limit, a body’s boundary does not mark its end but rather its beginning–for it is there that it interacts and mingles with the physicality of the world around it. This beautiful notion of a participatory space that allows bodies to move beyond themselves and distribute their radiance has changed my perception of a work of sculpture, as it appears in front of me.

I imagine an experience in which a multiple exchange of radiance occurs. The work of art emanating its life through space, and the viewer momentarily emptying himself to accommodate its radiance, in an ongoing movement that transforms both person and object. With the works contained in The Material Space of Radiance, I have sought the embodiment of space through the various visual and haptic qualities of the constructions interacting in it. These varied works have unfolded in the same span of time and share qualities of color and tactility as well as an affinity to human body, and in sharing this moment in space and time they “slowly dissolve in the world”.

– Diana de Solares

March 28, 2016 Pia Camil: A Pot for a Latch https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/pia-camil-a-pot-for-a-latch/


Artist: Pia Camil

Pia Camil: A Pot for a Latch
January 13, 2016 – April 17, 2016
New Museum
New York, NY, USA

The New Museum hosts the first solo museum presentation in New York of the work of artist Pia Camil.

In her paintings, sculptures, performances, and installations, Camil draws inspiration from the urban landscape of her native Mexico City and engages with the history of modernism. Her projects transform the remnants of dysfunctional commercial culture, revealing the inherent problems as well as the latent aesthetic potential within inner-city ruin. Often using laborious fabrication processes in collaboration with local artisans, Camil deaccelerates the frenetic pace of mass commodification through the handcrafted production and intimate quality of her works. In recent projects, she has expanded the scope of her practice to create theatrical environments that invite the viewer to navigate the exhibition space and experience shifting viewpoints and juxtapositions.

For “A Pot for a Latch,” Camil presents a participatory sculptural installation produced specifically for the Lobby Gallery. Inspired by the modular display systems typically used by vendors, Camil has constructed a succession of gridwall panels of her own design, complete with built-in hooks, shelves, and other fixtures for displaying items. Composed of grids, lines, and geometric shapes, the structures form a volumetric drawing within the space of the gallery, referencing cheap commercial constructions as well as the serial patterning of paintings and sculptures made by Minimalist artists such as Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin.

The title of the exhibition refers to the potlatch, a ceremonial gift-giving festival practiced by the Native-American peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast, for whom it continues to be a system of wealth redistribution. Camil invites the public to participate in the ongoing creation of her piece on designated days, during which visitors are encouraged to exchange their own unique items for others in the installation. The composition on the gridwall panels is thereby in flux and is repeatedly altered throughout the course of the exhibition. With “A Pot for a Latch,” Camil transforms the Lobby Gallery into a shop of sorts, in which the monetary value of an object is supplanted by its personal history and significance.

New Museum visitors are invited to exchange items for those in the installation during a series of six public events. On subsequent days, participants’ items will be exchanged for those items that are installed in the Lobby Gallery on that particular day.
Sunday April 3, 2–4 PM

Artist’s invitation: “A Pot for a Latch” is an invitation to exchange.
The object you bring is a talisman of sorts, and it should be thought of in the same way that the ancient Romans conceived of in their term “res,” which denotes a gift that has both a personal value and a history. Bring objects of power, of aesthetic interest, and of poignancy. The monetary value of these items is insignificant; their value lies instead in their richness of meaning and in the new life that they acquire on the grid within the Lobby Gallery.
Potential exchange items may include: clothes, curtains, blankets, artworks, photographs, paintings, frames, nondescript items of undetermined function, objects that resemble parts of the human body such as wigs or mannequins, costume jewelry and accessories, mirrors and reflective items, potted plants, colorful items and/or those with interesting shapes and forms, transparent materials such as shower curtains, lingerie, or X-rays, books, and trinkets.

Prohibited exchange items include but are not limited to: electronics, heavy items (over twenty pounds), small-scale objects (less than six inches in diameter), loose-leaf paper, tote bags, mass-produced garments, food or other perishables, weapons, and chemicals or other hazardous materials.

The exhibition is curated by Margot Norton, Associate Curator.
Cover Image: “Pia Camil: A Pot for a Latch,” 2016. Exhibition view: New Museum. Photo: Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio

March 25, 2016 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 Gabriel Sierra: Numbers in a Room https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/gabriel-sierra-numbers-room/


Artist: Gabriel Sierra

Numbers in a Room
September 20, 2015 – January 4, 2015
Sculpture Center
New York, USA

By modifying and extending the guiding information of the exhibition space, Sierra will restructure the lower level galleries, effacing and confusing distinctions between the architecture, the institution, and the works that comprise the exhibition. The combination of alternative and existing floor plans, signage, and objects in the space all refer to the codes for viewing and maneuvering through the context of an exhibition.

Increasingly layered in Sierra’s presentation, the various structures comprising an exhibition in an institution create a mirroring effect, where each thing recalls another thing. This indexical accumulation makes it unclear exactly where the exhibition begins and ends, bringing into question the semantics of the various navigational prompts within art institutions. The exhibition structure asks that the visitor adjust to its new form.

Sierra (born 1975, San Juan Nepomuceno, Colombia) is based in Bogotá, Colombia and has had solo exhibitions at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2015) and Peep-Hole in Milan (2013). Recent group exhibitions include the 56th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2013); The Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York (2012); and the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011).

October 14, 2015 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 Martin Pelenur: Primordial Meditations https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/martin-pelenur-primordial-meditations/

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Artists: Claudio Vera and Martin Pelenur.

Primordial Meditations
September 17th – October 24th, 2015
Artemisa Gallery
New York, NY, USA

It is embedded in human nature to be thoughtful and innovative for survival. Collectively, a dialogue surrounding this concept is excavated from Vera’s and Pelenur’s parallel bodies of work, to raise thought provoking questions that are inherent to humanity’s progression on earth, as well as, within society. How can humanity move forward in connection with the land, and how does one’s consciousness allow this process to unfold? Such primordial concerns with existence have continued through ancient times into contemporary civilization. To investigate Vera and Pelenur in this vein brings to light the association of physical and cerebral conditions, which are key to the balancing act that humanity must perform throughout time.

Claudio Vera’s newest body of work is intensely contemporary and sensual, evolving seamlessly from his most recent series of wooden sculptures. Vera’s works on paper are created through a similar, physically intensive process of carving blocks of wood; however, instead of sculpting the artist deconstructs flat wooden surfaces and turns them into topographies, territories, physical maps, where we can wander endlessly. Vera has consciously altered his medium of choice – a conceptual reflection on deliberate transformation that exists in the structures of nature, the cosmos, and the ideas of contemporary science explored by humankind. Vera’s roots are linked to the Latin American tradition of the “School of the South,” as the artist studied for many years under one of Joaquín Torres García’s most famous pupils, Julio Alpuy. Like his teacher, Vera’s work embraces and dissolves boundaries, revealing an intimate relation between mankind and the natural world, derived from a deep understanding of organic structures and systems.Martin Pelenur’s newest body of work manifests itself through his use of paint and other synthetic mediums on paper: some forms are painted dense and heavy on the surface, thick with pigment, yet others take on fragile and crystalline structures that seem to emulate the delicate nature of inner thought. Still more, a final group of works are made with commercial packaging tape arranged in lattice form on paper. Each variation of Pelenur’s work shows a progressive creation of simple forms via the human mind. In 2006, the artist started his own self-promoted “Pelenur Scholarship,” based out of his studio Ciudad Vieja – translated as “Old City.” Pelenur’s approach to scholarship is untraditional, and his actions in doing so become an extension of his ongoing practice as an artist who explicitly devotes himself to the research of painterly materials and their collaboration with the “mental drift” that is an integral part of the evolution of society. For Pelenur, the act of painting is an experiment in thought and the inner human discourse that is methodic and repetitive when studied in depth. Even more so, perhaps his superficially manufactured scholarship is reflected in his preferred use of synthetic materials, as opposed to organic, when exploring the progressive nature of human thought.
October 2, 2015 Raquel Rabonivich: Collaborative Performance https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/raquel-rabonivich-collaborative-performance/

Emergences 9, Port Ewen, low tide

Artists: Raquel Rabinovich, Jule Manna, Linda Mary Montano.

7 Hour Collaborative Glandathon: Dance, Pray, Bless at Nancy Donskoj’s
August 29, 2015
The Storefront Gallery
Kingston, NY, USA



. Manna will move and dance for seven hours

. Montano will pray sounds for seven hours

. Rabinovich will give offerings (mud drawings) from her hands to everyone for one hour (6-7pm)

Each hour will reference one of the seven glands.

Image: Raquel Rabinovich, “Emergences (Hudson River)”, 2012-2014, Series: Emergences, Site-Specific Sculpture, On-site stones, Dimensions variable, Lighthouse Park, Port Ewen, New York, USA, Collection Town of Esopus, Photo credit: Camilo Rojas.
August 26, 2015 Mario Navarro: Salon ACME https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/mario-navarro-salon-acme/


Artists: Alberto Conrcuera, Bill Abdale, Carlos García Noriega, Diego Sierra Alta, Federico Martínez, Isauro Huizar, Ivan Krassoievitch, Javier Barrios, Jerónimo Reyes, José Luis Rojas, Juan Caloca, Karian Amaya, Laura Meza Orozco, Mario Navarro, Mauricio Cadena, Morelos León, Pablo Dávila, Paola Cortázar, Rolando Jacob, Sebastián Vizcaíno, Sofia Byttebier, Sofía Echeverry, Xavier de María.

August 22 and 23, 2015
Wythe Hotel
Brooklyn NY, USA

Salón ACME is a platform that exhibits the work of new and established artists, either Mexican or foreign, encouraging the country’s artistic production.


August 20, 2015 Amadeo Azar: Name It by Trying to Name It https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/amadeo-azar-name-trying-name/


Artists: Amadeo Azar, Daniel Barroca, Matt Bua, Onyedika Chuke, Annette Cords, Marcelo Moscheta, Zach Rockhill, and Lauren Seiden.

Name It by Trying to Name It
July 17 – August 30, 2015
The Drawing Center
New York, USA

Initiated in 2014, Open Sessions is a new program at The Drawing Center through which a large group of artists consider their relationship to drawing as medium, process, and metaphor. Working together over a two-year period, Open Sessions artists participate in ongoing studio visits and discussions, punctuated by small group exhibitions at The Drawing Center, as well as other self-organized shows in New York and abroad.

Name It by Trying to Name It: Open Sessions 2014-15 includes all artists in the program, giving the first floor of the museum over to an exploration of contemporary drawing, encompassing performance, video, sculpture, and installation, as well as traditional drawing forms. The show’s numerous collaborations, in which ideas and materials are shared, emphasize the medium’s flexibility and process-oriented nature. The exhibition will evolve over its six-week run, as some artworks enter and exit in two-week cycles, while others remain constant throughout the show’s run. Taken as a whole, Name It by Trying to Name It presents a window into nearly two years of thinking about drawing.

August 20, 2015 Emilia Azcárate, Marta Chilindrón, Diana de Solares & Mariela Scafati: Folding: Line, Space & Body https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/emilia-azcarate-marta-chilindron-diana-de-solares-mariela-scafati-folding-line-space-body/


Artists: Regina Aprijaskis, Emilia Azcárate, Valerie Brathwaite, Feliza Bursztyn, Marta Chilindrón, Mirtha Dermisache, Diana de Solares, Noemí Escandell, María Freire, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), Anna Bella Geiger, Mercedes Elena González, Ana Mercedes Hoyos, Elizabeth Jobim, Judith Lauand, Ana Maria Maiolino, Marta Minujín, Mercedes Pardo, Liliana Porter, Margot Römer, Lotty Rosenfeld, Ana Sacerdote, Fanny Sanín, Adriana Santiago, Mariela Scafati, Antonieta Sosa, and Yeni & Nan.

Folding: Line, Space & Body / Latin American Women Artists Working Around Abstracion
Curated by Aimé Iglesias Lukin
July 9 – August 21, 2015
Henrique Faria Fine Art

Folding is the action through which a line turns into a figure, a plane becomes tridimensional, and a painting becomes an object. And beyond all these actions, we see how representation becomes presentation.

Since the historical avant-garde, the quest for an art that transcended the representation of reality has led artists to create abstract art and to focus on the material objecthood of a painting or sculpture. This exhibition presents the work of Latin American women artists from the 1950s through the present day, showing the different ways in which they worked with abstraction and geometry to explore the space of the artwork and that of the spectator, as mediated by the body.

Latin American abstraction has gained recognition worldwide in the last decade. Exhibitions like “Inverted Utopias,” curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez and Héctor Olea in 2004 and “The Geometry of Hope,” curated by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro in 2007, presented the diverse abstract movements that developed in the Post War Latin American metropolis, from Joaquín Torres García and Escuela del Sur in Montevideo, to Arte Concreto Invención and Madí in Buenos Aires, the Ruptura group in São Paulo and the work of Alejandro Otero and Jesús Rafael Soto in Caracas.

