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IN TOTAL ABSENCE/PRESENCE OF COLOR

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IN TOTAL ABSENCE /PRESENCE OF COLOR

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info@sammergallery.us www.sammermiami.com +1 305 343 9390 3250 NE 1st Avenue #303 Miami FL 33137 4


CONTEXT

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IN TOTAL ABSENCE /PRESENCE OF COLOR Essay by: Adriana Herrera PhD

12 -137 Plates

138 - 139 Credits

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IN TOTAL ABSENCE/PRESENCE OF COLOR Essay by: Adriana Herrera

The title of this exhibition, entirely displayed by Sammer Gallery in a virtual format and shown in parallel in a more reduced version in its physical space in Miami, responds to the predominance of black and white in the assembled works. The decision to review chapters of the history of twentieth-century concrete abstraction based on these two opposite properties of the light spectrum arises from the fact that only after modernity, it became possible for the Western mind to imagine painting without color: undoubtedly, through the influence of the appearance of photography, and especially after the vanguard movements that proclaimed the autonomy of art before reality. The works gathered here encompass a period of 90 years: from an untitled 1929 drawing by Joaquín Torres García, to the acrylic on metal by Táctil Virtual, 2019. Although there is a high concentration of historical works of the successive movements, from Argentina to Cuba, which encompasses the rise of Constructivism and MADÍ, optic and kinetic art, among other tendencies in Latin American abstraction, there is also a small, but relevant selection of American and European artists. In a way, all of them converged and even participated “from this side here and that side there” (often located in Paris) in the feverish enthusiasm of multiple groups—from Cercle et Carré, or ZERO, to the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) and Espacialismo, among others. Inspired by the earliest vanguards, all of them endeavored to invent a new art capable of awakening new thresholds of vision for mankind. The approach to this quest that involve the viewer’s perception, along with the incorporation of movement and in some cases even light, but above all, the awakening of a new way of thinking, is carried out to a significative extent with works constructed with the opposite colors: black and white. If we accept Bishop Berkeley’s notion that everything exists to the extent that it is perceived, it is clear that black is the absence of color, since when light photons are not there, everything is black. White, instead—as shown by the decomposition of white light to form the rainbow—is the total presence of all colors in the spectrum. According to the additive theory of color, the white/black opposition corresponds to the Total Presence/Absence of color, which gives title to the exhibition. Many geometric abstractionists 8

have arrived, in a certain point of their careers, at the exploration of the contrast between black and white, par excellence the colors most capable of demonstrating in perceptual terms, the subjectivity of sight, which can alternatively see in one and the other the background and the form. This realization becomes reaffirmed when, in the early twentieth century, a displacement of the objectivity awareness of the world occurred, revealing its amazing subjectivity, involved in the great epistemic ruptures brought about by the discovery of the unconscious and quantum physics and the confirmation that even in the infra-atomic universe the observer’s look alters the behavior of the thing observed. In the artwork-spectator relationship, the high contrast game between the total absence-presence of color leads to an enhanced visual power. This is because physiologically we learn first to distinguish the world around us as a monochromatic phenomenon, in black and white, and curiously enough, the incarnations of the Platonic solids—such as spheres—are more easily perceived. Eventually, the first primary color perceived by the human eye is red. Since the nineteen-twenties, when Max Wertheimer begins in Germany his inquiry on perceptual organization and the development of Gestalt psychology, we became aware that, in the laws that structure vision, black and white play a fundamental role; the reason being that it is easier to perceive the form-background contrasts, similarities, proximities, continuity or symmetry when we see them in images displaying this fundamental opposition between absence-presence of color. But the essential revelation is that our perception is not static, nor is it separated from learning and thinking, hence—and this is particularly applicable to concrete abstraction—our sight vivifies and completes the work, and the capacity to do this is also mobile and shifting. Although the first monochromatic paintings appear after the invention of photography, which undoubtedly taught us to see the world in black and white and at least a dozen neutral shades of gray, in Western culture the first black square ever to be printed was not in a painting but in a novel with postmodern traits written in the eighteenth century: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Stern. The author, anticipating not only concrete poetry and other forms of textual arts, but also


Malevich’s Suprematism, created a black rectangle that filled the sheet, as opposed to the blank page and also as a typographic resource to express the moment when Yorick, a key character and his own alter-ego, dies. The whole page 73 appears covered with black ink.1 And later, Sterne warns his readers that without much reading they will not be able to understand the truths hidden in the dark veil of his black page. The first monochromatic painting in black appeared only in the late 19th century as part of a transient movement that anticipated the coming of Avant-garde and anti-art, orchestrated by Jules Lévy: Les Arts incohérents (Incoherent arts). Before Duchamp, its iconoclastic members exhibited found objects and a completely black painting by poet Paul Bilhau: Combat de Nègres dans un Tunnel (Negroes Fight in a Tunnel), in the same Montmatre cabaret frequented by the precursor of Surrealism, Alfred Jarry, author of Ubu Roi. Undoubtedly, it was not the anti-art craze, but a utopian innovation, that moved Kazimir Malevich to create in 1915 the first version of The Black Square, whereof he made four variants in the following fifteen years. He hanged it symbolically in a very high place on the corner of the futurist salon in Petrograd where other abstract pieces were exhibited. This work—completed in 1918 with his White on White composition—will become even on his funeral the greatest emblem of his oeuvre, as well as the “zero grade”2 of all previous painting and the beginning of a new art: the ineludible reference of the concrete-abstract current that from the early 20th century up to now will turn the total absence or presence of color and the combination of both into a constructive resource with a long history and an infinitude of variants.3 1 “In 2009, to mark the 250th anniversary of the Black Page, 73 artists made their own black pages  in an exhibition organized by  The Laurence Sterne Trust; the artworks were displayed in Sterne’s home, Shandy Hall, in Yorkshire”. Rothman, Josh.  “Laurence Sterne´s Black and Marbled Pages”. http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/ brainiac/2011/05/laurence_sterne.html May 31, 2011. 2 At his funeral the car carrying his body had a Black Square on the front and mourners held flags decorated with black squares. Malevich had promoted it as a sign of a new era of art and he saw it as beginning at zero. That’s why he added “0.10”; to the exhibition title of his 1915 exhibition. https: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/kazimir-malevich-1561/five-ways-look-malevichs-black-square. 3 Monochromatic works will also appear in Expressionism and color field painting. Jackson Pollock made a series of black oil paintings in the early fifties. By the mid-decade, Ad Reinhardt started his monochromatic experiments eventually leading to the total absence of light of black that will mark the rest of his career. By the end of the fifties, Rothko’s palette darkened gradually and his last series of paintings by the mid-sixties were gray and black with white edges.

For the first time painting will be an end in itself, not a representation; but this will never break it apart from the spirit of each time. Exactly a century ago Malevich founded the influential group known as UNOVIS—an abbreviation of the Russian “Utverditeli Novovo Iskusstva” or “The Champions of the New Art”—disbanded in 1922. Buried under the social realism imposed by the frightening Stalinist universe, hidden for decades for the world, only a part of Malevich’s work was rescued by the late nineteen-eighties. But the black square and its counterpart, the White on white, formed by a square floating on another, suggesting movement and the infinite, will reappear in countless works reaffirming the persistence of his vision. In several continents concrete artists will approach total white or black, building their inquiries into a language capable of infinite renovation from the conjugation of ideal geometric forms next to the game of oppositions of absence/presence of color. BLACK AND WHITE IN FOUNDATIONAL WORK By the founder of Latin America’s Escuela del Sur (School of the South), the Uruguayan Joaquín Torres García, the exhibition In Total Absence/ Presence of Color includes drawings such as BarcoObject, 1928, carried out in ink on paper the same year he met Theo van Doesburg in Paris; Constructivo con máscara, 1931, and other drawings with fish, faces, houses and signs created before his return to Montevideo, as a genesis of the universal constructivism of his invention that will strengthen in America. His development emerges not only from the assimilation of European vanguards— which had previously borrowed from African primitivism—and pure abstraction transformed by the subjective experience of the birth of his children, but also from the iconographic influx of preHispanic past. At the time of their elaboration, these drawings already contained the future bearing of modernity in Uruguay. The selection of works by his son and disciple Augusto Torres includes Constructivo blanco universal, 1935, an oil painting made the year after his return to Uruguay. Texts and signs appear as semifloating elements on a space where spots, lines and figures refer to traces of multiple cultures. In his Constructivo universal, 1952, the hand-painted grid with black lines on white encloses a matrix language of geometric forms, textual and numeric alphabets and representations linked to African and American tribal iconographies. His Caja constructiva, 1954, draws its strength from the contrast between small images with white lines on the black surface of each one of the sides of a cube and a relief that occupies the whole upper square, in unpainted wood. Construcción blanca, 1971, by the also Uruguayan Manuel Pailos, oil paint on wood, undeniably affiliated to the Escuela del Sur’s constructivism, shows 9