In all of these avant-garde scenes, women artists gained—not without struggle—a place of recognition and a social circle in which they could develop their profession with relative tolerance. Still, except a few exceptions like Gego, Lygia Clark and Lygia Pape, it is mostly male artists we see represented in museums and art history books. This exhibition does not intend to resolve that problem, which is of a much larger scale, but aims to present some of their production and to explore the formal and creative connections among this diverse group of artists from the continent. This show also chooses to escape the historical understanding of abstraction, which is referred to here not as the Post-war movement but more broadly as a creative strategy that has continued through the decades. In this way, Judith Lauand’s planimetric work of 1960 can be seen alongside the contemporary pyramidal sculptures of Marta Chilindrón, and the use of the grid in 1950s and 1960s abstraction can be observed in Anna Bella Geiger’s video Passagens II from 1974 or in Emilia Azcarate’s Sudoku series from 2009.

The earliest-made piece in the show is that of Uruguayan artist María Freire, who co-founded in 1952 the group Arte No-Figurativo along with her husband José Pedro Costigliolo, Antonio Llorens and other artists. Works like Composición vertical (1956), show her interest in orthogonal compositions and planar superimpositions, which along with her use of line demonstrate her interest not simply in abstraction and space but more specifically in dynamism. In a similar spirit, but resulting in a very different work, Judith Lauand’s Concrete 178 (1960) presents a flat geometric composition, in monochrome grays, that through a careful use of lines and planes suggests a volumetric and angular surface. Known as the “Dama do concretismo,” Lauand was the only female member of Brazil’s Grupo Ruptura, and created unique works through a very personal use of geometry, mathematics and space.

In contrast, Mercedes Pardo’s acrylic painting Untitled (c. 1975) explores space recession not through line but using color fields. The Venezuelan artist, who was a pioneer of abstract art in Venezuela along with her husband Alejandro Otero, focused on a sensorial use of color in abstract compositions to achieve the autonomy of painting. Along with Pardo, the other representative of geometric abstraction from Venezuela in this exhibition is Margot Römer, whose triptych from the series Plomos Despojados (1995) uses the panel subdivisions to present three variations of a rectangular structure by alternating the color distribution. A similar emphasis in color is seen in Acrylic No. 7, painted in 1978 by Colombian artist Fanny Sanín, who creates a complex arrangement of intersecting rectangles of different purple hues. This simple alteration of tone in one color still allows Sanín to create a rich composition of receding planes that suggests rhythmic movement and dynamism. Indeed, movement is directly incorporated in Essai de Couleur Animée, a film made by Ana Sacerdote in between 1959 and 1965 in which she interposes geometric chromatic compositions, animating their shapes.

The case of Regina Aprijaskis exemplifies the difficulties of being a woman artist and of combining work and personal life. The Peruvian artist was developing a fruitful career and became interested in abstraction in the 1950s and 1960s after two trips to New York, but abandoned painting in 1970 following the coup d’état in Peru two years earlier, to work alongside her husband in his factory. Her 1996 acrylic painting Negro, rojo y blanco demonstrates how her interest in geometric abstraction stayed intact after a 26-year hiatus, at the same time the choice of the Peruvian flag’s colors seems to speak directly about her country’s political and social struggles.

Other works in the show leave color aside and refer to the white monochrome also with the means of exploring geometry and space.  That is the case of Ana Mercedes Hoyos’ 1970s series Atmósferas, where subtle variations of white hues suggest surfaces on the canvas. Similarly, Anna Maria Maiolino’s Light Image (1971) depends on a simple square embossing on paper to invoke the tradition of the monochrome. The square is also the theme of Gego’s Dibujo sin papel 79/14, made in 1979. Famous for her Reticuláreas, or net sculptures, in this work the Venezuelan artist uses wire and metal to frame a piece of the wall, allowing the shadow to become part of the work, continuing the integration of work and exhibition space that allowed her work to spatially affect the spectator.

The relationship between the gallery space and the visitor’s body became a main topic of interest for artists in the late 1960s, notably within Minimalism and among Western artists, but similar creative inquiries were being made in Latin America. Argentinean artist Noemí Escandell created sculptural projects such as Rectangles and Squares and Volumes, Bodies and Displacements, both from 1966, in which basic geometric shapes are combined in odd dispositions to affect the tridimensional perception of the object. In Venezuela, Antonieta Sosa was doing similar work with pieces like Stable-Unstable (1967/2014), which put into question geometry and the laws of gravity while simultaneously presenting organically aesthetic objects.

The body would later be presented directly, rather than invoked, in the work of artists such as Liliana Porter and Yeni & Nan. The Argentine is represented with her 1973 work Untitled (Line), in which her finger is photographed as interrupting a line, one that transcends the frame of the work onto the real space of the wall. In the Polaroid series Cuerpo y línea (1977), the Venezuelan duo Yeni & Nan position their bodies along the geometric designs of a tennis court, evolving the linear and geometric tradition of their home country to include performance and body art.

The urban space is also the canvas chosen by Brazilian conceptual artist Anna Bella Geiger, whose video Passagens II (1974) shows her body creating diagonal trajectories in the grid-like formation of the steps of a stairway. In a similar approach, Lotty Rosenfeld’s ongoing series Geometría de la línea, begun in 1979, intervenes the infinite number of broken white lines that divide a road with intersecting, transversal lines, in a formal but also powerfully political performance associated to her participation in the CADA group protesting the dictatorship in Chile. The relationship between geometry and power is explicit in Marta Minujín’s The Obelisk Lying Down (1978). The work, created for the first Latin American Biennial in São Pablo, presents the geometrical structure of the famous monumental form lying down, allowing spectators to walk through it in a democratizing and desacralizing gesture.

In the exhibition we also encounter more expressive uses of abstraction, where experimentation with materials led to more free-flowing forms. This is the case of Mirtha Dermisache’s graphisms from the 1970s, where the lines drawn by the Argentine artist sinuously move to create abstract texts. The abstract sculpture Untitled (1981) by Colombian artist Feliza Brusztyn, who in 1967 created the famous series of motorized sculptures Las histéricas, also combines dissonant materials into visually striking, amorphous objects. Trinidanian artist Valerie Brathwaite opts for anti-geometric shapes in her Soft Bodies, a series initiated in 2011, where the hanging and floor fabric sculptures play fluidly between the borders of figuration and abstraction.

After all these decades, geometry is still very much present in the work of younger artists. Sometimes the continuity takes place by claiming geometric abstraction directly, like Mercedes Elena González’s series September 1955 (2014), which re-conceptualizes the cover of the inaugural issue of the art and architecture magazine Integral to reevaluate the legacy of modernism in Venezuela. Others adapt geometric abstraction into new formats, like the wood piece Untitled (Free Construction No. 1) (2005) by Diana de Solares. In the case of Elizabeth Jobim’s Wall (2015), geometric shapes invade the wall and floor, overlapping each other and creating optical layers. Emilia Azcárate’s Untitled (Sudoku), from 2009 takes the grid of that game as influence and codifies numbers into colors, allowing her to create a meditative abstraction that juxtaposes the game’s problem with its solution. Formally opposite to this grid but equally colorful is Adriana Santiago’s Untitled from the series Maracaibo (2015), which combines pompoms into a frame in a playful and appealing tactile composition. The work of Marta Chilindrón retakes the tradition of dynamic planes and shapes of Gego and Lygia Clark but includes color as a key part of her manipulable works such as 27 Triangles (2011). Finally, Mariela Scafati goes back to the original questions of abstract painting in her works Tu nombre completo and Nueve minutos exactos, both from 2015, which literally –through bondage ropes— and conceptually –by transforming them into objects— tense the possibilities of what a painting can be: not a representation but an object, a body itself.

These interactions between the artwork, its surrounding spaces and the bodies that interact with it are present through the sixty years in which these artworks were created. The formal explorations initiated by the historical avant-gardes have not, as proven by the younger generation, exhausted themselves. This group of women artists from Latin America offer a wide range of answers to these questions, all personal but also collective. The line and the plane not only folded but became the body, expanding the shape of art above and beyond.

Aimé Iglesias Lukin

August 18, 2015 Mario Navarro https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/mario-navarro/

The formal aesthetics and syntax of my work stand as an alternative reference to certain classes of objects, just as words do not « refer » to things themselves in Saussure’s theory of linguistics. Objects and architectures have meanings as points and conceptual significations within an entire system of relations as each and every element evokes an idea different, let’s say, than that of another class of objects in virtue of their literal properties. I believe in creating a meta-class of language that questions both architecture and the way we look at it but in different terms. Architecture is re-contextualized.

Issues of perception, the combination of language and spatial elements, the sculptural properties of language, matter/materials and their representations are lines of research that I have been investigating lately. The relations between architectures and forms, and more specifically, the decomposition of architectural paradigms (balance, symmetry, organization of units and the figure of the architect) are some of the constant interests and explorations in the ongoing and never finalized propositions that I create.

Traducido del inglés

La estética formal y sintaxis de mi trabajo se destacan como una referencia alternativa a ciertas clases de objetos, de la misma forma que las palabras no se « refieren » a las cosas mismas, como en la teoría lingüística de Saussure. Los objetos y las arquitecturas tienen significados como puntos, y significaciones conceptuales dentro de todo un sistema de relaciones, así como cada elemento evoca una idea diferente, digamos, que la de otra clase de objetos en virtud de sus propiedades literales. Creo en la creación de un meta-lenguaje que cuestione tanto la arquitectura como el modo en que lo observamos, pero en diferentes términos. La arquitectura es re-contextualizada.

Las cuestiones de la percepción, la combinación del lenguaje y elementos espaciales, las propiedades escultóricas del lenguaje, materia / materiales y sus representaciones, son las líneas de investigación que he estado realizando últimamente. Las relaciones entre las arquitecturas y las formas, y más específicamente, la descomposición de los paradigmas arquitectónicos (el equilibrio, la simetría, la organización de unidades y la figura del arquitecto) son algunos de los intereses constantes y de las exploraciones de las proposiciones siempre inconclusas y en desarrollo.

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August 18, 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 Raquel Rabinovich https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/raquel-rabinovich/

For many years I have been investigating the ineffable nature of things, objects, words, thoughts. My art has always been informed by an underlying awareness of the concealed and ephemeral aspects of existence that we don’t see or that appear to be invisible. Through the processes I have explored, I try to reveal how that which has been concealed emerges into view. Art is for me making visible the invisible. In working across mediums for the last fifty years, I go to the unknown in order to know. I go to the dark to see the light.

Traducido del inglés

Durante muchos años, he estado investigando la naturaleza inefable de las cosas, los objetos, las palabras, los pensamientos. Mi arte siempre ha sido informado por una conciencia subyacente de los aspectos ocultos y efímeros de la existencia que no vemos o que parece ser invisible. A través de los procesos que he explorado, trato de mostrar cómo lo que se ha ocultado surge a la vista. El arte es para mí hacer visible lo invisible. Al trabajar en distintos medios durante los últimos cincuenta años, me voy hacia lo desconocido con la finalidad de conocer. Voy a la oscuridad para ver la luz.

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August 11, 2015 Ivan Navarro: Storylines https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/ivan-navarro-storylines/


Artists: Paweł Althamer, Julieta Aranda, Matthew Barney, Kevin Beasley, John Bock, Carol Bove, Ernesto Caivano, Mariana Castillo Deball, Maurizio Cattelan, Trisha Donnelly, Shannon Ebner, Simon Fujiwara, Ellie Ga, Gerard & Kelly, Simryn Gill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rachel Harrison, Camille Henrot, Juliana Huxtable, Rashid Johnson, Matt Keegan, Agnieszka Kurant, Mark Leckey, Lee Bul, Zoe Leonard, Glenn Ligon, Sharon Lockhart, Nate Lowman, Mark Manders, Ryan McGinley, Josephine Meckseper, Zanele Muholi, Iván Navarro, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Laura Owens, Katie Paterson, R. H. Quaytman, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Xaviera Simmons, Taryn Simon, Alexandre Singh, Agathe Snow, Ryan Trecartin, Danh Vo, Sharif Waked, Jonas Wood, and Haegue Yang.

Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim
June 5 – September 9, 2015
Guggenheim Museum

Visual art has always been closely associated with storytelling. In Western culture, painting and sculpture initially evolved to illuminate narratives of religion, patronage, and power. Over the centuries, genre scenes, still lifes, and portraits—often created as intricate allegories for religious or historical subject matter—became popular as the narrative role of art expanded. In the twentieth century, with the advent of abstraction as a radical break with the past, many artists associated with the avant-garde rejected the figurative and, hence, eliminated explicit narrative content. In the United States and Europe, this tendency culminated during the 1960s and 1970s in Minimal painting and sculpture that foregrounded geometric abstraction and in Post-Minimalism’s examination of process and materiality. The 1980s witnessed a resurgence of figurative art, much of which harked back to expressionistic styles of the 1920s and 1930s.

During the 1990s, a generation of younger artists embraced the concept of storytelling to articulate the politics of identity and difference, investing both abstract and representational forms with narrative content. Storylines opens with key examples from that decade, which serve as thematic anchors and highlight the museum’s own exhibition history. Most of the works on view, however, were created after 2005 and offer an expansive view of the new paradigms for storytelling forged during the past ten years to communicate ideas about race, gender, sexuality, history, and politics, among other trenchant themes.

Bringing together over one hundred works from the Guggenheim’s contemporary collection, Storylines examines the diverse ways in which artists today engage narrative through installation, painting, photography, sculpture, video, and performance. For these artists, storytelling does not necessarily require plots, characters, or settings. Rather, narrative potential lies in everyday objects and materials, and their embedded cultural associations. In projects created through extensive research, acts of appropriation, or performance, the artists in Storylines uncover layers of meaning, turning to individual experience as a means of conveying shared stories, whether real or fictional.

The recent narrative turn in contemporary art cannot be separated from the current age of social media with its reverberating cycles of communication, dissemination, and interpretation. Seemingly every aspect of life is now subject to commentary and circulation via digital text and images. These new narrative frames highlight the roles that each of us can play as both author and reader, foregrounding the fact that meaning is contingent in today’s interconnected and multivalent world. As a means of celebrating this dynamic, the museum has invited writers to contribute reflections—in prose or poetry—on selected works in Storylines. Engaging the rich historical relationship between literature and art, the resulting polyphony signals the diverse interpretive potential that lies within each object on display. Visitors may access these texts using the Guggenheim app or in booklets located throughout the museum.

July 21, 2015 Marcius Galan: Empty House Casa Vazia https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/marcius-galan-empty-house-casa-vazia/


Artists: Waltercio Caldas, Lygia Clark, Raymundo Colares, Adriano Costa, Alexandre da Cunha, Amílcar de Castro, Willys de Castro, Antonio Dias, Marcius Galan, Fernanda Gomes, Jac Leirner, Rodrigo Matheus, Paulo Monteiro, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Mira Schendel, Tunga, and Erika Verzutti.

Empty House Casa Vazia
Jun 27 – August 28, 2014
Luhring Augustine

Empty House Casa Vazia is a sculpture exhibition featuring a cross-generational group of Brazilian artists whose works engage the legacy of 1950s Neoconcretism. Challenging the rationalism and universal objectivity of early abstraction, the artists associated with this movement sought a means of expression beyond an object’s immutable formal properties, and embraced a phenomenological, at times participatory, approach in their efforts to expand the vocabulary of sculpture.Empty House Casa Vazia does not aim to tell a genealogical story. Rather, the exhibition forefronts the experiential here-and-now of the works presented, as well as sets the stage for diverse dialogues between iconic historical works and recent statements in contemporary sculpture. These conceptually rigorous and sometimes unassuming works offer critical insight into questions of materiality, tactility, and space. They are drawn together by a shared artistic language that emphasizes an economy of means and, most importantly, by a poetic, often playful sensibility.
July 9, 2015 Iván Navarro & Ishmael Randall Weeks: New Ways of Seeing https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/ivan-navarro-ishmael-randall-weeks-new-ways-seeing/

Screenshot 2015-07-01 12.33.02

Artists: Claudia Alvarez, Afruz Amighi, Rina Banerjee, Christian Ruiz Berman, Sanford Biggers, Cui Fei, Leonardo Drew, Rashawn Griffin, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Wenda Gu, Ginny Huo, Tamiko Kawata, Iván Navarro & Courtney Smith, Kambui Olujimi, Cecilia Paredes, Soo Sunny Park, Yinka Shonibare, Nari Ward, and Ishmael Randall Weeks.

New Ways of Seeing: Beyond Culture
May 10 – July 12, 2015
Dorsky Gallery – Curatorial Programs
Long Island City, NY, USA

New Ways of Seeing: Beyond Culture features works by emerging and seasoned artists of African/ African American, Asian/Asian American, Latino/ Hispanic, and Middle Eastern heritages who are changing and expanding the vocabulary and agendas of the art world by injecting ideas from their world cultures and experiences. These proactive artists utilize materials and imagery in innovative ways that address themes including race, gender, ritual, craft, and language. Their materials often challenge existing associations and subvert expectations. They break down barriers to create new mythologies. Their works conflate the local and global, past and present, fact and fiction. These artists are “transcending the limits of individual cultures.”1

The phrase “New Ways of Seeing” acknowledges that many past and present interpretations of culture are flawed, incomplete, or even false. As we know, scholars from ancient to Post-Colonial and Postmodern times had different views and agendas, often excluding women. In another direction, cultures borrow from, adapt, and change each other in myriad ways.

July 8, 2015 Felipe Mujica: A reherasal by Felipe Mujica and Johanna Unzueta https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/felipe-mujica-reherasal-felipe-mujica-johanna-unzueta/


Artists: Felipe Mujica, Margarita Azurdia, Jorge González, Ana Maria Millan, Javier Tellez and Johanna Unzueta.

A reherasal by Felipe Mujica and Johanna Unzueta
June 10, 2015
ISCP -International Studio & Curatorial Program
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Artists and Beta-Local collaborators Felipe Mujica and Johanna Unzueta will present original artworks and documentation of work by Margarita Azurdia, Felipe Mujica, Jorge González, Ana Maria Millan, Javier Tellez and Johanna Unzueta in ISCP’s exhibition galleries. The exhibition will reveal contrasts between Geometric Abstraction, with its idealistic and formalist characteristics, and more personal, exotic and political forms of expression. Works include a video of a flying body crossing the US-Mexico border in a semi-circle trajectory, a ceramic turtle resting over a neo-geo-style cube, and a group of photographs of Minimal-like sculptures and paintings with the artist fashionably posing next to them, among others. This presentation is a prelude “test-drive” or “rehearsal” for an exhibition scheduled for later this year in Santiago, Chile at Die Ecke Arte Contemporáneo.

June 10, 2015 Richard Garet: Sounds of Times Square https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/richard-garet-sounds-times-square/


Artist: Richard Garet

Sounds of Times Square
June 1 – 30, 2015
Times Square Arts

For this “Midnight Moment” project Richard Garet proposes to use sounds captured from the area of Times Square as a tool to generate a visualization of the sonic environment. Then the artist will remove the audio leaving just the moving image signal creating an experience of sound through vision that would change and pulsate according to the properties of the sonic composite. The viewer then is pulled into lavish landscapes of continually reconfigured color and mood.

“In my processes establishing the material is key, and from there it becomes a reductive process where a vast number of possibilities and outcomes are explored until the work reaches proper momentum, purpose, and significance. Moreover, objectifying the ordinary and reinventing the character of found mundane things in life is very interesting to me.” -Richard Garet

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Screenshot 2015-05-26 16.16.04

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May 29, 2015 Silvina Arismendi https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/silvina-arismendi/

My latest body of work is the result of an unrelenting research of materials and supplies. In an almost casual and brief gesture, I transform myriad of objects, gathered from everyday life, and compile them into different arrangements and situations. I attempt to give order by measuring my time, my work and my possibilities with certain materials and objects – obsessive repetition allows me to develop unique and personal systems. The work reveals in itself the process of its making, its failure or triumph.

I face every work with curiosity and try to understand how I can intervene the least to achieve the most. I look for an inner logic to my process that might lead the viewer to apparent conclusions.

I like to think of my work as an organized world that welcomes chaos and embraces the power of simplicity.


En los últimos ańos mi trabajo se enfoca en una continua investigación de materiales. En un gesto casi casual, transformo una infinidad de objetos, recolectados de la vida cotidiana y los compilo en diferentes arreglos y situaciones. Intento crear orden por medio de sistemas que me permiten medir mi tiempo, mi trabajo y mis posibilidades con ciertos materiales y objetos. La repetición obsesiva me permite crear sistemas únicos y personales. El trabajo revela en sí mismo el proceso de su elaboración , su fracaso o triunfo.

Me enfrento a cada trabajo con curiosidad y trato de entender cómo puedo hacer mínimas alteraciones para obtener máximos resultados, como puedo crear una lógica interna que pueda conducir al espectador a aparentes conclusiones.

Me gusta pensar en mi trabajo como un mundo organizado que acoge el caos y celebra el poder de la simplicidad.

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May 18, 2015 Alice Quaresma https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/alice-quaresma/

My work elaborates on life “displacements” that take you to an uncomfortable place and push you to your limits. The cultural remnants that I encounter living overseas as a foreigner have always inspired me to create work that deals with memory, identity and melancholy. I am fascinated by the unique moments I experience when I live away from my culture. Despite the visual clarity of my artwork, the pieces convey a sense of oddness and casual dysfunction. I am interested in materials within my art practice that do not blend, but overlap to hide sections of the composition and reveal others. The revelations in the work come through a sense of surprise. My current work draws great influence from painting and photography. My fascination with painting started as a kid and it is my biggest challenge. Every time I paint I grow restless and find it difficult to resolve an artwork. However, this challenge teaches me to appreciate the qualities of painting as a process in my work.

My work has an almost abstract quality. The precise marks and interventions (with paper, tape, wood, paint and oil pastel) directly on photographic prints – produce an authentic quality to the work. As a result, my artistic investigation transcends the language of photography and acquires qualities of painting. I have been intrigued by ways to break the qualities of the photographic medium in my art practice. One of the art movements that has been especially inspiring to me is the Neo-Concrete art movement from the 1960’s (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) where artists were using geometry as a way to expand the possibilities of texture and sensorial qualities in art. The work’s often experimental qualities allowed it to undergo a process of self-transformation.

Traducido del inglés

Mi trabajo profundiza en los “desplazamientos” de la vida que te llevan a un lugar incómodo y que te empujan hasta sus límites. Los restos culturales con los que me encuentro al estar viviendo en el extranjero siempre me han inspirado a crear obra que tenga que ver con la memoria, la identidad y la melancolía. Tengo una fascinación por los momentos únicos que experimento cuando vivo lejos de mi cultura natal. A pesar de la claridad visual de mi obra, las piezas transmiten una sensación de extrañeza y disfunción casual. Como parte de mi práctica artística, me interesan los materiales que no se mezclan, pero que se superponen para ocultar secciones de la composición y revelar otras. Las revelaciones en mi trabajo vienen a través de un sentido de sorpresa. Mi trabajo actual tiene una gran influencia de la pintura y la fotografía. Mi fascinación por la pintura comenzó desde que era una niña y se ha convertido en mi mayor reto. Cada vez que pinto, crezco de manera inquieta, y me resulta difícil resolver de esta manera la obra de arte. Sin embargo, este reto me enseña a apreciar las cualidades de la pintura como un proceso en mi trabajo.

Mi obra tiene una cualidad casi abstracta. Las marcas e intervenciones (con papel, cinta, madera, pintura y pastel al óleo) hechas sobre impresiones fotográficas, producen una auténtica calidad de la obra. Como resultado, mi investigación artística trasciende el lenguaje de la fotografía y adquiere cualidades de la pintura. Me ha intrigado la manera de romper las cualidades del medio fotográfico como parte de mi práctica artística. Uno de los movimientos artísticos que ha sido especialmente inspirados para mí es el movimiento de arte Neo-concreto de la década de 1960 (Río de Janeiro, Brasil) en donde los artistas utilizaron la geometría como una forma de ampliar las posibilidades de la textura y las cualidades sensoriales en el arte. Las cualidades a menudo experimentales del trabajo, permiten que éste se someta a un proceso de auto-transformación.

Selected Biographical Information

Education / Training

Prizes / Fellowships

Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions




May 15, 2015 Richard Garet: META-residue: input, material, space https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/richard-garet-meta-residue-input-material-space/


Artist: Richard Garet

META-residue: input, material, space
May 8-31, 2015
Studio 10
Brooklyn NY, USA

The exhibition includes sound art, multimedia installation, moving image, painting and collage. These works convey a distilled presentation of Garet’s practice, ideas, and interests articulated through his investigation of time, media, material and space. Garet’s immersive approach activates sensorial results in the viewer. His hybrid constructions draw attention to the normative function of noise as a consequence of daily life. Further inspiration and intent in Garet’s work are the objectification of the ordinary and his interest in the multilayered complexities of the mundane.

The title of the exhibition “Meta-residue: input, material, space” deals with the perception of time, its affects and reception of materiality and space, mediated through the idea of meta-residue identifying the essence of what once was but is no longer tangible. This phenomenon is all around us. Not only as content and evidence of life but also as the mechanics that filter into aesthetics through constructs that are created in response to the felt world.

Image: treating pictures like wire 2, 2015, mixed media, 12″ X 18″.
May 7, 2015 Alberto Borea: Mobility and Its Discontents https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/alberto-borea-mobility-discontents/


Artists: Jane Benson, Alberto Borea, Ángel Delgado, Javier Téllez, Lan Tuazon, Jorge Wellesley.