an astonishing domain of the contrast between partitions and forms where color is absent and the shadows convey greater depth to the set of immemorial figures: doors, stairs, crosses, arcs, circles, which are also architectures of the unconscious. The exhibition also displays revealing works of an alternative trend of modernity in Uruguay conformed by a marriage of pioneering artists of Concretism: José Pedro Costigliolo and María Freire. From the former there are three works on paper of the fifties, a period when his renouncement to symbolic references was already clear. The force of his experimental Concretism is patent in the remarkable Proyecto para Mural, 1952, mixed-media on photographic paper. The contrast between the paper’s clear surface and the black figure painted in such a way that it contains and is surrounded by squares of different dimensions is reinforced by the translucent, dis-centered white circle. In Untitled, ca 1954, the background is fragmented by gray nuances in its lower plane, and the perceptual alternation between inside and outside of the black, concrete form, is masterly achieved. The selection of powerful, flat black figures in temperas and gouaches is significant in the historical series exhibited by Freire in Belgium in the late-fifties. Each one has recovered its original title, Llave, which is also an allusion to their origin since their forms are inspired directly by these objects and by medieval, European door locks. But when Freire showed them in this continent they were perceived as “South American” iconographies, and the iconic series with the monolithic strength of their black, abstract forms on white background was identified as “Sudamericana”. Of no lesser importance is the acrylic Capricornio XX, 1965, peak time for her language. This same contrast is the constructive principle that conveys the intense vital pulse of Freire’s exploration. She explained: “Capricorn is the tenth zodiacal sign. Its double nature (…) alludes to the double tendency of life (…), the possibilities of involution and evolution, the return and the exit (…)”4. Freire was on the other hand one of the greatest abstract sculptresses of the twentieth century, although her production in this medium was limited to the nineteen-fifties and the final stage of her life. The two sculptures in black iron from 1951 and 1953 included herein show the power of a “brushstroke”—whether articulated in flat segments or forged in a single stretch—breaking through space in affirmation of its own shape with total sovereignty. By MADÍ’s co-founder, the Uruguayan Carmelo Arden Quin, we show drawings and a co-planar made in the nineties by way of a return to the fervid enthusiasm of the forties, when the abandonment of the

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4 Fló, Juán. Joaquín Torres García. Escritos. Arca, Montevideo, 1974, p. 82.

orthogonal frame5, the borderline of all previous painting, opened to him spaces of infinite invention . Irregular polygons containing circles, triangles, lines and rectangles in playful combination with different plane levels that construct bi-dimensionality. The black and white6 contrast intensifies the perception of the playful, inventive character of the framework’s rupture. Although everything in the co-planars is form, the alternating game between total presence and absence of color activates shifting perceptions in the same composition, simulating background and form. Another geometric abstraction pioneer, the Argentinian/ Uruguayan Antonio Llorens, painted the selected work Untitled, 1959, the following year of his participation in the historical MADÍ International, Groupe Argentine exhibition at the Denis René Galerie in Paris. The curved, semi-oval forms left in white and in contrast with other irregular geometries on a black background had already been seen in a work like Kerhon, 1952, by Victor Vasarely; but this piece shows a masterly composition in the monumentality and golden ratio of the white, curved white volumes as much as the valorization of the angular segments that makes an incision in the black plane, suggesting to the eye the presence of a vast white background. But the looking is unstable and the perceptual process can later be inverted. This work by Llorens has formal affinities with Elechim, 1961, by Cuban artist Wilfredo Arcay, who took part in Paris and Havana in historical concrete art groups. The piece is a black relief structured by way of squares within squares in superimposed planes and cuts conforming the compositional unit. A masterly vertical incision makes the black surface plunge into the void of a background which is nothing but the wall of the “white cube” of the exhibition space, opening and completing its visual field. Arcay made this work the same year of the shutdown of the Color Luz gallery, an inseparable place to the creation of the Diez Pintores Concretos group, disbanded amid the frictions between abstract aesthetics and revolutionary ideology. It is also worth mentioning Rythme, 1956, by the Argentinian Carlos Cairoli, also a resident of Paris and a member, like Arcay, of “Groupe Space.” Two black strips cut off and superimposed like a collage forcefully break through the white plane intensified by the structuring contrast, and three “notations” in black, identical and repeated, build the effect of a 5 “MADÍ has invented the cut, irregular framework,” claimed the ad for Madís’s third exhibition. https://icaadocs.mfah.org/icaadocs/ ELARCHIVO/RegistroCompleto/tabid/99/doc/731625/language/es-MX/ Default.aspx 6 Georges Vantorgeloo´s influence was clue in the Arden Quin’s “white forms,” which “retain the MADI emphasis on irregularly shaped planes and movable components, but are carried out in a restrained, polished monochrome”. https://wsimag.com/art/38362-carmelo-arden-quin


visual rhythm. This trait can also be seen in certain concrete works by the Brazilian member of the Ruptura group, Maurício Nogueira Lima. Particularly his gouache Sin Título, 1951, built up from the contrast and the strategy of inversion of the form-figure / blackwhite relationship or vice-versa: the space is constructed with a partition created by this contrast of absence-presence of color. In the first third, three horizontal, rectangular strips open the black painting to the cardboard’s clear surface. The relationship is inverted in the remaining unpainted or “white” space whereupon three black, vertical stripes break through. Like Nogueira, Brazilian Judith Lauand was part of the Ruptura group. In her gouache on paper Concreto 53, 1957, an equivalent paradox between background and form is smartly forwarded, challenging the spectator’s direct look, which was vital for her. Although the eye tends to look down from above the central figure conformed by loose white triangles on black, Lauand also uses the contrast between cohesion and dispersion to provoke a second look. A huge white triangle placed to the left of the space leads to horizontally track the figure, interiorly subdivided by small black triangles which liberate numerous white triangles floating on the black surface. Their random positions and distances, the disorder and dispersion, give them visual preeminence. Though Lauand was never part of the Neo-concretes, in an Indian ink drawing like Concreto 97, 1958, there is a gestuality of irregular, freehand-drawn lines inside the immense unpainted circle around a fully black square that bestows an organic, gestural character to the piece. And else, in her Untitled, 1959 drawing, she conceived the structure of an architecture drawn with perfectly straight lines in such a way that one imagines a tridimensional volume and possible folds in the figure. Her visual intelligence infuses life into the form. The exhibition also displays works by European/American pioneers, some linked to Latin American vanguards. Such is the case of Nikolai Kasak, born in Bielorussia, and his relationship with the MADÍ movement. The work Black Linear Action, 1949-1951, is an invention from the period when he exhibited with this movement, which levels all previous ideas on painting, relief or drawing within a rectangular frame. The brushstrokes are built with wooden lathes and three-dimensionality is achieved also with shadows. Two other selected works which could make up a diptych of opposites are Ultimate Art (Black Nothing), 1962-63 and Ultimate Art (White Nothing), 1962-63. Of course, painting wood thoroughly in black or white is a gesture of subjective and radical appropriation: it is on the one hand an homage to Malevich’s memory and the initial Suprematism, a reaffirmation that the black square still persists. On the other hand, the adjective “ultimate” links with the last frontier of completely white or black paintings that different

artists in the world made, often returning whereof to the form or to infinite nuances. Precisely in 1963 Kasak finishes Creation White, illuminated, and on the white Wood appears the volume of a black circumference built with a polymer, so that, from the radicalism of the total absence-presence of color occupying the whole of the pictorial plane, with no possibilities of contrast or tensions between form and figure, he jumps to a mode of volumetric painting. Since the nineteen-twenties ,the pioneer of concrete art in Poland, Henryk Stazewenski participated in influential abstract groups, experiencing numerous changes throughout his life. In total Absence/ Presence of Color include two works in wood, painted when he was 82 and 83 years of age. In the Untitled Nr. 6, 1977, he interrupts the methodic succession of black stripes on black, with a variation in the layout of the lines forming six edgeless squares, delimited only by the order that surrounds them and randomly placed so that gestuality also vivifies the oeuvre. Variaciones Triángulo, 1954, by the Italo-Argentinian Ana Sacerdote, teaches the sight the illusions of juxtaposed triangles or polyhedrons achieved by variations of whites and grays in a game of geometric transparencies on the vast black surface. The acrylic Metrische sequenz, 1973-57, 1981, by the Hungarian Attila KOVÁCS, superimposes and fuses triangles and squares to create flat, irregular planes based on mathematical principles such as sequences on tiny grids that visually divide the plane. A P 4, 2003, created by the Croatian artist Julije Knifer near the end of her life, after radical experimentations with the white, also incorporates huge black planes in a variation of the geometric meander. This archetypal form is omnipresent in Meso-American architecture and textiles, appearing as spirals of square angulations. In Knifer’s work, while the black figure is monumental and powerful, spatially reduced white is no less, since it not only encircles it, but by penetrating it with a long, narrow clear groove, balances the image’s weight and transfers beauty to it. There is also a huge black volume in Magical Space Forms (Black and White), 1963, by the American El Lorser Feitelson, pioneer of the Californian Hard-Edge painting that turns white into a negative, almost invisible space. A crucial difference with the New York artists associated with Color-Field, according to critic Dave Hickey (2004), is that their abstractions refer not only to formal concerns but contain the social anxiety of their own time. The Italian Turi Simeti is present with Un ovale Bianco, 1988. Silent and tactile, this tensed acrylic in whose center the oval form emerges as if sprouting from the surface, acquires the quality of a tridimensional relief fusing painting and object in the same monochromatic field. For its color and form, though totally abstract, it is connected to forms ingrained in the collective unconscious.

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DRAWING IN BLACK AND WHITE

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Drawing somehow exists by the contrast between a prototypically black line and the void of the paper, emulous of white. In the case of the Untitled, 1958 drawing by the Brazilian Lothar Charoux, another member of the Ruptura group, the interest for the constructed form lies in the unpredictability of the composition, that purports subtly altered symmetries and, despite the figurebackground differentiation, makes the eye waver on the insideoutside limit. Meanwhile, in the Indian ink Untitled, 1950 drawing by the Brazilian Hercules Barsotti there is an inquiry fusing the constructive and the optic, evoking the squaring of the circle. A square contains four identical circles whose borders touch each other while they are intersected by colorless squares, in a constructive game of forms created by the alternative contention of squares within circles and vice-versa, and the dynamic game between the powerful black and the absence of color in the paper. There is an Untitled, 1959, drawing by Raul Pavlotzky, a member of the Uruguayan concrete movement, that could suggest a sort of Moebius ring built by a single, irregular brushstroke of varying width and angulations instead of curves, thus emphasizing gestuality. In Serie 6 No.4b, 1959, also ink on paper by the Argentinian Eduardo Serón, white lines or points on a thoroughly black surface compose autonomous universes which, though referring to nothing, connect the vision to perhaps the very source of the learning process of the human sight, which tends to perceive black and white patterns as well as straight lines or square figures before it perceives colors. High contrast and geometry stimulate visual interaction. In his Serie VI No.5, 1957, symmetry is balanced between two white central points and a single un-centered red point. This is the first color we learn to see. Euritmia, 1953, by the Argentinian Jorge Lezama, and other works of his on paper, in black and white, have the eclectic quality of the abstract inquiries, from the European vanguards to Southern constructivism. The title itself refers to the quest for beauty through movement in space, in this case of the drawn forms. Emphasizing the relationship between oeuvre and spectator was decisive in the emergence of optic art, and this quest can be viewed in paper works such as Virtual Tactil IV, 2018, by the Venezuelan Rafael Martínez. Here the expectancy is not the spectator’s corporeal motion, the key of cinetismo, but a mental movement that causes an oscillation of perception. As Gestalt had understood long before, we tend to complete the forms from previously known mental patterns. By multiplying open squares with one side missing, in combination with closed squares placed in the center so that they also create a foursquare space, the spectator tends to mentally complete the figures. For decades, Martínez

has been experimenting with variations and materials. In Virtual táctil I, 2018, painted in acrylic on metal, the repetitions of the outlined figures of two intersected squares surround the central situation of four black squares in the same relationship with other outlines. A subtle detail is crucial: if one black square breaks into the outline, one of the latter’s sides penetrates the black surface, but the line then becomes white. The eye-trap is crafty but it entails the oscillation of levels, since what ought to be down appears on top and vice-versa. OPTIC ART Linked by its own nature to perceptive experience, optic art is built from the visual tension that reaches maximal intensity with the contrast between black and white, inseparable from background and form. Both extreme colors incarnate, in their relationship with light, the total presence-absence of color, and are identified with brightness and darkness, key elements for the creation thereof. The exhibition includes pioneer artists of this movement in the Americas and in Europe. Cinétique, 1959, by the Argentinian Horacio García Rossi, is a perfect example of his inquiries in optickinetic art: the multiplication of the form of a black circle traversed by a sectional cut revealing the clear surface is made in such a way that the variations respond to constants and respect the symmetry building up squares within squares and activating an intense optic movement. Sans Titre, 1962, by the Argentinian Mariano Carrera, reflects the investigative spirit that early in that decade sought to stretch the scope of optic kinetic art. The perceptual richness of acrylic on canvas lies on the way it builds, under the principle of the containing toy, squares within squares that seem to come out from radiant halos. Among other works, his Tableau Cinétique, 1969, vouches the dynamism of the image from the luminosity of white lines interspersed and aligned in figures formed by the waxing and waning of the absence of color on the black plane in constant, repetitive progressions. Light, as ersatz of the white, is a constructive element in his monochromatic rhythmic box Orgue, 1964. American artist Francisco Celentano preferred to talk about “Perceptual Art,” in allusion to these games of optic distortions. His featured work, Reverse Units, 1966, created the year after his participation in the historical The Responsive Eye exhibition, organized by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, combines two modes of opposition: black and white and the alternation of repetitive rows with the same forms, intensifying the contrast between opposites. It is an exquisite piece, unafraid of symmetry or predictable order. As for the Polish Julian Stanczak, who also took part in the same exhibition and was another pioneer, responding


to Bauhaus’s influence on America, the oil painting Brim Two, 1972, is included. A huge rhomb which seems to project itself tri-dimensionally from the center of the pictorial plane is built with the handling of graduations between the densities of black and white. The illusion of intense luminosity in the contours of this central geometric figure is magnificently achieved. Likewise, the American born in Britain Reginald Neal participated in this crucial—regardless of the mixed critics it received— MoMA show, and also in Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s. Precisely the included work, Double Circle Moiré, 1967, is built with the mixed graphic-sculptural technique (lithography and plexiglas) that creates this effect of interference in patterns, in this case, circles within circles that seem to move, while varying, shifting and overwhelming the eye. This work is closely related to the piece by François Morellet, also a participant of the same MoMA’s exhibition and co-founder of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), to which other crucial artists of En Absence/Presence Total de Color also adhered, like Julio LeParc and Horacio García Rossi. This experimental painting created to provoke unique immersive perceptual experiences entails the use of manual techniques like those enunciated in the work’s title: 2 trames inégales avec 5 interférences (two uneven wefts with five interferences), 1974, besides the introduction of lighting systems. Julio Le Parc represented Argentina in the 33rd Venice Biennial, the same year that Freire participated in representation of Uruguay, and like her he rejected the quest of political utopias through art. Instead, he privileged the activation of experiences that art can provide and the playfulness of movement that stimulates perception. The featured piece, Jeu Visuel Formes en Mouvement, 1966, displays four sets of four white lathes on a central crossing point forming a turning octahedron, whose movement is produced by an electronic device. In Cuba, a central figure in these inquiries was Ernesto Briel. The whole of his work retook, even in an ambiance hostile to abstraction, the quests of Op Art, transplanting them to his incomparable “op-artistic architectures.” As it can be seen in the featured pieces, the quality of his optic-space inventions place him at the same height as his friend Bridget Riley. But besides, these visual spaces, imbued with spiritual force, were for years a universe of affirmation for the unalienable freedom with which he had to face diverse forms of isolation. In Argentina, other pioneer figures were Antonio Asís and Rogelio Pollesello. The former’s work, Interference, 1958, multiplies on the pictorial plane the effect of the circular spirals of Duchamp’s film Anémic Cinema. The black and white interferences transfer to the eye the illusion of motion achieved in another way by the rapidly-projected