Mobility and Its Discontents
March 6 – May 30, 2015
The 8th Floor

The exhibition examines the dynamics of mobility and its physical, psychological, socio-economic, geographic, and political boundaries. Mobility and Its Discontents signals a shift in the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation’s mission, now focused on broadening public access to artistic and cultural activities in New York City. Featuring artists from Venezuela, Peru, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines, alongside two Cuban artists from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection, the show brings the Rubins’ dedication to contemporary Cuban art into conversation with a wider artistic community, reflecting the diversity of New York’s cultural life. The works in the exhibition convey experiences of separation, isolation, and distance, experienced on both a local and global scale, in sites such as the United States-Mexico border, New York City’s financial district, and Havana, Cuba. Collectively, they contribute to a dialogue about the barriers encountered in contemporary life, suggesting possibilities for transformation enabled by connectivity and increased access.

Image: Alberto Borea, “Wall Street”, 2013
April 4, 2015 Luis Roldán: Eidola https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/luis-roldan-eidola/


Artist: Luis Roldán

April 2 – May 16, 2015
Henrique Faria Fine Arts

A skull can be read as a ruin signifying the vanity of human existence, the inevitable transitory splendor of human life. Ruins are crumbles of our material world, abandoned fragments, hollowed out of the divine spirit that once animated them.

Images give us hope, that particular hope of accessing the world without limits. Images create a special bond with death, as if the birth of the image could both suppress and sustain life. Or even be exchanged for a life. The human skull, this faceless death mask, this skeletal residue with its empty stare that once animated a human face, is an image, an emblem, an allegorical representation of a history, a montage out of which is read, like a picture puzzle, the nature of human existence, its spirit. Yet it is also the figure of its greatest natural decay, the transformation of the body into corpse, and then, into dust.

But what is really remarkable of the skull as image is the effect it has on recognition. It looks like a figure with something missing; it is at once a body and its ghostly double. It is a cadaver, just as the French theorist Maurice Blanchot notes: “He is, I see this, perfectly like himself: he resembles himself. The cadaver is its own image”.

But all that isn’t so odd after all. Body and image are to resemble each other the same way a shape resembles its mold, emptiness resembles what surrounds it, or an observation or a thought translates into a painting or a sculpture.

Luis Roldán’s ever mutable urge to rescue ruinous objects from their fate by imposing upon them new destinies is, in truth, the task of all artists: that of embodying one’s observations. In the poem “Eidolon”, Walt Whitman suggests that the drive of human creativity is that of issuing eidola. In ancient Greek literature, an eidolon (plural: eidola) was an image, a double, a phantom, a ghostly apparition, a spirit-image of a living or dead person. For the Romans, the same type of spectrum was known as simulacra.

The gathered objects in Roldán’s new piece, Eidola, used to be hat molds. They were the volumes that shaped hollow felts into hats. They stood in the place of the head, like soulless wood brains —as the one Pinocchio must have had— constantly searching for another fragment to attach itself to, in pursuit of completeness.

Eidola is a legion of sculptures searching for idols and a band of paintings searching for corporeality. In other words, it’s an arrangement of elements that emphasize what is left of them, or, rather, what is missing. The sculptures and paintings organized in the exhibition space are fragments that invite us to continue completing, enlarging, augmenting, researching the myriad hypotheses that might justify their existence. But mostly, their purpose is to provoke our imagination, to make us creators of stories and narratives by suggesting an interplay between observation and materialization, surface and volume, void and being, possessions and desires.

Split surfaces, pieces in halves and fragments, invoke a certain fear that appears when we stand in front of an open body. It might be the fear not only of having to acknowledge the fragility of life, its brevity, but also the fear of probing and questioning the indivisibility of the human body. In Eidola, surfaces stop being the intangible frontier between interior and exterior. Roldán exposes the colorful fleshiness of the parts, and renders, as a visible residue, the delimitation among individuals.  These objects are fragments, as we are also fragments, constantly searching for an other who, even if not exact, will complement us, shape us, and make us whole.

Again, it is not about the independence of parts, but how they come together. Striping down the surfaces, opening a gap, creating a tension between paintings and sculptures, doesn’t come from a preoccupation with dissection that seeks to rescue some essence. On the contrary—and this is just an intuition—Roldán grants some sheen to these objects, covering their surfaces with brightness and color, creating new bonds and points of contact that will, in return, renew our gaze over mundane things.

Eidola is a response to constraints and a seizing of opportunities. Despite the use of found objects, Roldán’s representation of the external world becomes a much more complex thing. He shakes objects loose from their attachments and bestows new meanings upon them. Meanings that point toward absolute acts of poetic intuition, producing a text written with our own words, yet one which appears suddenly from a place beyond language.

For despite these attempts of interpretation, Eidola will remain a mystery, a resilient friction. These artworks will resist analysis and interpretation; they will not offer relief or closure. We will not be able to dismantle the mystery, at least not until we cash-in on their stubborn materiality. We cannot tear the mystery into pieces. Art invites and resists interpretation. This is what constitutes art and this is how it reveals the extent of our world yet to be encountered.

In fact, there is nothing to comprehend. The pleasure that derives from these objects comes not only from the beauty with which they have been invested, but also from their essential quality of being present, surrounding us, staying with us, completing us. Here is a traffic and an economy of properties: the object hides its essence, the essence hides in the attributes, but the attributes render visible the object in a grammar of intuition and anticipation, and above all, in a grammar of the encounter.

Perhaps, in a broader sense, we all depend on the images and thoughts that others have produced, what others have encountered for us. We have no easy way of distinguishing a genuine thought from those that have been borrowed or suggested by others. However, it is our good fortune to be able to enjoy them once we encounter them. As it is our fortune to continue imagining alternative realities, meanings.  Indeed, this is what a fragment calls for: to continue its creation, to invent its match, its double, to complete it.

Democritus did say that our attitudes and emotions give off eidola, but that they are too thin for us to detect them, except when we are asleep, as they enter our dreams.

Mariangela Méndez

Luis Roldán (Cali, Colombia, 1955) studied Art History at the École du Louvre (Paris), engraving at S.W. Hayter (Paris) and Architecture at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá, Colombia). He has exhibited extensively at institutions internationally. A selection of solo shows include: Expiación, Fundación Gilberto Alzate Avendaño, Bogotá (2014); Presión y flujo, Galería Casas Reigner, Bogotá (2014); Mechanical Ventilation. Interactions with Willys de Castro and Other Voices, Henrique Faria, New York (2013 and 2011); Transparencias, Museum of Modern Art, Medellín (2011); Continua, Sicardi Gallery, Houston (2007); Acerca de las estructuras, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, San José, Costa Rica (2006) and Permutantes, Sala Mendoza, Caracas (2005). Selected group shows include: the First Biennial of Cartagena, 2014; the Tenth Monterrey Biennial, 2012; the 53rd Venice Biennale, Latin America Pavilion, 2009; and Dibujos, Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires (2004). He has won numerous awards such as the Luis Caballero Award (Bogotá, 2001) and the National Award in Visual Arts (Colombia, 1996). His work is included in important collections such as Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Museo del Barrio and Deutsche Bank Collection, New York; FEMSA Collection, Monterrey; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami and the Museums of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, Bogotá and Medellín. He lives and works both in New York City and Bogotá.

Image: Eidola (detail), 2015, Oil on wood, Dimensions variable.
April 1, 2015 Pia Camil: Frieze Projects 2015 https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/pia-camil-frieze-projects-2015/


Artist: Pia Camil

Frieze Projects 2015
New York, USA

Pia Camil has conceived a project that will function as a portable environment. Inspired by Hélio Oiticica’s Parangolé – a series of capes, flags and banners made to be worn as ‘habitable paintings’ – Camil’s project will consist of a series of wearable fabrics distributed freely to the fair’s visitors.

Camil’s pieces of fabric are designed to allow for various versatile uses including clothing – such as robes or ponchos – and more utilitarian functions – such as picnic blankets, table cloths and sheets. Disseminated within the context of the fair, Camil’s fabric pieces will require the direct participation of the viewers, quietly emphasizing one of the main characteristics of the experience of art fairs, where the act of looking at art is often as important as the act of looking at others and distinguishing oneself from them.

April 1, 2015 Amadeo Azar: Open Sessions: Drawings in Context/Field https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/amadeo-azar-open-sessions-drawings-contextfield/

Queens Museum

Artists: Amadeo Azar, Daniel Barroca, Lea Cetera, Youmna Chlala, Onyedika Chuke, Alexandra Lerman, Harold Mendez, Marcelo Moscheta, and Ronny Quevedo.

Open Sessions: Drawings in Context/Field
March 7, 2015
Queens Museum

Encompassing practices in video, photography, drawing and sculpture, this exhibition is focused on the notion of ‘field/context’ as a political, historical, spatial, and technological construct.

In order to analyze contexts and fields artists utilize various modes of making. The artists presented do not attempt to resolve or locate their practices within any given mode of representation. Encompassing practices in video, sound, photography, drawing, performance and sculpture the works herein negotiate with spaces both ambiguous and direct.

The participating artists in Open Sessions: Drawings in Context/Field are members of the Open Sessions program at The Drawing Center, which fosters a dynamic, ever-evolving conversation with new drawing practices and practitioners, viewing drawing as an activity rather than a product. The exhibition is organized by Onyedika Chuke, a participant in Queens Museum’s Artist Studio Program and The Drawing Center’s Open Sessions participant.

Schedule of Events:

1-4pm: Video Screenings, in the Theater on 2nd Floor

4-7pm: Opening Reception, Community Partnership Gallery

Note: There will be a free shuttlebus making loops from under the Mets/Willets Point 7 Train Stop and the Museum from 4:30-7:40pm.

March 11, 2015 Richard Garet: Systematic Sampling https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/richard-garet-systematic-sampling/


Artists: Audra Wolowiec, Brenna Murphy, Chris Woebken & Sascha Pohflepp, Ellie Irons, Erin Sexton, Genevieve Hoffman, Jess Rowland & Margaret Schedel & Kevin Yager, Melissa F. Clarke & Sue Ngo, Nanu Al-Hamad & Miriam Simun, Natalie Jeremijenko & xDesign Team, Phillip Stearns, Richard Garet and Trish Mackenzie.

Systematic Sampling
January 8 – 22, 2015
Stream Gallery
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Systematic Sampling examines how artists contend with emerging ecologies in a series of art works and performances situated on the continuum between “technology” and “nature,” often exploring this inextricable link. The diverse group of artists all share a proclivity for using research methods and information-parsing in their process towards meaning-making.

Some artists make use of existing scientific and technological systems in their processes, some question these systems, while others work in parallel, devising entirely new forms of ‘sampling’ to produce knowledge. What are the systems that artists are putting in place as they explore emerging ecologies? And what is the “data” that comes forth?

Systematic Sampling explores these questions with a collection of inventive art works that uncover hidden systems and emerging signs of life. A wide range of mediums are represented including sound, light, painting, video, installation and sculpture. Curated by Melissa F. Clarke and Miriam Simun.

Live performances will take place at both the opening and closing events.

Image: Brenna Murphy, “Embodied Entitiy”, 2013.
February 18, 2015 Marco Maggi: Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/marco-maggi-embracing-modernism-ten-years-drawings-acquisitions/

unnamed copy 2

Artists: Matisse, Mondrian, Schiele, Pollock, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Twombly, Kippenberger, Dumas, Maggi, and many more.

Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions
Curated by Isabelle Dervaux
ebruary 13 – May 24, 2015
Morgan Library & Museum 
New York, USA

In 2005, the Morgan Library & Museum embarked on a new program of drawings acquisitions with the goal of bringing to the present a collection that was known for its Old Master and nineteenth-century holdings. During the ensuing decade the institution put together a formidable collection of modern and contemporary drawings, representing a wide range of artists and movements. Embracing Modernism: Ten Years of Drawings Acquisitions, opening February 13, features more than eighty works from the collection and explores the dynamic creativity that revolutionized the medium in our time. The exhibition runs through May 24.

Embracing Modernism includes work by artists from Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and Egon Schiele, to Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Susan Rothenberg, Martin Kippenberger, and Marlene Dumas. The exhibition is divided into five sections. Each focuses on a particular departure or shift in emphasis in modern drawing—such as the approach to the use of the line—that sets it apart from its antecedents. The exhibition is organized by Isabelle Dervaux, Acquavella Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings at the Morgan, who has led the museum in this area since 2005.

“The Morgan’s decision to collect modern and contemporary drawings underscores its belief that artists of our day are part of a long continuum that celebrates the primacy of the medium,” said Peggy Fogelman, Acting Director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Embracing Modernism presents an extraordinary collection of works by some of our greatest artists. The Morgan is deeply grateful to the collectors and donors who helped build our collection over the last decade and make possible an exhibition such as this.”