photograms of cinema. Likewise, Pollesello’s Two Ovals I, 1959, includes in the same work on paper two optic planes that force the eye to appreciate the almost brutal difference that can be created between two geometric figures by high-contrast repetitions against the background according to their horizontal or vertical disposition. Concrete graphics by the same artist gain strength from contrasting and irregular dynamic geometries. Composiciones analógicas, 1958, by the Uruguayan Miguel Bategazzore, evoke for the eye the distortion of the anamorphic perspective of Holbein the Young’s famous Renaissance painting, but instead of an elongated painted skull, the abstract signs in black and white project mobility in conjunction with the image and the spectator. The shifting perception according to the position of the beholder is also essential for the kinetic work of Italian Edoardo Landi. In Superficie a Triangoli, 1961, like the chromo-plastic atmospheres painted in the same decade by the Argentinian Luis Tomasello, takes advantage of a color’s reflection, blue-el fondo es negro- in this case, on the white, in such a way that it irradiates and conjugates in the same projection of the shadow of the small superimposed triangles, creating a shifting effect dependent on the spatial relationship with the spectator. The inquiry of the white relief named N°80-2 R, 1969, by the German Ewerdt Hilgemann, is akin to these explorations. But instead of triangles, he uses cylindrical forms raised above the plane which transform it in conjunction with light. Last but no least, the exhibition includes works in gelatin on silver by the Uruguayan Romulo Aguerre, relevant in the history of abstract photography. These are geometric compositions captured as essays on the power of shadows, transparencies and the reflection or contrast between variations of whites and blacks that energize the relationship between background and shape.  Each of these elements invites to sharpen perception.  The register of the reality no longer yields clearly identifiable references, but it immerses us in the experience of looking.  Just like László Moholy Nagy´s approach of the “New Vision”, Rómulo Aguerre understood that photography could teach another way of seeing the world, revealing what is unseen by the eye. In the exceptional, Guitars in the Pentagram, 1954, he captures the game between the objects and the shadows and reflections of the real referent, to a certain point that it becomes unrecognizable in the photographic record. Romúlo went further in detachment from the real referents working in his dark room where he made abstract compositions from the projection of light on objects on gelatin silver paper. Activating the photographic process without using a camera he created unique works such as Black Forms, 1954, Composition, 1960, and Dissociated Squares, 1967. 13


Romúlo Aguerre

B. 1919, Montevideo, Uruguay - D. 1992 Montevideo, Uruguay

“Romúlo Aguerre stands out especially for his abstract creations, where black and whites play a wonderful counterpoint with free, dynamic forms, treated with a remarkable plasticity.” Maria Luisa Torrens. Montevideo, 1967.

Undoubtedly, this growing recognition of Aguerre’s oeuvre has been the consequence of the increasing appreciation of constructivist abstraction as one of the most powerful artistic currents of Latin America, a process which, after its initiation in the past century (in the 1990s), has gradually led to the discovery of new scenarios and important authors linked to it, like Aguerre, among others. However, it should be pointed out that Rómulo Aguerre´s photography developed along his career in parallel with the succession of artistic currents which marked the changing standard of “the new” in Western art of the 1950s through the 1970s, the practice and circulation of which became at that time more internationalized and synchronic within the West in general, including Latin America and the peripheral regions of Europe. Hence, in Aguerre’s body of work, the temporal prevalence of constructivist abstraction is followed by that of expressionism or abstract informalism, and the latter by that of forms of exploration related to pop- art and the graphic currents that played an important role in the art of the 1960s and early 1970s. Nevertheless, this need of permanent “updating” contained in Aguerre’s work in its temporal itinerary does not acquire the quality of a mimetic movement of the “avant-garde” artistic proposals of the time, nor does it cause the assemblage of the author’s production to become fragmented into separate compartments. The reasons for this lie in two characteristics that are constantly found in this work throughout various decades: one is the permanent laboratory experimentation, which comprises the widest range of possible explorations, such as superimposing or fragmenting negatives; plays of lights and shadows, including luminous strokes; toning during the process of developing; photomontages and collages; intervention of the photographic image with other materials, and several others; the other characteristic is the permanent tendency toward abstraction, which extends beyond the specific research into pure abstraction. Whether shooting a nude or a portrait − I am obviously talking about his artistic work and not the work carried out in his commercial studio – the photographer devised it based on the graphic and composition resources indispensable for the proposition of an abstract vision of the individual and not his/ her direct representation. 14


Guitarras en el Pentagrama, 1954, 39.50h x 29.50w cm, 15.55h x 11.61w in.

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Untitled, 1954, 18h x 15.50w cm, 7.09h x 6.10w in.

Untitled, 1954, 15h x 21w cm, 5.91h x 8.27w in.

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Expresionismo concreto n˚2, 1967, 29h x 37.5w cm, 11.4h x 14.76w in.

Expresionimo concreto n˚3, 1967, 17h x 26.5w cm, 6.59h x 10.4w in.

Cuadrados Disociados, 1967, Gelatin Silver Print, 26.50h x 41w cm, 10.43h x 16.14w in.

17


Composition, 1954, Gelatin Silver Print, 17h x 13w cm 6.69h x 5.12w in.

Formas negras, 1954, Gelatin Silver Print, 36h x 28w cm, 14h x 11w in.

18


Composiciรณn, 1960, Gelatin Silver Print, 53h x 43w, 20.8h x 16.92w in.

19


Wifredo Arcay

B.1925 Havana, Cuba - D.1997 Paris, France.

““The perfection of Cuba’s Cubists” Arcay emerged among the postwar generation of the Ecole de Paris as a painter, muralist and as a printmaker”. Jean Arp. Paris, 1962.

Wifredo Arcay studied at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro (National Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Alexander) in Havana, then moved to Paris on a grant in 1949. There he studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière from 1949 to 1950 and frequented the Atelier d’Art Abstrait, becoming a part of the post-Cubist geometric abstraction movement. Arcay set up his first studio at the villa of André Bloc (1896–1966) in Meudon in 1951, where he met artists like Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931) and Fernand Léger (1881–1955). In 1953 he introduced serigraphy to France and realized Maîtres d’Aujourd’hui (Today’s Masters), an edition of twelve silkscreen prints honoring the prewar aesthetics of abstraction, followed by a second edition (Jeunes Peintres d’Aujourd’hui [Today’s Young Painters], 1954) dedicated to a younger generation of abstract artists. In the late 1950s and early 1960s Arcay’s practice evolved from easel painting into reliefs designed for architectural space. He joined the Constructivist Groupe Espace in 1953 and from 1959 to 1961 he was a member of the Cuban group Los Diez Pintores Concretos (Ten Concrete Painters). Although Arcay spent twothirds of his life in France he regularly sent works to Cuba and represented his home country in exhibitions abroad, such as the 1955 Bienal de São Paulo.

20


Elechim, 1961, Oil on Wood, 62h x 78w x 8d cm 24.4h x 30.7w x 3.14d inches

21


Carmelo Arden Quin B. 1913 Rivera, Uruguay. - D. 2010, Savigny-sur-Orge, France.

[...] What distinguishes us, what makes us original, is the use of irregular polygons as a dimension to inscribe a composition. In abandoning the four classical orthogonal angles (square and rectangle) as a basis for composition, we gained in possibilities for invention, in every sense of the word. We can create an infinite number of flat forms […]” Carmelo Arden Quin. Paris, 2000.

Carmelo Heriberto Alves was born in Rivera, Uruguay, on March 16, 1913. The Catalonian writer Emilio Sans, a friend of his family, introduced him to the Plastic Arts. In 1935 he met Joaquín Torres García during a conference at the Theosophist Society seat, and though he initially adopted his aesthetic guidelines, in 1936 he made his first nonorthogonal paintings, transgressing the traditional limits of the frame confinement. He exhibited those works at the Casa de España, Montevideo, within the framework of a demonstration supporting the Spanish Republic. By the end of 1937 he settled in Buenos Aires where he frequented avant-guard artists and studied Philosophy and Literature in the University. In this city he shared his atelier with the Chilean artist Miguel Martínez, who introduced him to Gyula Kosice, at the time a teenager dedicated to leather goods. He was also a member of the editing group for Influential Arturo magazine, issued only once in 1944. In 1946, following aesthetic divergences, two organizations were formed: the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención and the Madí Group. As a member of the latter, Arden Quin participated in the four exhibitions hosted by the Galería Van Riel and by the Escuela Libre de Artes Plásticas Altamira during the last six months of that year. He also took part in the First International Madí Exhibition, organized at the Ateneo de Montevideo, Uruguay. He exhibited polygonal-framed works, movable and co-planar structures, object-pictures, and concave-convex works. In 1948 he travelled to Paris, where he frequented Michel Seuphor, Marcelle Cahn, Auguste Herbin, Jean Arp, Georges Braque and Francis Picabia, among other vanguard artists. There he had various exhibitions, and participated in the Salon des Realités Nouvelles. He returned to Argentina in 1954, and together with Aldo Pellegrini founded the Asociación Arte Nuevo (New Art Association) –integrated by artists of different non-figurative tendencies– that had its first exhibition at the Galería Van Riel in 1955. Back to Paris he continued with his work, and during this period he introduced collage and découpage to his works, resources that he exclusively used until 1971, when he retook painting. In 1962 he created the Ailleurs magazine, and during that decade he participated in the Concrete Poetry movement.

22


Rythme 3, 1993, Acrylic on Masonite, 93h x 62w cm, 36.61h x 24.41w in. 23


Untitled, 1994, Ink on Paper, 40.5h x 31w cm, 15.94h x 12.20w in.

24


Untitled, 1994, Ink on Paper, 40.5h x 31w cm, 15.94h x 12.20w in.

25


Antonio Asis

B. 1932 Buenos Aires, Argentina. - D. 2019 Paris, France.

“The trajectory of Antonio Asis is in itself a summary of the history of optical-kinetic art. Involved in most of the key events of this movement, from the “Licht und Bewegung” exhibitions (Bern, 1965) to “Lumière et mouvement” (Paris 1967), including the gatherings at the Galerie Denise René and the Signals Gallery in London.” Arnauld Pierre. Paris, 2007.

Asis, born in 1932 in Buenos Aires, was a key member of the South American expatriate creative community who moved to Paris in the 1950s and to explore color and geometry to incite movement and vibration in art. He arrived in the French capital in 1956, after studies at the Escuela National de Belles Artes, where he quickly adopted a view inspired by Bauhaus ideas and concrete and constructivist art. Artists Julio Le Parc, Hugo Demarco and Mariano Carrera were among his Buenos Aires classmates. They all eventually moved to Paris, which, thanks to the Galerie Denise René and the artist Victor Vasarely, had become a beacon for the new geometry sweeping through art. Asis quickly befriended the likes of Yaacov Agam, Nicolas Schöffer, Narcisso Debourg, Jean Tinguely and Jesus-Rafael Soto, who, at the time, made more money from playing guitar in Parisian cafés than from art. The bohemian atmosphere of risk and discovery appealed to Asis. He experimented with photograms and introduced movement into his work by attaching spirals and small balls on springs to paintings with which the viewer was incited to interact. Asis also became known for his grill paintings with a metallic grill placed several inches in front of a panel painted with a geometric motif. When the viewer moved in front of the work it created a spinning moiré effect. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Asis continued to investigate systematic grids of color and how movement seduced the eye. In 1971, he co-founded Position, a group of Argentine geometrical artists living in Paris that included Carlos Agüero, Armando Durante and Hugo Demarco. In recent years, interest in Asis’s work has surged, thanks to a re-evaluation of the importance of his early geometric and kinetic explorations. His work is found in many museums, including the Pompidou Centre in Paris, The Museum Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

26


Interferences, 1958, Acrylic on Cardboard, 19.50h x 19.50w cm, 7.68h x 7.68w in.

27


Hercules Barsotti

B. 1914 Sao Paulo, Brazil. - D. 2010 Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“[…]Since the early 1950s, color, particularly black and white, and the dynamics of the possibilities of shapes. In search of the balance between reason and emotion, his paintings have an objectual quality resulting from the three-dimensional illusion provoked by the unbalanced arrangement of the fields of color in relation to the frame[...]” Gabriela S. Wilder. Sao Paulo, 2010.

Painter, draftsman, visual programmer, engraver. Hercules Rubens Barsotti, a plastic artist born in São Paulo in 1914, he carried out his first drawing studies with Enrico Vio, from 1926 to 1933. In 1937, he graduated in Industrial Chemistry from the Mackenzie Institute. From 1937 to 1939 he worked as a chemist, and began painting around 1940. His first abstract drawings appear in 1950 and, from 1954, it realizes constructive works, independent of the concrete group of São Paulo. From that same year he began to work in textile design and, together with Willys de Castro, founded the Graphic Design Studio in São Paulo (1954 - 1967). His first solo exhibition takes place in 1959 at the Galeria de Arte Folhas, in São Paulo, and his work demonstrates an affinity with neoconcretism, as well as that of Willys de Castro. From the 1960s, he participated in the international art biennials of São Paulo, and presented works in the Neoconcrete shows held in the years 1960 and 1961. With other artists, he founded the groupNovas Tendências (1963 - 1965). In the 1960s, he significantly enlarged the range of colors in his works, and for that he imported acrylic paint from the United States, a novelty at the time. The coexistence with Willys left deep marks in the work of Barsotti. They shared experiences with the greatest artist in the world of concrete art, among them Max Bill, a great revelation of the first biennial held in São Paulo in 1951. He was a member of the Brazilian Association of Industrial Designers. It was classified in a national contest for the design of textile patterns in 1967. It stood out among the modern Brazilian programmers with their research of shape and color applied to industrial production. In 1998, Barsotti sold his historical collection of concrete art, undoing himself of 21 of his designs that participated in important shows and biennials. Most of these works were produced at the time of the controversy between concrete paulistas, led by the painter Waldemar Cordeiro, and the Rio neoconcretos. (Frente and Ruptura groups).

28


Untitled, ca 1950, China ink on Cardboard, 18h x 18w cm, 7h x 7w in.

29


Miguel Battegazzore B. 1931Montevideo, Uruguay.

“The work of Battegazzore reflects the breadth of its formation, since from its beginnings it was handled both in the theoretical artistic dimension as in its praxis.” Angel Kalemberg. Montevideo, 2008.

Painter and set designer born in Montevideo on January 22, 1931. He graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in 1958 where he studied with Miguel A. Pareja. He made study trips to Europe, 1961, Africa, 1962, and various countries of America in 1967. He made sets for Montevideo theaters: La Máscara, Teatro Odeón, SODRE, Teatro Solís. He taught at the School of Fine Arts, Secondary Education, the Institute of Artigas Teachers, the School of Cinematography and the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences of the University of the Republic. He obtained the municipal scholarship “Carlos María Herrera” and the Fundación Calouste Gulbenkian scholarship. He is the author of several audio-visuals such us : “Torres García”, 1975; “Sign and color”, 1976; “El Grito”, 1977; “Today Latin America”, 1977. He is the author of the essay on Torres-Garcia signs “J. Torres-García The plot and the sign”, 1999, published by the Municipality of Maldonado. He won the Acquisition Award at the XII Municipal Hall of 1960; Grand Prix Emilio Fontana, 1976; First Prize Contest of Commemorative Medals Designs of the 250 years of the Montevideo Foundation, 1976; First Prize of the First Audiovisual Contest, Cine Club, 1976; First Prize Logo Contest, National Post Office, 1978; Painting of the East Prize, 1978; Prize 3rd National Hall of Maldonado, 1986; Bienarte I Award, 1986; Figari Award, 2000. In his plastic evolution he went from abstractism to a very personal figuration in which there is a reinterpretation, updated, of the symbolic world established by Joaquín Torres García. What was order in the work of Torres, is transformed into chaos and disorder, the signs fall from their shelves or shelves, and make up within the picture an “entropy”. The signs of Torres García were of idealistic filiation, Battegazzore materializes them, makes them leave the two-dimensional cells and appear in their three-dimensionality. It is represented in the Municipal Museum “Juan Manuel Blanes”; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; National Museum of Visual Arts; American Art Museum of Maldonado; Collection A. Fontana, Montevideo.

30


Composiciones Analรณgicas, 1958, Mixed Media, 61h x 46w cm, 24.02h x 18.11w in.

31


Ernesto Briel

B. 1943, Guanabacoa, Cuba. - D. 1992, New York, USA.

“I do not see geometric abstraction as a style that I adopted, but rather as my only and constant way of expressing myself artistically.” Ernesto Briel. New York, 1992.

Born in 1943, Ernesto Briel found inspiration in Optical Art amidst the constraints and limitations of his native country following the Cuban revolution. Facing both the isolation imposed by the US cultural embargo of the sixties, and the relentless persecution by the Castro regime against homosexuality during the early seventies, Briel found motivation in these challenges that would nurture his prolific artistic life. He was instrumental in the circulation of geometric abstraction in Cuba at this time. Many of his artworks that are included in this exhibition were printed in Signos; a national magazine published in a conscious effort to prevent cultural isolation. Briel left Cuba through the Mariel boatlift in 1980 and continued his practice in New York, receiving the Cintas Foundation fellowship award in 1988-1989 and exhibiting in a number of solo and group shows. These exhibitions included the now historically relevant Duo Geo show in 1992, which featured Briel’s work alongside his friend and fellow Cuban artist, Carmen Herrera. Briel died of AIDSrelated complications in 1992. His legacy lives through the myriad of challenges he overcame and his commitment to his artistic practice, especially the international language of Op Art, as a means to transcend cultural boundarie

32


Untitled ca 1968, Ink on Paper, 31.75h x 31.75w cm, 12.5h x12.5w in.

33


Untitled ca 1968, Ink on Paper, 41.28h x 48.26w cm, 16.25h x 19w in.

34


Untitled ca 1968, Ink on Paper, 31.75h x 31.75w cm, 12.5h x 12.5w in.

35


Carlos Cairoli

B. 1926 Buenos Aires, Argentina - D. 1995 Chartres, France.

“For Cairoli, constructivism marks in our century the fundamental renovation of sensibility and is the springboard that will allow to reach new possibilities of expression.” Philippe Dominique. Paris, 1960.