Exhibition Sections

The Autonomy of the Line

An essential component of drawing from its origins, line took on a new role in the twentieth century as artists eschewed naturalistic representation. Liberated from its descriptive function— as the outline of an object or a figure—line achieved greater autonomy. Drawing became, in Paul Klee’s words, “an active line which moves freely; a walk for a walk’s sake, without aim.” The sheets by Matisse, Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Saul Steinberg in this section show them investigating the expressivity of the line, whether continuous or broken. During the 1960s and 1970s, artists such as Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin eliminated any remaining illusionistic function of a line on a ground with the adoption of the grid format, in which the line is a basic modular unit.

More recently, contemporary artists have used the line to visualize aspects of man’s relationship to the world in dense, labor-intensive drawings. Examples include Giuseppe Penone’s extension of a fingerprint into growth rings of an ancient tree, or Marco Maggi’s nod to the electronic age with an intricate network of nearly invisible incisions.

Gesture and Trace

Drawing as a gesture—the record of physical engagement—is central to twentieth-century expressionist tendencies. It reflects a conception of art as a direct, spontaneous experience as seen in the work of Cy Twombly, Michael Goldberg, and Joan Mitchell. But the gesture can also be more automatic, calling into question the traditional notion of the hand of the artist. The Surrealist Max Ernst was the first to explore the technique of frottage (rubbing) to create unexpected patterns intended to stimulate the viewer’s imagination. During the 1960s, the technique was revived in process drawing—drawing as the trace of an action independent from usual artistic practice—as in Robert Overby’s rubbing of his studio wall.

Contemporary artists’ fascination with the use of chance has led them to rely more and more on unconventional modes of drawing. Gavin Turk, for instance, produced his elegant Rosette by placing a sheet of paper in front of the exhaust pipe of his van before starting the engine.

High and Low

In the modern era, the interplay between art and popular culture considerably broadened the range of drawing styles available to artists. Inspired by commercial illustrations, comic books, graffiti, tattoos, and posters, artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Paschke, Red Grooms, and Martin Kippenberger gave their drawings a new kind of energy At the same time their work questioned the very nature of what constitutes “artistic” drawing as opposed to any other form of mark making.

The use of non-traditional art material was another way to bridge the gap between art and everyday life. Following the lead of the Cubists, who first introduced fragments of newspapers and labels in their papiers collés, Kurt Schwitters created collages from scraps of contemporary urban culture: ads, ticket stubs, candy wrappers, torn packaging. The practice has remained a vital form of expression to the present day as can be seen in the collage books of John Evans and the poignant compositions of Hannelore Baron.

Everyday Objects

Although the depiction of everyday objects has a long tradition in the genre of the still-life, the range of items deemed worthy of the artist’s attention has expanded in modern times, as attested by the cigarette-butt, ice cube, soup can, and portable electric heater in the drawings on view in this section by artists including Andy Warhol and James Rosenquist. Artists also explored new modes of representation, notably in compositions that favor odd cropping and extreme close-up, largely influenced by photography and film.

From Melancholia to Schizophrenia

Nowhere is the disruption of the academic tradition in modern art more visible than in portrait and figure drawings. Liberated by photography from the necessity to produce a likeness, and stimulated by psychoanalytic revelations about the complex inner life of individuals, artists set out to render emotions and mental states with unprecedented immediacy. Various formal means— fragmentation, distortion, exaggeration, awkward poses and cropping—were used to convey sensations and feelings, from the psychological tension of Walter Sickert’s bedroom scene to Anne-Marie Schneider’s vision of a schizophrenic bus passenger who imagines himself in the luggage rack.

Self-portraits offer particularly rich territory as artists used drawing to probe their most intimate psychological states and lay bare on paper their fears and anxiety. Examples in this section include work by Egon Schiele, Lucas Samaras, Philip Guston, and Maria Lassnig. Others, such as André Masson, Jackson Pollock, and Steve di Benedetto, relied on a range of visual metaphors—including the labyrinth and other intricate patterns—to conjure the workings of the unconscious.

Image: Marco Maggi, Too Close too Far, V, (Detail) 2001, Pencil on clay 36 x 24 inches.
February 8, 2015 Ivelisse Jiménez https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/ivelisse-jimenez/

Selected Biographical Information

Education / Training

Prizes / Fellowships


January 28, 2015 Rossana Martinez https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/rossana-martinez-2/

I am interested in creating an experience, and a dialogue between the body and common materials. The process and result are raw and unedited.  I investigate subtleties of balance and movement, breath and anatomy—based on the connection between a running and yoga practice, and my interest in dance, conceptual abstraction and performance art. My intention is to allow viewers to interpret and question the work according to their expectations about what art is and how it should appear.

Traducido del inglés

Me interesa crear una experiencia, un diálogo entre el cuerpo y los materiales comunes. El proceso y resultado es crudo e íntegro. Investigo las sutilezas del balance y del movimiento, de la respiración y la anatomía, basadas en las conexiones entre la práctica de yoga y correr, así como mi interés en la danza, la abstracción conceptual y el performance. Mi intención es el permitir a los espectadores interpretar y cuestionar la obra de acuerdo a sus expectativas de lo que el arte es y cómo debe verse.

Selected Biographical Information

Education / Training

Prizes / Fellowships

Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions 




January 27, 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 Iván Navarro: Nadie sabe para quien trabaja https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/ivan-navarro-nadie-sabe-para-quien-trabaja/

Artists: Courtney Smith and Iván Navarro

Nadie sabe para quien trabaja
November 19 – December 16, 2014
M. Edeler & Sons
Brooklyn, NY, USA

Nadie Sabe Para Quien Trabaja was created as a sculptural installation that was activated in a performance-dinner that took place on November 12th, 2014. The work on view is a large-scale two-part sculpture, the conjoined work of Courtney Smith and Iván Navarro.

December 11, 2014 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 Marta Chilindrón: Expand // Fold // Collapse // https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/marta-chilindron-expand-fold-collapse/


Artist: Marta Chilindrón

Expand // Fold // Collapse //
November 3 – December 5, 2014
Curated by Susanna V. Temkin and Katharine J. Wright
The Great Hall Exhibitions, Institute of Fine Arts
New York, USA

Embracing the instability of perspective and form, New York artist Marta Chilindron (b. 1951, Buenos Aires) creates manipulable sculptures in transparent and colored acrylics.  Adapted from such basic geometric shapes as spheres, cubes, and pyramids, her artworks conceal their identity as complex, kinetic constructions.  Constructed from multiple panels connected by hinges, Chilindron’s sculptures are charged with transformative potential that, when activated by the viewer, cause the works to expand//fold//collapse.

An heir to international constructivism, Chilindron’s artworks recall the influence of such artists as Naum Gabo, Lygia Clark, and Donald Judd.  However, to this tradition Chilindron adds her own investigations based on her interest in the dynamism and mutability of life.  Controlled by the viewer yet mediated by their constructed forms, her artworks transform shape, shift from the second to the third dimension, and extend and contract into space.  Magnified by the chromatic interplay caused by the effects of light, these changes underlie the core of her artistic practice.

Providing a dramatic contrast to the ornate interior of the Duke House, seven works by the artist will be on view in the lobby and vestibule of the Institute of Fine Arts  for the Fall 2014 Great Hall Exhibition.  Focusing on Chilindron’s engagement with idealized geometric forms, these works, executed between 2006 and 2014, will show the diversity of the artist’s practice, ranging from table-top objects such as the curvilinear Helix (2011) to her large-scale Cube 48 Orange (2014).  This latter work represents Chilindron’s expansion into immersive sculptural environments, and is being shown in New York for the first time since its debut in the Encounters exhibition at Art Basel Hong Kong, held in spring 2014.

October 29, 2014 Alberto Borea: We Are All Gone https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/alberto-borea-gone/

unnamed copy

Artist: Alberto Borea

We Are All Gone
October 10 – November 12, 2014
Y Gallery
New York, USA

Continuing with his research on cartography, urban identity and the relation between center and periphery, the artist presents a group of works derived from recent explorations. Borea takes the position of an “archeologist of the contemporary” who rescues the materials and used objects which are “residues of civilization“. These artifacts are undergoing a creative process leading to innovative results featuring the artist´s unique vision about ruins and progress.

A cage that is broken and open, “We Are All Gone” shows the tautness derived from the concept of “contention”. This sculpture works as an expanded drawing. Chaos, transgression and geometry coexist in the paradoxical nature of this piece.

In “Haus”, the german word for house, the artist recycles and transforms four doors of New York City taxi cabs. The resulting object is a hybrid device sharing the characteristics of a living architectural structure and a moving vehicle. Permanence and transition are concepts in dialogue in these four works, which are settled on the exploration of what has been called heterotopic spaces.
“Immigration”, on the other hand, is a sculpture made with a metal cement trowel and wheels that the artist found in the streets of Lima. This object is a strong statement about  roots, transit, migration, and art as a social and spiritual practice. For “Self-portrait”, Borea works with the idea of souvenir and global identity. The bottle with an Inca portrait named Biondi is attached to a corn broom, this combination of two different things leads to the creation of a new object. This innovative device shows the different layers of cultural information and manipulation, leaving for posterity a new sort of “huaco”or totem.

The transitional nature of existence is an underlying conceptual principle common to all the works in the show. They are the result of a sensitive reaction to the contemporary and its physical expression, manifested in the combination and manipulations of objects leading to new metaphorical artifacts.

Alberto Borea lives and works between New York and Lima. His work is characterized by the continuous displacement and use of diverse media and materials. He attended residencies and fellowships including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, (Fundacion Cisneros de Patricia de Phelps), Art Omi International Residency 2009, Vermont Studio Center (Jackson Pollock Krasner Fellowship), International Studio and Curatorial Program NYC (ISCP), Sculpture Space, Utica, NY, Default Masterclass in residence, Lecce and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC).  Borea’s work has been shown in diverse exhibitions in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. including Queens Museum of Art in New York City, Museo del Barrio in New York City, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (Cisneros Fontanals Collection), Dublin Contemporary, Museo Laboratorio in Italy, Art Museum of the Americas in DC, and Museo de Huelva in Spain.

October 14, 2014 Patrick Hamilton & Aníbal López A-1 53167: Dear Mr. Thanatos https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/patrick-hamilton-anibal-lopez-1-53167-dear-mr-thanatos/

Wheel lock 01 (2014) web

Artists: Regina José Galindo, Patrick Hamilton, Anibal López A-1 53167, Ana Mendieta, Teresa Margolles, Alejandro Almanza Pereda, José Guadalupe Posada, and Jorge Tacla.

Dear Mr. Thanatos, Modern and Contemporary Art from Latin America
Curated By Christian Viveros-Fauné
October 2 – December 13, 2014
Cristin Tierney Gallery
New York, USA

Dear Mr. Thanatos: Modern and Contemporary Art from Latin America
 curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, is a missive or love letter to the dark forces—death, destruction, war, political violence, etc.—as seen through the lens of modern and contemporary Latin American art.Proposed by psychoanalytic theory as the “death drive” in opposition to Eros—the tendency toward survival, propagation, and the life-giving pleasure principle—Thanatos describes, in Sigmund Freud’s terms, “the inclination to aggression,” which the Austrian thinker defined “[as] the greatest impediment to civilization.”The themes of death, aggression, and psychic and physical violence have long been central to contemporary Latin American artists. Because of Latin America’s violent history, most artists from the region find themselves at most a single generation away from large-scale collective manifestations of the “instinct toward aggression”—with its devastating effects on local societies. From the repeated figure of Santa Muerte evoked by turn of the century Mexican engraver and cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada to Jorge Tacla’s paintings of bombed out buildings in the Middle East to the mortuary and burial-related video and sculpture of Guatemalan Regina José Galindo, artists throughout Latin America have repeatedly turned to the subject of death to express not just existential dread, but the reality of living the examined life in situations of heightened insecurity.
Some Latin American artists—like those in this exhibition—draw creative sustenance from these experiences and often interpret their reflections in the context of social, political and cultural advances. That is the role the destabilizing spirit of Thanatos assumes in the minimalist-inspired sculptures of Chilean artist Patrick Hamilton and the radically unstable structures of Mexican sculptor Alejandro Almanza Pereda. Others, like Ana Mendieta and the Guatemalan Anibal López connect dramatically to specific narratives of violence as urgent subjects for their video and photography.
The death instinct is familiar to all of them, as it is to millions of other people around the world. Like language, geography and identity, Thanatos remains an important part of Latin American art’s peculiar symbolic inheritance to this day.

Image: Patrick Hamilton, Wheel lock #1, 2014. Copper. 5.9 x 21.65 x 5.11 inches.
October 9, 2014 Iván Navarro: The Music Room https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/ivan-navarro-music-room/


Artist: Iván Navarro

The Music Room
With Hueso Records
MoMA PS1, NY Art Book Fair and Printed Matter
New York, USA

Iván Navarro with Hueso Records is pleased to present The Music Room, at the NY Art Book Fair presented by Printed Matter, at MoMA PS1, opening Thursday September 25th from 6 to 9 pm. Room #S201.