Carlos Cairoli studied Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. At the end of the 1940s he met artist Torres Garcia who familiarised him with theories of constructivism and the art of Mondrian (ref. Arte Constructivo he wrote in 1933 dedicated to Mondrian). Becoming increasingly interested by the effects of light on material, he joined briefly the experimental group on spatial research directed by Lucio Fontana, who had returned to Buenos Aires (1946-47). Cairoli moved to Paris in 1952 and, from 1955 started exhibiting regularly at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Comparaisons and Grands et Jeunes d’Aujourd’hui. His first influence in Europe, visible in his complex Plexiglas constructions, came from his many visits to the artist Vantongerloo, founding member of De Stijl. Cairoli participated in Groupe Espace created in 1951 by André Bloc and Félix Del Marle, both followers of De Stijl. This new group aimed to pursue in a less utopic approach the neo-plastic ideal of the synthetisation of the arts (painting, sculpture and architecture) within an architectural space. Believing in a purer ideology and more universal form of constructivism, Cairoli joined in 1959 the Groupe Mesure founded by Georges Folmer, along with the painters Jean Gorin and Luc Peire with François Morellet and Aurelie Nemours also taking part. Cairoli organised the exhibition Constructivism: Festival 1962 in Paris at Galerie Dautzenberg, pursuing his own ideas with a new group he named Centre International des recherches Spatiales Formelles and participated in the international exhibition at the Stedelijk Amsterdam Experiment in Constructie in 1962 regrouping the followers of De Stijl: Jean Gorin, Anthony Hill, Joost Baljeu, Mary Martin, Charles Biederman, John Ernest and Dick Van Woerkom.

36


Rythme, 1956, Cardboard Collage, 65h x 50w cm, 25.59h x 19.69w in.

37


Mariano Carrera B. 1934 Buenos Aires, Argentina.

My intention; As far as my works are concerned, it is to avoid the intermediary or the gallery. This will not only lower the costs of the work, but will end with that mysticism that exists around the work and it’s author.’ Here the potential buyers can see me in full execution of my works. Not only do I want to communicate with them through my creations, but also in the daily dialogue.” Mariano Carrera. Paris, 1963.

Kinetic art is being reevaluated and rediscovered around the world. It is thus important to underscore the contribution of Mariano Carrera, among the Latin American pioneers who came to practice their art in France in the 1950s and 1960s. Carrera had taught drawing and engraving in his home country of Argentina at the School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. Unsurprisingly, his life as a professor could not fully satisfy his creative drive. Just as Julio Le Parc, Hugo Demarco and Horacio Garcia-Rossi, Carrera came to Paris to develop the two ideas which characterize kinetic art: movement and the viewer’s participation. Mariano Carrera built his first optical structures in the early 1960s. He also created his deforming pendulums and relief pictures made of fine wooden rods suspended by a nylon thread. The later composition is never static. The spectator manipulates it to their liking. A movement in the air also animates it and causes the wooden rods to collide and resonate in their own creative musical tone. One must also point to the numerous compositions and optical variations that, started in his youth, he continues to elaborate today. Mariano Carrera’s work has not recently been shown enough in France. It is true that his nomadic and solitary disposition denies him from staying in one place very long. His works are dispersed around Europe and Latin America. And his detachment from the art world’s of Paris, London or elsewhere is evidently more or less voluntary. Yet it is precisely this that allows this young 80-year-old artist to continue to animate his creative adventure. He continues to push the limits of form. Recently, he has been working on robotic sculptures. But even as I write, Mariano Carrera has yet to establish when or where he will culminate this endeavor. He is, as ever, immersed in artistic research.

38


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39


Sans Titre, 1973, Acrylic on Canvas, 50h x 50w cm, 19.69h x 19.69w in.

Sans Titre, 1973, Acrylic on Canvas, 50h x 50w cm, 19.69h x 19.69w in.

40


Tableau CinĂŠtique, Mixed Media on Plexiglass, 1969, 50h x 50w x 4d cm, 19.69h x 19.69w x 1.57d in.

41


Sans Titre, Acrylic on Canvas, 1973, 50h x 50w cm, 19.69h x 19.69w in.

42


Orgue, 1964, Wood and Light, 44h x 65w x 7d cm, 17.32h x 25.59w x 2.7 6d in.

43


44

Structure Interchangeable, 1967, Wood and Nylon Cord, 62h x 120w x 7d cm, 24.41h x 47.24w x 2.7 6d in.


45


Francis Celentano B. 1928, The Bronx, NY. - D. 2016, NY.

“Op Art or better Perceptual Art functions as a metaphor for the distortions of perception, experience and reason generously provided by nature and culture.” Francis Celentano. Paris, 1963.

Francis Celentano was an American Op artist included in the Museum of Modern Art (New York) exhibition The Responsive Eye in 1965. Born in the Bronx in 1928, he studied both art and art history as an undergraduate and graduate student at New York University. Celentano’s 1960s dealer in New York was the Howard Wise Gallery, known for its exhibitions on technology and art. Celentano was introduced to Wojciech Fangor and his work while both were part of The International Artist Seminar at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1965. Fangor’s sprayed colors inspired Celentano to develop his own approach to color in the 1968 Alpha paintings. He joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 1966 where he taught until his retirement in 1993. In 1972, Celentano completed a large mural commission for SeaTac airport in Seattle. Celentano’s work is included in such collections as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo; and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Buenos Aires.

46


Reverse Units, 1966, Acrylic on Canvas, 182.9 x 111.8 cm, 72h x 44w in.

47


Lothar Charoux

b. 1912 Vienna, Austria - D. 1987, São Paulo, Brazil.

Lothar Charoux remains absolutely faithful to the formal structure established during his concrete period in the 1950s. Since that time he has been creating virtual spaces in which form is completed gesturally in the eye of the spectator, employing lines that are organized symmetrically, and on vertical supports organizes the visual rhythm created by the relation between the different linear densities and the unique color that serves as the background.” . Federico Morais. Sao Paulo, 1986.

Painter, designer, teacher. He began his artistic studies with his uncle, the Austrian sculptor Siegfried Charoux. He came to Brazil in 1928, and settled in São Paulo. In the 1930s, he enrolled at the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios in São Paulo - Laosp, where he met Waldemar da Costa (1904 - 1982), with whom, from 1940, he studied painting. He paints landscapes and portraits. Later he teaches drawing at the Lyceum of Arts and Crafts and Senai. In 1947, he held his first solo exhibition at Galeria Itapetininga. From 1948, Charoux turns to constructive questions. In 1952, he participated in the foundation of Grupo Ruptura, alongside Waldemar Cordeiro (1925 - 1973), Geraldo de Barros (1923 - 1998), Anatol Wladyslaw (1913 - 2004) and others. Hermelindo Fiaminghi (1920 - 2004) and Luiz Sacilotto (1924 - 2003) created the NT - New Trends Visual Arts Association in 1963. He is honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo - MAM / SP and at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro - MAM / RJ in 1974. In 2005, the book Lothar Charoux: The Poetics of the Line was published by art historian Maria Alice Milliet.

48


Untitled, China Ink on Cardboard, 1958, 35h x 50w cm, 13.7h x 19.6w in.

49


José Pedro Costigliolo B. 1902, Montevideo, Uruguay. - D. 1985, Montevideo, Uruguay.

“Costigliolo was the forerunner of concrete art in Uruguay, and he arrived at it through much discipline and work. He felt concrete art as his own. Each work represents a different problem and nothing is left to fate; in his works, everything is measured, sensations, shape, color” Maria Freire. Montevideo, 2009.

A successor of 20th century movements such as Russian Suprematism, Constructivism, and Dutch Neo-Plasticism, Costigliolo was a pioneer of Uruguayan concrete art. Born in 1902 in Montevido, Uruguay, Costigliolo studied at the “Circulo de Bellas Artes” from 1921-1925 under masters such as Vicente Puig and Guillermo Laborde. From 1929-1946 he explored graphic design, muralism, and planism, and in 1934 Joaquín Torres García, returned to Montevido from Europe with the most recent knowledge of the European avant-gardes. Costigliolo’s constructive art is also in dialogue with its 1917 Russian counterpart, which, under artists such as Kazimir Malevich and El Lissitzky, led the way to an examination of abstract elements as the picture frame, line, and color. Finally, in 1950, Costigliolo entered his Structural phase, painting oil and vinyl works that consisted of orthogonal structures free from iconic referent. By manipulating size, direction, and color density, Costigliolo formed asymmetrical groups of elements to convey energetic compositions. Using only an acrylic medium, Costigliolo’s constant variation on the size of elements, limited to squares, triangles, and rectangles, became progressively simpler after 1964, conveying a strict order and total concentration on the inner workings of the components. The rectangles follow a slow progression that possesses a sense of vigor through their spatial relationships. His decisions were based on the six rules of grouping established by Gestalist psychologist Max Wertheimer. Later works, also incorporate black shapes, a subtle reference to Malevich and El Lissitsky. The visual repetition of floating shapes accumulates to create a system of permanent rhythm in perpetual mutation, an effect enhanced by the increased space between the rectangles and attained by positioning elements in different directions. Although he suffered from Parkinson’s disease beginning in 1978, he continued to paint until his death in 1985.