The Music Room is a self-contained project room within the fair, where visitors are invited to listen to musical recordings pressed onto vinyl, at a single central playing station, controlled by one record handler. Inspired by the 1958 Bengali film by the same title (Satyajit Ray’s The Music Room), the installation seeks to create a sensorially rich environment conducive to the experience of listening. Records, selected from Hueso Records’ collection, are played one at a time and the sound is transmitted into the atmosphere through a pair of hand-built speakers. The interior, designed by artist Courtney Smith, is a wall-to-wall padded spongy lounge, with reconfigurable foam alleys, terraces and alcoves where listeners can curl up and contemplate. The Music Room wall space will contain a wrap-around display of the records and various types of publications that Hueso Records is presenting – a combination of HR productions, guest participations, and its private collection of music made by artists.

The Music Room is a multi-disciplinary, collaborative project that celebrates the creation of music both formal and informal, and in such is particularly interested in music made by artists who are not necessarily musicians. It will feature a collection of historic recordings by visual and performance artists, as well as recordings of live performances and experiments that are otherwise forgotten, among them are recordings by Lawrence Weiner, La Monte Young, Martin Kippenberger, Rita Ackermann / Dave Nuss, Christian Marclay and many more. Other categories presented in The Music Room are visual and conceptual artists who use music as their primary medium, or collaborations between visual and musical artists, or performance artists whose work involves music. Among the many artists, musicians and artist non-musicians whose work is presented in The Music Room are New York-based Cecilia Vicuña, Rio-based Jarbas Lopes, London-based group Tetine, Chile-based Mario Navarro, and New York-based collective Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere. Finally, Hueso Records’ own publications will also be presented, among them vinyl releases of music by Alvaro Peña, Atom™, Tunde Adebimpe, and Leonino aka Jorge Gonzalez.

Hueso Records is a music label conceived and run by visual artist Iván Navarro. HR began releasing recorded projects in Brooklyn, NY in 2006 as a way of independently publishing music made in collaboration for Navarro’s sculpture and video works. The label quickly expanded to include an ambitious program of finding and releasing historic Chilean music that was never produced at the time of its original recording such as the Pinochet Boys from 1988, Electrodomesticos from 1990, Minimal Technology from 1994 and Acid Call from 2007. HR developed a division called “Undefined Records”, publishing the music of non-musician artists and thinkers, but balances this by publishing creative and experimental projects with established professional musicians. HR currently works with artists and musicians in the US, Chile, Brazil, France, Germany and England.

October 8, 2014 Esvin Alarcón, Marcius Galan & Jorge Pedro Núñez: Spatial Acts https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/esvin-alarcon-marcius-galan-jorge-pedro-nunez-spatial-acts/


Artists: Esvin Alarcón, Marcius Galan, Elena Damiani, and Jorge Pedro Núñez.

Spatial Acts, Americas Society Commissions Art
October 7, 2014
Americas Society
New York, USA

The exhibition Spatial Acts: Americas Society Commissions Art features works of artists Esvin Alarcón Lam (Guatemala, 1988), Elena Damiani (Peru, 1979), Marcius Galan (Brazil, 1972) and Jorge Pedro Núñez (Venezuela, 1976), who were selected to be part of Americas Society’s new initiative to commission an in-situ artwork especially conceived for the David Rockefeller Atrium, located in the organization’s landmark building in Park Avenue. The four artists will participate in a panel discussion with Manuel Cirauqui, writer and assistant curator at Dia Foundation, and Gabriela Rangel, curator and director of Visual Arts at the Americas Society.

At the beginning of 2014, a Nominating Committee put together a list of nineteen artists from the Americas who were invited to submit proposals for the David Rockefeller Atrium. During the second stage of the process, a selection committee designated four semi-finalists whose recent works are gathered in this group show. The name of the winning artist will be announced in November. The permanent piece will be placed in an adjacent section to the entrance of the Americas Society’s visual arts gallery, whose history includes the first U.S. exhibitions of many artists from the Americas. The artwork will serve as a testament to the tradition of the Americas Society’s Visual Arts program and its commitment to foster creativity and experimentation for the engagement of diverse audiences.

October 8, 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 Raul Mourão https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/raul-mourao/

Selected Biographical Information

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2014: “MOTO“, Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2013: “Movimento Repouso“, Roberto Alban Galeria de Arte, Salvador, Brazil.
  • 2012: “Processo“, Estudio X, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2012: “Tração animal“, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2012: “Toque devagar“, Praça Tiradentes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2012: “Homenagem ao cubo“, Lurixs Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2012: “Chão, Parede e Gente“, Lurixs Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2010: “Cuidado Quente“, Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2010: “Balanço Geral“, Subterrânea,  Porto Alegre, Brazil.
  • 2007: “Fitografias“, Lurixs Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2005: “LULADEPELÚCIA“, Lurixs Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2004: “drama.doc“, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, Niterói, Brazil.
  • 2004: “Entonces”, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2003: “Pequenas frações“, Lurixs Arte Contemporânea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 2003: “Cego só bengala“, Centro Universitário Maria Antonia, São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2002: “Portátil 98/02“, Gabinete de Arte Raquel Arnaud, São Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2002: “Carga Viva“, Celma Albuquerque Galeria de Arte,  Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
  • 1999: “Sintético“, Agora / Fundição Progresso,  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 1996: “Calouste“, Galeria Ismael Nery – Centro de Arte Calouste Gulbekian, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 1993: “Humano“, Galeria Sérgio Porto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Group Exhibitions



September 3, 2014 Pablo Jansana: Summer Exhibition https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/pablo-jansana-summer-exhibition/


Artists: Pablo Jansana, Evan Nesbit and Letha Wilson.

Summer Exhibition
July 9 – August 8, 2014
Eleven Rivinqton

Eleven Rivington’s summer schedule includes two group shows-work by three late abstractionists at the gallery’s Rivington Street Space (Moira Dryer, Elizabeth Murray and Alan Shields) and, to balance it out, mixed-medium works by three emerging artists around the corner on Chrystie Street. Letha Wilson is probably the best known of the group; her photo-sculpture hybrids incorporate landscape snapshots and concrete, the outcome resembling a geological cross-section. Evan Nesbit’s large-scale paintings seemingly vibrate off the wall, their nubby surface texture achieved by forcing brightly colored acrylic paint through stretched burlap. Rounding out the show are Chilean-born Pablo Jansana’s crisply geometric photo, wood and aluminum compositions.

This exhibition has been mentioned by Art in America magazine as one of the must-see 5 shows in NYC. To read more about it visit Art in America.


Image: “Waitress 2”, 2014, Ultrachrome 4880 inkjet, aluminum, fiber glass, plexi, fluted poly pro and enamel, 24 x 18 x 5 in. (61 x 45.7 x 12.7 cm)


Image: “Waitress 3”, 2014, Ultrachrome 4880 inkjet, aluminum, fiber glass, plexi, fluted poly pro and enamel, 24 x 18 x 5 in. (61 x 45.7 x 12.7 cm)


Image: “Waitress 1”, 2014, Ultrachrome 4880 inkjet, aluminum, fiber glass, plexi, fluted poly pro and enamel, 24 x 18 x 5 in. (61 x 45.7 x 12.7 cm)


July 28, 2014 Iván Navarro: Mellowdrama https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/ivan-navarro-mellowdrama/


Artists: Courtney Smith & Iván Navarro

March 7 – 15, 2014
Hotel Particulier / The Armory Show
New York City, NY, USA

Hotel Particulier is pleased to present an experimental and collaborative artwork between artists Courtney Smith and Iván Navarro entitled MELLOWDRAMA. The artists will curate events and performances in collaboration with Hotel Particulier and Emilie Baltz for a full week during and following the Armory Show.

A “stage” will be created in the space by Courtney Smith, illuminated by Iván Navarro and activated, occupied and transformed by the different performances, musical events and participations by the artists’ guests as well as a series of staged dinners curated by Emilie Baltz. During the day, Hotel Particulier curated shop will take center stage with a special collaboration with AHAlife.

The stage will be unveiled on the evening of March 7th with a reception and experimental musical performance conceived by Iván Navarro. The following nights will involve a series of staged dinners entitled traces, curated by Emilie Baltz, gathering 20 guests around an eating experience that uses the stage/table as canvas, tracing the interactions of guests by engaging them in a hands on dinner. On closing night March 15th, the stage will be activated through a series of performances by novelist, academic and cultural critic Barbara Browning and her guests.

Courtney Smith is known for her furniture-based sculpture and her investigation into the physical and psychological construction of interior spaces through the deconstruction of the elements that compose them, and Iván Navarro is widely recognized for his innovative work addressing the complex implications of transformation and transference of electrical energy through his ingeniously crafted luminous sculpture. Both artists are based in Brooklyn.

Smith and Navarro have collaborated regularly since 2005, and have exhibited their joint work in various galleries and museums, including the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston, and most recently at the Goethe Institute in Nairobi.

Both Courtney Smith and Iván Navarro are exhibiting work in The Armory Show 2014 with Baró, the São Paulo-based gallery that represents both artists, both their individual and collaborative work.

Iván Navarro (Chile, 1972) is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Navarro’s work transcends its Minimalist roots by employing mass-produced materials to build powerfully symbolic objects that effectively infiltrate the domestic realm they mimic. His socio-politically charged sculptures in neon, fluorescent or incandescent light double as functional elements, integrated in the physical space they inhabit. His work has been shown in museums and galleries all over the world, including his participation in the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, and in such venues as The Hayward Gallery, London; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; MOCA Goldman Warehouse, Miami; Whitney Museum at Altria, New York; Witte de Witt, Rotterdam, Caja de Burgos, Spain, Towner Art Museum, Eastbourne UK, among many others. He is also the creator and director of the music label Hueso Records.

March 21, 2014 G. T. Pellizzi https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/g-t-pellizzi/

Selected Biographical Information

Education / Training

Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions


February 19, 2014 Emilia Azcárate: Liminal https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/emilia-azcarate-liminal/


Emilia Azcárate

February 13- March 22, 2014
Henrique Faria Fine Art
New York, NY, USA

The works belonging to the series of the Gohonzon are highly complex, since their composition is articulated as an interpretation both of symbology and inconography on the basis of a structuring of the original Gohonzon. The Gohonzon is considered as equivalent to the Treasure Tower, an allegorical tower described in the Lotus Sutra that emerges from the center of the earth during the ceremony of the air to represent our potential for spiritual illumination or Buddhahood. The artist is especially fascinated by this tower, and combines its allegory with the form in which she recreates the Gohonzon, which is constructed in an abstract fashion out of compositions of circles that are associated and superimposed.

The Practicables, Postales, and the Gohonzon series can be read as an abstract articulation of the intangible process of awakening the Buddha inherent and latent inside us. According to the artist, they lay emphasis on the transit from the Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to reality, from effect to cause and vice versa. All these works share the concept that every moment of every day encloses an eternity of concentrated value. Their singularity lies in their rootedness in the artist’s life, offering us a personal, intimate, and private experience that might be described as profoundly human. These three series are now brought together on the occasion of the exhibition at Henrique Faria Fine Art, the motive for this publication, giving us an opportunity to appreciate this vital conductive thread in the work of Emilia Azcárate.

Extract from Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, “Full Emptiness and / or the Inconclusive Infinite”, in Emilia AzcárateLiminal, Madrid: Turner, 2014

February 11, 2014 Jaime Tarazona: Gestos Urbanos | Urban Gestures https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/jaime-tarazona-gestos-urbanos-urban-gestures/


Artists: Juan Fernando Herrán, Kevin Simón Mancera, and Jaime Tarazona

Gestos Urbanos | Urban Gestures
January 16 – February 22, 2014
Johannes Vogt

Johannes Vogt Gallery is pleased to present Gestos Urbanos | Urban Gestures, featuring works by three Colombian artists, Juan Fernando Herrán, Kevin Simón Mancera, and Jaime Tarazona. The works brought together for this show offer a range of approaches, from drawing to sculpture to overpainted etchings. Each artist alludes to an overlaying of historical and contemporary urbanism as a structure that binds inhabitants to territories, be it through architecture, public spaces, or local news.

Jaime Tarazona (b. 1973) presents the viewer with a series of interventions into historic etchings of scenic landscapes. Abstractions of seemingly impossible modernist structures hover over antique images of continental Europe creating a beautiful and subtle bond with the grounding content. Tarazona addresses notions of historical progress alongside the ultimate failure of Latin American modernism. His architectonic proposals exist somewhere between seriality and the original and their status as potentials squarely locates them at the collapse of art, architecture and design.