50


Composiciรณn, 1953, Collage and Mixed Media on Cardboard, 33h x 58w cm, 13h x 22.8w in.

Proyecto Para Mural,1952, Mixed media on Photo Paper, 8h x 13w cm, 3.15h x 5.12w in.

51


Untitled,ca1954, Tempera on Cardboard, 40h x 40w cm, 15.74h x 15.74w in.

52


Untitled,ca1954, Tempera on Cardboard, 40h x 40w cm, 15.74h x 15.74w in.

53


Lorser Feitelson

B. 1898, Savannah, GA. - D. 1978, Los Angeles, CA.

“I have tried to create a wonder-world of formidable mood-evoking form, color, space, and movement: a configuration that for me metaphorically expresses the deep disturbance of our time: ominously magnificent and terrifying events, hurtling menacingly from the unforeseeable”. Lorser Feitelson, in reference to his painting, Geomorphic Metaphor. Los Angeles 1950-51.

Raised in New York, Lorser Feitelson saw the famous 1913 Armory Show that introduced Americans to Modernism. In the 1920s Feitelson spent time in Paris and sent back paintings to be shown at the prestigious Daniel Gallery in New York. Feitelson moved to Los Angeles in 1927 where he became a leading figure of the avant-garde there. Feitelson and his wife Helen Lundeberg founded the “Post Surrealist” movement in 1934 which led to Feitelson’s inclusion in Alfred Barr’s Fantastic Art, Dada & Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art in 1936. In his Magical Space works from 1948 until 1963, Feitelson reduced his forms as he filled his abstract canvases with geometric areas of color. Feitelson, Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin were shown together in Jules Langsner’s exhibition Four Abstract Classicists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1959. For the exhibition, Langsner coined the term “hard edge painting” to describe this reductive, geometric abstraction. In 1962 Feitelson exhibited in the Whitney Museum’s Geometric Abstraction and had a work, Magical Space Forms, 1955, purchased by the Museum of Modern Art. Feitelson used the simplest of forms in his paintings to explore the tension between positive and negative space. For this reason, he was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s The Responsive Eye in 1965. Feitelson’s work has been featured in the exhibitions Birth of Cool at the Orange County Museum of Art in 2007 and Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1945-1970 at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2011. Feitelson’s work is in many public museums, including: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; among others.

54


Magical Space Forms (Black and White), 1963, Oil and Enamel on Canvas, 182 h x 152 w cm, 72h x 60w in.

55


Frederick Hammersley B. 1919, Salt Lake City, UT. - D. 2009, Albuquerque, NM.

“[...] Shape is actually the tool that carries the burden of the image. However a shape cannot exist unless it bas a value. [...]” Talk by Frederick Hammersley, given at Hoshour Gallery, Abq, NM 1 March 1984.

Raised in New York, Lorser Feitelson saw the famous 1913 Armory Show that introduced Americans to Modernism. In the 1920s Feitelson spent time in Paris and sent back paintings to be shown at the prestigious Daniel Gallery in New York. Feitelson moved to Los Angeles in 1927 where he became a leading figure of the avant-garde there. Feitelson and his wife Helen Lundeberg founded the “Post Surrealist” movement in 1934 which led to Feitelson’s inclusion in Alfred Barr’s Fantastic Art, Dada & Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art in 1936. In his Magical Space works from 1948 until 1963, Feitelson reduced his forms as he filled his abstract canvases with geometric areas of color. Feitelson, Karl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and John McLaughlin were shown together in Jules Langsner’s exhibition Four Abstract Classicists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1959. For the exhibition, Langsner coined the term “hard edge painting” to describe this reductive, geometric abstraction. In 1962 Feitelson exhibited in the Whitney Museum’s Geometric Abstraction and had a work, Magical Space Forms, 1955, purchased by the Museum of Modern Art. Feitelson used the simplest of forms in his paintings to explore the tension between positive and negative space. For this reason, he was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s The Responsive Eye in 1965. Feitelson’s work has been featured in the exhibitions Birth of Cool at the Orange County Museum of Art in 2007 and Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1945-1970 at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2011. Feitelson’s work is in many public museums, including: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; among others.

56


Again is a Gain, #6, 1971, Oil on Canvas, 111.76 x 111.76 cm, 44h x 44w in.

57


Hugo de Marziani B. 1941, La Plata, Argentina.

“For me, art has to do with science. I investigate like a scientist. Neither beauty nor narrative are important to me. I look for form and I see how, along with line and color, I can place them in space...� Hugo De Marziani. Buenos Aires, 2000.

Born in Ciudad de La Plata, Argentina, Hugo De Marziani studied drawing and printmaking at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata from 1956 to 1958. He took classes with Adolfo de Ferrari, where he learned the basics of Cubism, and he was in dialogue with the important Concrete artists in Buenos Aires during the 1950s. De Marziani was especially interested in the color blue, which he believed could function as both space and form at the same time. In the mid-1970s, De Marziani traveled in France and Italy. From 1975-76, he lived in Milan, after receiving the Francesco Romero painting award from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes and the Italian government. In 1984, De Marziani received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and he moved to New York in 1985. While there, he studied the drawings of Georges Seurat. In the late 1990s, he taught drawing and painting classes in the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes Ernesto de la CĂĄrcova in Buenos Aires. Hugo De Marziani currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

58


Formas, 1960, Oil on Canvas Laid on Board, 30h x 40w cm, 11.81h x 15.75w in.

59


Música, 1959, Tempera on Paper, 30h x 39w cm, 11.81h x 15.35w in.

Untitled,1963, Ink on Paper, 16h x 16w cm, 6.30h x 6.30w in.

60


Untitled,1958, Tempera and Ink on Paper, 26h x 15w cm, 10.24h x 5.91w in,.

Formas, 1959, Tempera on Paper, 11h x 15w cm, 4.33h x 5.91w in.

61


Jacob El Hanani B. 1947 Casablanca, Morocco.

“El Hanani’s meticulous approach to the act of drawing has emerged from the necessity for the patience and perseverance required in making work that clearly manifests its labor-intensive fabrication.” Robert G Edelman. New York, 2014.

Born in Casablanca, with its blend of Jewish, Islamic cultures and the French pro-tectorate in Morocco, raised in Israel, studying at the Avni art school in Tel Aviv and then the École de Beaux Art in Paris, El Hanani’s early life was imbued with a rich heritage that has profoundly influenced his imagery and work-ing methodology. In Paris, El Hanani met the South American artists Raphael Soto, CarlosCruz Diaz and Julio Le Parc, among others, which ultimately led to his show at Denise Rene Gallery in Paris in 1975, and two years later at Denise Rene in New York. Some of the early sources of inspiration for his work ranged from Persian miniatures, Islamic5art, El Hanani sites the graphic “universal” field artwork of Henri Michaux, Mark Tobey and Paul Klee as early influences on his work. Once the artist had relocated to New York City, the conceptual clarity of Agnes Martin and Sol LeWitt, whose work exemplified the “all-over” approach to graphic or painted space, was a significant inspiration, and reinforced his de-cision to eliminate any suggestion of figural imagery from his own artwork.

62


Basket 96, 1996, Ink on Cardboard, 23.50h x 23.50w cm, 9.25h x 9.25w in.

63


Maria Freire

B. 1917, Montevideo, Uruguay - D. 2015, Montevideo, Uruguay.

“Mathematical thought in art does not mean measures or calculations unconsciously or consciously, art has always had a foundation based on geometrical partitions and structures, even in the most primitive ones [...]. In modern art, mathematics [underlay] as an objective regulator [...].” Maria Freire. Montevideo, 2003.