January 23, 2014 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 The Wall Street Journal: Art Fair Riding Emerging Wave https://abstractioninaction.com/happenings/wall-street-journal-art-fair-riding-emerging-wave/


Pinta NY’s chairman Diego Costa Peuser, right, and U.S. director, Ian Cofre, discuss Marta Chilindron‘s ‘Ring, 2013,’ which will be in the fair. Andrew Hinderaker for The Wall Street Journal

Pinta NY, Founded in 2007, Deals With a Much Expanded Latin American Art Market

When Diego Costa Peuser founded Pinta NY in 2007, it was credited with being New York’s first fair dedicated to Latin American modern and contemporary art, shining a spotlight on an emerging and relatively untapped body of work.
When the show opens for its seventh edition on Thursday at the 82Mercer Conference Center, it will do so in a much-changed field.”Ten years ago, there was no [Latin American] presence at fairs like Art Basel,” said Mr. Costa Peuser, the fair’s executive director. “Now, the presence of Latin American art is strong, and the U.S. and Europe are looking toward these emerging markets.” According to the analytics firm ArtTactic, Latin American art-auction sales in New York for the first half of this year totaled $37.3 million, up 2% from the year-earlier period. Pinta organizers expect some 18,000 guests, a far cry from the 2,000 they saw in its first year.

As such, Pinta has made several changes to its structure, including higher standards. About 60 galleries will be showing this year, out of the roughly 140 that applied.

“There is greater competition across fairs, and people seek out sectors where there’s something curated,” said Mr. Costa Peuser, who ran the arteaméricas fair in Miami before creating Pinta. “Collectors find having a filter for what they’ll see more interesting.”

He gave industry professionals like Ian Cofre, the fair’s U.S. director, and Octavio Zaya, who curated the Spanish pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, free rein to choose works they deemed interesting. For example, Mr. Zaya, who directed a segment of the show dedicated to video art, picked an installation by Richard Garet, who recently showed at the Museum of Modern Art’s sound-art exhibition.

But can Pinta compete in an increasingly hectic art calendar? It takes place less than a month before Art Basel Miami Beach, a major lure for Latin American collectors. Christie’s is also aiming to auction off more than 300 pieces of Latin American art at a sale dedicated to the region next week.

Mr. Costa Peuser is adamant Pinta can, pointing to the fair’s niche status as an attraction on its own part. “The public at Pinta is not the same as at Basel because it is a much smaller fair, and collectors can come and talk at length to gallerists and artists,” he said.

He added that “the relationship with the auction houses is complementary, and collectors can attend both with different expectations of what they’ll see.”

One person who hopes he’s right is Cecilia De Torres, whose eponymous SoHo gallery is selling works from the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres García, such as “Anvers, 1910,” a haunting maritime oil-on-canvas painting, and rainbow-colored acrylic sculptures by Argentina’s Marta Chilindron.

“A lot of the artists I represent were either Europeans or the children of European immigrants,” said Ms. De Torres, “so I would love to see people who collect such art come and look at this different approach in the same tradition.”

Click here to read the article from The Wall Street Journal.

November 15, 2013 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 Pablo Jansana https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/pablo-jansana/

A way to talk about the future while talking about the past. It is our present moment.

My multi-disciplinary practice, involving painting, sculpture, collages and manipulation.

Locations normally seen out the corner of the eye. The happy themes of arts, books, advertising, languages and different sources. Imagery from other eras where both treatment of the subject and the physical elements of the photography are current convention. Evoking narratives and memories through the juxtaposition of objects and images. I strive to create work that is highly charged and simultaneously empty.

My eclectic use of materials – including resin, aluminum, wood or clay—develops my fascination with the visual importance and presentation of objects. Working with photography, and painting my interests have evolved into the realms of 3D, presenting still images in an ever more engaging and dynamic set-up. Sometimes obscures parts of my found photographs and magazine cutting—playing on the interpretation and interplay between images—after my careful arrangement.

My work might also be interpreted as a comment on populist vs. elitist art. But they’re certainly not meant as criticism, as I am interested in both high and low culture and materials itself.

Traducido del inglés

Una forma de hablar sobre el futuro mientras se habla del pasado. Es nuestro momento presente. Una práctica multidisciplinaria, que incluye pintura, escultura, collage y manipulación. Lugares normalmente vistos de reojo. Los temas felices de las artes, libros, publicidad, lenguajes y diversas fuentes. Imágenes de otras eras donde el tratamiento del tema y los elementos físicos de la fotografía son la convención actual. Evocar narrativas y memorias por medio de la yuxtaposición de objetos e imágenes. Lucho por crear obra que está cargada de contenido y es vacía a la vez.

Mi uso ecléctico de materiales, incluyendo resina, aluminio, madera o arcilla, desarrolla mi fascinación con la importancia visual y la presentación de los objetos. Trabajando con fotografía y pintura, mis intereses han evolucionado hacia el campo de la tercera dimensión, presentando imágenes fijas en configuraciones más dinámicas e interesantes. Mi obra también puede ser interpretada como un comentario del arte populista vs. elitista, pero ciertamente no están hechas como crítica, puesto que también estoy interesado en materiales elevados y de cultura popular.

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October 15, 2013 Ishmael Randall Weeks https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/ishmael-randall-weeks/

My work encompasses site-specific installations, sculpture and video to works on paper.  In these works, issues of urbanization, transformation, regeneration, escape, collapse and nomadic existence have been predominant. While the work in the drawing studio serves as a means for a more intimate exploration of these issues, the foundation of my larger scale work lies in the alteration of found and recycled materials and environmental debris, often on site (including such source materials as books and printed matter, empty tins, old tires, bicycles, boat parts and building construction fragments) that are often altered to create sculptural objects and architectural spaces. These works take the visual form of functional objects while stripping them of their productivity to address notions of labor and utility, forcing an examination of our understanding of culturally specific forms while simultaneously exploiting and adapting their particular codes and associations.

Traducido del inglés

Mi obra abarca instalaciones de sitio específico, escultura y video hasta obra en papel. En estas obras, temas de urbanización, transformación, regeneración, escape, derrumbe y existencia nómada han sido predominantes. Mientras que el trabajo en el estudio de dibujo sirve como una forma más íntima de exploración de estas ideas, la base de mi obra a gran escala está en la alteración de materiales encontrados y reciclados y desechos ambientales, a menudo in situ (incluyendo fuentes como libros y material impreso, latas vacías, llantas viejas, bicicletas, partes de barco y fragmentos de construcción), que son a menudo modificados para crear objetos esculturales y espacios arquitectónicos. Estas obras toman la forma visual de objetos funcionales mientras que los despojan de su productividad para abordar nociones de labor y utilidad, forzando un análisis de nuestro entendimiento de formas culturalmente específicas, mientras que explotamos y adaptamos sus códigos y asociaciones particulares.

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October 9, 2013 Ana Tiscornia https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/ana-tiscornia/

My visual rearrangements draw upon the paradoxical bond between architecture –a language of construction par excellence-with that of destruction and dislocation. In rearranging various materials I seek a potential poetics – a kind of cartography of social oblivion –that is simultaneously exposing but also recovering scattered fragments of an unrealized utopian project.

Traducido del inglés

Mis composiciones visuales recurren a la paradójica unión entre la arquitectura (un lenguaje de construcción por excelencia) con la destrucción y la dislocación. Al reconfigurar estos diferentes materiales busco una potencial poética, una especie de cartografía del olvido, que simultáneamente revela y también recobra fragmentos desperdigados de un proyecto utópico frustrado.

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Ana Tiscornia / Other impertinences

October 9, 2013 Luis Roldán https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/luis-roldan/

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October 8, 2013 Iván Navarro https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/ivan-navarro/

Translated from Spanish

Electricity is the foundation of my work. Thanks to it, sculptures and installations can be perceived, and at the same time understood in different levels of relationships with the space that surrounds them, with the encircling architecture, with their social context or with spectators that directly interact with the work in a physical and psychological way.

The work’s content is in part due to the experiences during the period of dictatorship in Chile (1973-1989). This was a period which exerted great violence, intimidation and misinformation on the citizens. This climate of social instability also made evident an alert in the face of the lack of connection between the real and the apparent.

In another level of relationships, the works have a dialogue with the history of design and modern art, subverting its formal purity with their social content. The works presented here use electricity as power source, with a broad meaning: the electrical lights that often celebrate or honor a situation, show here the other side of their luminosity, i.e., darkness and fear, as simultaneous homage to seduction and alienation.


La electricidad es la base fundamental de mi trabajo, gracias a ella las esculturas e instalaciones  pueden ser percibidas y al mismo tiempo, comprendidas en distintos niveles de relaciones con el espacio que las rodea; con la arquitectura circundante,  con su contexto social o con espectadores que interactúan directamente con el trabajo en forma física y psicológica.

El contenido de las obras, en parte se debe a experiencias vividas durante el periodo de dictadura en Chile (1973-1989). Periodo que ejerció gran violencia, intimidación y desinformación en la ciudadanía. Este clima de inestabilidad social también evidenció una alerta ante la evidente desconexión entre lo aparente y lo verdadero.

En otro nivel de relaciones, los trabajos mantienen un dialogo con la historia del diseño y del arte moderno, subvirtiendo su pureza formal con sus contenidos sociales.

Los trabajos aquí presentados, ocupan la electricidad como fuente de poder con un amplio significado: las luces eléctricas que muchas veces celebran o festejan una situación, aquí muestran el otro lado de su luminosidad, es decir, la oscuridad y el miedo. Como homenajes simultáneos a la seducción y a la alienación.

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October 5, 2013 Felipe Mujica https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/felipe-mujica/

My work has grown from visual codes linked to geometric abstraction, where the economic devices of image making are simultaneously an historical set of references and a set of creative tools. Also important in my formation has been the practice of collaboration as I constantly intertwine my own work with the work of others through the organization of exhibitions, group projects, publications, and so on. An example would be installations I have produced with fabric panels; which aim to be drawings that occupy space and also curtains that function as space organizers, as temporary walls that canalize the public’s circulation and perception of space as well as the perception of other possible art works in space. In this sense these installations are both an object of contemplation as well as a functional device, they become exhibition design and flexible temporary architecture: they can be used by other artists or curators. These fabric panels also refer directly to avant-garde movements such as Russian Constructivism or the Bauhaus School, as they intend to recover and restage the modernist ideal of democratization of the art object. In ideal situations they can change their position in space as they are hanged from a stainless steel cable that crosses the exhibition room, they work then as a “curtain” that can actually be moved from one side of the gallery to the other. Another body of work consists in the production of drawings and prints through appropriation. Here I reuse and rearrange previous drawings and prints from sources from the late 50’s to mid 70’s, sources such as Latin American political posters, psychedelic imagery, Japanese graphic design, and book covers of publications ranging from Science Fiction to Mathematics. What unites these images is that they all share the historical context of 1969. They also share a universal graphic language. My appropriation of these pre-existing images aims to investigate their social and symbolic status as well as cross culture references they possibly share. This independent body of work functions then as an historical, contextual and formal counterpart to the spatial and geometric based work; somehow confronting avant-garde with neo avant-garde. I also produce sculptures, or better-said sculptural actions, as they are temporary and fragile constructions that do not last after the exhibition (or that are made only to be photographed). This project was born as an homage and critique to the history of modernism in Latin America. Both independent to European modernism and radical in its relationship to social movements, Latin American modernism is far from consolidated. My sculptures then intend to reflect modernist ideals and simultaneously the fragility of all these ideals. This project is also productively open as the sculptures can be made by me or commissioned to curators, museum staff or other artists, which adds a layer of participation and shared authorship to the project. When the sculptures are produced by other people I ask them to register them. I have also used this project in art workshops with children, opening it up to the pedagogical field. An early example of this multilayered practice would be the creation of the artist-run space Galería Chilena, which operated with no physical space in Santiago (1997-2000) as a nomadic yet “commercial” endeavor. The “gallery” set itself the challenge of creating a critical art market for the post-dictatorial Chilean contemporary art scene.

Traducido del inglés

Mi obra ha crecido de códigos visuales relacionados con la abstracción geométrica, donde los mecanismos económicos de producción de imágenes son simultáneamente un conjunto de referencias históricas y  un conjunto de herramientas de creación. Igualmente importante en mi formación ha sido la práctica de colaboración ya que constantemente entrelazo mi obra con la de otros por medio de la organización de exposiciones, proyectos de grupo, publicaciones, etcétera. Un ejemplo de ello podrían ser las instalaciones que he producido con paneles de tela, con el propósito de ser dibujos que ocupan el espacio y también cortinas que funcionan como organizadores de espacio, como muros temporales que canalizan la circulación del público y percepción del espacio, así como la percepción de otras obras en el espacio.  En este sentido, estas instalaciones son de igual forma un objeto de contemplación y un objeto funcional; se vuelven parte de la museografía y arquitectura flexible temporal. Pueden ser usadas por otros artistas y curadores. Estos paneles de tela también son referencia directa a movimientos de vanguardia como el constructivismo ruso y la escuela Bauhaus, puesto que intentan recobrar y reinterpretar el ideal modernista de democratización del objeto de arte. En situaciones ideales pueden cambiar su posición en el espacio ya que son colgados de un cable de acero inoxidable que cruza la sala de exposición; entonces funcionan como “cortina” que puede ser movida de un lado a otro.   Otro cuerpo de trabajo consiste en la producción de dibujos y grabados de referencias de los años cincuenta hasta mediados de los setenta, como afiches políticos de Latinoamérica, imágenes psicodélicas, diseño gráfico japonés y portadas de publicaciones de ciencia ficción o matemáticas. Lo que une estas imágenes es que todas comparten el contexto histórico de 1969. También comparten un lenguaje gráfico universal. La apropiación de estas imágenes preexistentes tiene como objetivo la investigación de su estatus social y simbólico y las referencias culturales que posiblemente comparten. Este cuerpo de trabajo independiente funciona como una contraparte histórica, contextual y formal de la obra espacial y geométrica, confrontando de alguna manera la vanguardia con neo-vanguardia. También produzco esculturas, o mejor dicho, acciones escultóricas, ya que son construcciones temporales y frágiles que no perduran después de la exposición (o que son hechas sólo para ser fotografiadas). Este proyecto nació como homenaje y crítica a la historia del modernismo en Latinoamérica. Igualmente independiente del modernismo europeo y radical en su relación con movimientos sociales, el modernismo latinoamericano está lejos de consolidarse. Mis esculturas intentan reflejar los ideales modernistas y simultáneamente evidenciar la fragilidad de estos ideales. Este proyecto también es productivamente abierto puesto que las esculturas pueden ser realizadas por mí o comisionadas a curadores, personal del museo u otros artistas, lo que añade otra capa de participación y autoría compartida del proyecto. Cuando las esculturas son producidas por otra gente les pido que las registren. También he usado este proyecto en talleres para niños, abriendo posibilidades en el campo pedagógico. Un ejemplo temprano de esta práctica multifacética podría ser la creación del espacio Galería Chilena, que fue operado sin espacio físico en Santiago (1997-2000) como un esfuerzo  nómada y comercial. La “galería” se puso a sí misma el reto de crear un mercado de arte crítico para la escena artística de la post-dictadura en Chile.

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Prizes / Fellowships

  • 2013: CONCURSO CHACO-FINLANDIA / 1ra Mencion Honrosa, Colección Vodka Finlandia, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
  • 2013, 2010, 2007, 2004: DIRAC, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Gobierno de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile.
  • 2012: DIVA (Danish International Visiting Artists Programme) – Danish Arts Council Committee for International Visual Arts.
  • 2009, 2004, 2001, 1999: FONDART, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, Santiago de Chile, Chile.

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October 5, 2013 Marco Maggi https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/marco-maggi/

From CNN to the DNA, I focus my attention on reaching surfaces without the minor hope to get informed. Everyday, we are condemned to know more and understand less. This antiseptic process prefigures the first global semiotic indigestion. Reality collapses when one tries to portray an ocean by depicting drop after drop of water. My vision of the world is as precise as it is mistaken, and that is why I draw for hours with intense attention and no particular intention.

Traducido del inglés

De CNN al ADN, enfoco mi atención a alcanzar superficies sin la menor intención de estar informado. Todos los días estamos condenados a saber más y entender menos. Este proceso antiséptico prefigura la primera indigestión semiótica global. La realidad se colapsa cuando uno intenta representar un océano al ilustrar cada gota de agua. Mi visión del mundo es tan precisa como errada, y es por esto que dibujo por horas con intensa atención y sin particular intención.

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October 5, 2013 Juan Iribarren https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/juan-iribarren/

Translated from Spanish

I work mainly in oil on canvas, although I also regularly produce works of paper in ink, pencil or color pencils, as well as photography series. I make a seemingly abstract painting, nevertheless based on the light that comes through the workshop on an empty wall, and how it affects color.

I depart from a lighting situation (of lights and shadows) that I observe and to which I remain faithful. I believe simultaneously in a geometric structure (given by the planes of light or sun rays on the wall), and the shapeless color fields applied gesturally (though my attempt to reach color and shape precision in light). The result is a collision between two types of painting apparently impossible to reconcile: an ideal geometric structure and an atmospheric, gestural and undefined painting.

Photography takes geometry beyond the oil paintings, transforming them in flat and immediate images. At the same time they speak about the effect of light on color, since they portray the paintings subject to new light situations that complicate color and confuse what is painted with what is captured with the photographic lens.

I am interested in the legacy of modern geometry, but subverting it through the confrontation with an opposing painting that allows the environmental, the soft, the mudded, and the polluted. I research through my works the equivalence, deceptively unrecognizable, between geometry and light.


Trabajo mayormente en óleo sobre tela, aunque tambien produzco regularmente obras sobre papel hechas con tinta, lápiz o lápices de colores, así como series de fotografías.  Hago una pintura aparéntemente abstracta, sin embargo basada en la luz que penetra en el taller sobre una pared vacía, y en como ella afecta el color.

Parto de una situación lumínica (de luces y sombras) que observo y a la cual me mantengo fiel. Creo simultaneamente una estructura geométrica (dada por los planos de luz o sol sobre la pared), y campos de colores informes aplicados gestualmente (en mi intento de lograr la exactitud de color y forma de situaciones de luz o luminicas tan cambiantes). El resultado es un choque entre dos tipos de pintura aparentemente imposibles de reconciliar: una estructura geométrica ideal y perfecta, y una pintura atmosférica, gestual e indefinida.

Las fotografías llevan mas allá la geometría presente en los óleos convirtiéndolos en imágenes planas e immediatas. Al mismo tiempo ellas hablan del efecto de la luz sobre el color, ya que éstas retratan los oleos sometidos a  nuevas situaciones lumínicas que complican el color y confunden lo pintado con lo captado por el lente fotográfico.

Me interesa el legado de la geometría modernista, pero esta vez subvertido a través de su confrontación con una pintura normalmente contraria que permite lo atmosferico, lo blando, lo turbio, lo contaminado. Investigo a traves de mis obras una equivalencia, aparentemente irreconciliable, entre la geometría y lo lumínico.

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October 5, 2013 Richard Garet https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/richard-garet/

Richard Garet interweaves various media including moving image, sound, multimedia performance, and photography. In work ranging from modified environments to site specific installations to audiovisual screening works, Garet constructs intimate spaces and immersive situations that draw attention to the processes of perception and cognition, and which activate sensorial, physical, psychological phenomena that reflect on the nature and experience of time. Garet’s pieces, whether conceptual in origin or stemming from his investigation of complex systems and algorithmic translations, are informed by the background noise established by mass media culture and the collective arena that surrounds him. Garet’s reductive process seeks to invert the normative function of this background noise, drawing it up from subliminal status to an active presence. He finds further inspiration from material interactions that incorporate problems of context, technology, defunctionalization, commodity, and environment.

Traducido del inglés

Richard Garet combina varios medios incluyendo imagen en movimiento, sonido, performance multimedia y fotografía. A partir de obras que abarcan desde ambientes modificados a instalaciones específicas u obras de proyección audiovisual, Garet construye espacios íntimos y situaciones inversivas que se enfocan en procesos de percepción y cognición, activando fenómenos sensoriales, físicos y psicológicos que reflexionan acerca de la naturaleza y el paso del tiempo. Las piezas conceptuales de Garet, o las surgidas a partir de su investigación de sistemas complejos y traducciones de algoritmos, se originan del ruido de fondo establecido por la cultura de medios de masa y el campo de colectividad que lo rodea. El proceso de reducción de Garet tiene como objetivo invertir la función normativa de este ruido de fondo, llevándolo de su estatus subliminal a una presencia activa. Garet encuentra mayor inspiración de las interacciones materiales que incorporan problemas de contexto, tecnología, des-funcionalización, mercancía y medio ambiente.

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October 5, 2013 Marta Chilindrón https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/marta-chilindron/

My focus has always been on questioning the accuracy of our perception, our interpretation of reality.  I have tried to capture the state of flux of everything. Participation of the viewer is important because it brings the person into the sculpture; the public is the performer and the viewer, and that dual involvement is an important element of my work. I explore the ideas of sequencing, beginning and end, making objects that are simple networks with no definite shape and that exist between the second and third dimension with infinite possible configurations.

Traducido del inglés

Mi enfoque siempre ha sido el cuestionar la precisión de nuestra percepción, de nuestra interpretación de la realidad. He intentado capturar el estado de flujo de todas las cosas. La participación del espectador es importante porque trae a la persona dentro de la escultura; el público es el que realiza el performance y el espectador, y esa participación binaria es un elemento importante de mi obra. Exploro ideas de secuencia, principio y fin, realizando objetos que son redes simples sin forma definida y que existen entre la segunda y tercera dimensión, con configuraciones posibles infinitas.

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October 4, 2013 Soledad Arias https://abstractioninaction.com/artists/soledad-arias/

I explore the materiality of language, the phonetic, visual and poetic dimensions of a text or a word as a two-and three-dimensional entity in the context of human relations. I am drawn to what lies among the uttered and the suppressed. For thinking dictates form, a line, an accent, the cadence of silence, all form narratives both in drawing and language. I expose the intersection of the aural and the visual, one where words, text and involuntary sounds are transformed into a visible, physical form. Eventually words are muffled, subtracted, removed from speech, configuring blocks or silent pauses. In acoustic wall #1 what appears like voiceless theater notations (images 1-2) confronts the viewer with vinyl text phrases (“she whispers to herself,” “quite loud this time,” “faint pause,” “stops herself”) which stretch across a twenty-seven feet wall. In phonetic neon [aha], 2011,(image 3) I distill down the excess of language to make apparent an unintentional sound. Aha outlines a sonorous pause, an involuntary gap in between words. Four, thirty-three, 2011,  (image 4) 1 minute=1 inch, evokes John Cage’s statement that silence is not acoustic, highlighting physically the activity of sound in an environment. Snippets (images 7-10) is a collection of videos of an average duration of 1 minute, of everyday situations that seem to have gone astray. An elevator stops between floors, a woman whispers to herself, a child fumbles for words.  Disembodied characters are aware of their absurd fate, while they do not exist except in the viewer’s imagination. Yet at the end it is all the same, what we don’t see is just as important as what we perceive. Technically these silent subtitled narratives that derive from my writing fade—in and out—on a black slate devoid or other images. Drawn from the video’s discarded sound, recorded words vibrate in inaudible patterns, becoming the graphic representation of the cadence of my voice.

Traducido del inglés

Exploro la materialidad del lenguaje, las dimensiones fonéticas visuales y poéticas de un texto o de una palabra como entidad bidimensional y tridimensional en el contexto de las relaciones humanas. Me atrae aquello que se encuentra entre lo pronunciado y lo reprimido.  Debido a que el pensamiento dicta la forma, una línea, un acento, la cadencia del silencio, todos conforman narrativas en el dibujo y en el lenguaje. Revelo la intersección de lo aural y lo visual; donde las palabras, el texto y los sonidos involuntarios se transforman en formas visibles y físicas. Eventualmente las palabras se reprimen, se substraen, se remueven del habla, configurando bloques de pausas silenciosas.   En pared acustica #1(acoustic wall #1), lo que aparentan ser notaciones teatrales sin voz (imágenes 1-2), confrontan al espectador con frases de texto en vinilo (“susurra a sí misma”, “muy alto esta vez”, “tenue pausa”, “se detiene a si misma”), las cuales se extienden a lo largo de un muro de más de ocho metros. En neón fonético [aha] 2011 (phonetic neon[aha])  (imagen 3), depuro el exceso del lenguaje para revelar un sonido accidental. Aha destaca una pausa sonora, un espacio involuntario entre palabras. Cuatro, treinta y tres, 2011 (four thirty-three)(imagen 4), 1 minuto = 1 pulgada, evoca la declaración de John Cage de que el silencio no es acústico, enfatizando físicamente la actividad del sonido en un ambiente.   Breves (snippets) (imagenes 7-10) es una colección de videos con una duración promedio de un minuto, de situaciones cotidianas que parecen estar fuera de control. Un elevador se para entre pisos, una mujer se susurra a sí misma, un niño balbucea en busca de palabras. Personajes incorpóreos se percatan de su destino absurdo, mientras que no existen excepto en la imaginación del espectador. Sin embargo al final todo es lo mismo, lo que no vemos es igual de importante de lo que percibimos. Técnicamente estas narrativas subtituladas silentes que provienen de mi escritura, se desvanecen (por dentro y por fuera) en un fondo negro, carente de otras imágenes. Procedentes del sonido descartado del video, palabras grabadas vibran visualmente en patrones inaudibles, convirtiéndose en representaciones gráficas de la cadencia de mi voz.

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October 4, 2013