María Freire is one of the Southern Cone’s most productive and engaged, if also one of the least-known, artists working in the Constructivist tradition. Freire trained at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Montevideo from 1938 to 1943, studying under José Cuneo and Severino Pose and at the Universidad del Trabajo under Antonio Pose. Her first sculptures indicate the profound influence of African art on her work, something of an anomaly for an artist in South America at that time. In the early 1950s, after meeting her future husband, the artist José Pedro Costigliolo, her art became more influenced by European non-figurative art, such as Art Concret group, Georges Vantongerloo, and Max Bill. In 1952 she co-founded the Arte No-Figurativo group with Costigliolo in Montevideo, and exhibited with them in 1952 and 1953. Freire exhibited regularly in the National Salons from 1953 to 1972. In 1953 Freire and Costigliolo were invited to the 2nd Sao Paulo Biennial, where they came into contact with Brazil’s enthusiasm for geometric abstraction. In 1957 Freire and Costigliolo won the “Gallinal” travel grant which they used to live and study in Paris and Amsterdam, and to travel throughout Europe until 1960, meeting many of the historical pioneers of abstract art, including Antoine Pevsner and Georges Vantongerloo. In 1959 they exhibited in Brussels, at the Galerie Contemporain. She was invited again to the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1957 and the XXXIII Venice Biennale in 1966. Freire developed her work within a strict, yet variable formal vocabulary, often switching between periods of greater or lesser degrees of abstraction. Her series Sudamérica, worked on from 1958 to 1960, employed cut planes and polygonal forms in a reduced palette. Freire taught drawing in an Architecture Prep School and wrote art criticism for the journal “Acción” from 1962 to 1973. Around 1960, she began to experiment with looser forms of abstraction, and a more expressive range of colors, resulting in her series Capricorn and Cordoba, 1965-1975, and later on she would create volumetric disturbances by dividing the surface with repeated forms or by creating chromatic modulation sequences in her series Variantes y Vibrantes, 1975-1985. In 2000, she began to produce large-scale public sculpture in Uruguay.

64


Escultura Articulada II, 1951, Iron, 119h cm, 46.85h in.

65


Llave, ca 1958, Tempera on Cardboard, 30h x 30w cm, 11.8h x 11.8w in.

Llave, ca 1958, Tempera on Cardboard, 30h x 30w cm, 11.8h x 11.8w in.

66


Llave 6, 1958, Gouache on formica, 40h x 40w cm, 15.7h x 15.7w in.

Llave16, 1958, Gouache on formica, 40h x 40w cm, 15.7h x 15.7w in. . 67


Construcciรณn, 1953, Iron, 100h cm, 39.37h in.

68


Capricornio XX, 1965, Acrylic on Canvas, 95h x 50w cm, 37.4h x 19.68w in.

69


Horacio Garcia Rossi B. 1929, Buenos Aires, Argentina. - D. 2012, Paris, France.

“Horacio was the sage of the GRAV, he had the intelligence, the calm and the humor necessary to hold this role. He did not feel like others, myself for example, to attack the viewer or to be burdened with lamps and neon lights. He knew and always knows how to play with the discreet and mysterious light of his light boxes or the fascinating of his paintings.” François Morellet. Paris, 2010.

Horacio Garçia Rossi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 24, 1929. From 1950 to 1957 he studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. In 1959, he moved to Paris, where he participated in the first Paris Biennial. In his earliest works, García Rossi explored the problem of multiplication of a form and the perception of movement in two-dimensional works, using only black, white, and gray. In Paris, García Rossi co-founded the Centre de Recherche d’Art Visuel (CRAV), along with Francisco García Miranda, Julio Le Parc, Francisco Sobrino, François Molnar, Sergio Moyano Servanes, Yvaral, Jöel Stein, Hugo Demarco, and François Morellet. CRAV dissolved shortly after forming, and was restructured as the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV). In 1964, GRAV was included in the III Documenta Kassel and in the exhibition Lumiere et mouvement, organized by the Musée d’Art modern de París in 1967. After the dissolution of GRAV in 1968, he returned to two-dimensional problems and simple structures, and he dedicated his work to the interactions between light and color. García Rossi died in 2012 in Paris.

70


CinĂŠtique, 1959, Tempera on Cardboard, 30h x 30w cm, 11.81h x 11.81w in.

71


Ewerdt Hilgemann B. 1938, Witten, Germany.

“It is always the rigorous mathematical and geometrical structuring of space which has brought art to its highest moments of achievement.” Getulio Alviani. Montevideo, 1967

Ewerdt Hilgemann (1938) was born in Witten, Germany and after briefly studying at the Westfälische WilhelmsUniversity in Münster; he attended Werkkunstschule and the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken. In the 1960s he participated in residencies at Kätelhöhn Printers in Wamel, Asterstein in Koblenz and Halfmannshof in Gelsenkirchen, Western Germany, and started to exhibit his work across Europe before moving to Gorinchem, the Netherlands in 1970. From 1977 to 1998 he taught Concept Development at the Sculpture Department of Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Hilgemann’s work is in numerous public and private collections worldwide including in Germany: Museum Lenbachhaus, Munich; Museum for Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt; Museum of Contemporary Art, Bremen; Stadtisches Museum, Gelsenkirchen; Markisches Museum, Witten; in The Netherlands: Kröller Müller Museum, Otterlo; Museum Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort; Museum for Contemporary Art, Arnhem; Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht; Groninger Museum, Groningen; Rijksmuseum Twente, Eschede; Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht; further more: Art Field, Moscow, Russia; Vasareli Museum, Budapest, Hungary and Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey. He has made public installations in numerous countries, including Germany, The Netherlands, Hungary, Korea, and in the United States: Park Avenue, New York, NY; Chicago, IL; Beverly Hills and the City of West Hollywood, CA. Hilgemann has lived and worked in Amsterdam since 1984.

72


N°80-2 R, 1969, Lacquer on Wood, 60h x 60w cm, 23.62h x 23.62w in.

73


Nikolai Kasak B. 1917, Russia. - D. 1994, New York, USA.

The need to study in depth the unresolved problem of Non Figurative Art and of rescuing it from its state of paralysis led me, in 1947, in Europe, to advocate the total destruction of the traditional concept of rectangular painting and to introduce aero-created space. In order to implement the above principle, I therefore adopted two fundamental universal elements, that is, the solid block and the aero-created space . Nikolai Kasak. Buenos Aires, 1951.

An artist of Belarusian descent, Kasak began his formal training in the 1930’s in Warsaw, continuing on to Vienna, then Rome. He was originally trained in the academic style of late nineteenth century Realism, until the artist encountered abstract art for the first time in 1945. The artists of De Stijl, Russian Constructivism, and Suprematism had vast influence on Kasak, prompting him to shift his focus from a primarily figure-based aesthetic to pure abstraction. Concentration of form, formulaic compositions, and solid color shapes became the significant structural element in his painting. Upon immigrating to the United States post- World War II, Kasak had the opportunity to exchange creative ideas with other Eastern- European and Russian émigré circles, formulating and fine-tuning his artistic ideology. Kasak also became involved with the Madi movement of Argentina through Gulia Kosice. It was Piero Dorazio who first sent an image of Kasak’s work to be included in the Madi Magazine. Kosice formally invited Kasak in a letter dated January 25, 1950, to be part of the Madi Movement. After acceptance by Kasak , he showed his work in multiples occasion as part of the Madi Group , worth to mention International Madi Art, Galeria Bonino Buenos Aires, 1957, International Madi, Galerie Denise Rene , Paris 1960 and 15 years of Madi Art, Modern Art Museum of Buenos Aires in 1961.

74


Black Linear Action, 1949 - 1951, Wood, 147h x 112w x 4d cm, 57.87h x 44.09w x 1.57d in.

75


Black Nothing White Nothing, 1969, Oil on Canvas, 203h x 101.5w cm, 80h x 40w in.

76


Ultimate Art (Black Nothing), 1962-63, Wood, 90h x 90w x 6.50d cm, 35.43h x 35.43w x 2.56d in.

Ultimate Art (White Nothing), 1962-63, Wood, 90h x 90w x 6.50d cm, 35.43h x 35.43w x 2.56d in.

77


Black Angular Forms, 1944, Oil on Canvas, 80h x 65w cm, 31.50h x 25.59w in.

78


Creation White, illuminated, 1963, Casein on Wood, 120h x 120w x 15d cm, 47.24h x 47.24w x 5.91d in.

79


Julije Knifer

B. 1924, Croatia – D. 2004, Paris, France.

“In 1959 I was obsessed with the idea of creating anti-painting. By a certain method of reducing forms and colours I achieved extreme forms of simplicity. The form of the painting was built in extremely contrasting colours - white and black..... The initial stage of my work on canvas consisted of covering the canvas in white. This was already a spiritual part, or spiritual conception of painting... By adding black, white assumed form, or served for black to assume its form. And colours served solely to form the shape of the painting”. Julije Knifer. Paris, 2000. Julije Knifer was a Croatian abstract painter and a founding member of the 1960s Croatian art collective known as the Gorgona Group. The central motif of Knifer’s art is the exploration of meander, a geometric form which he had been creating since 1960 in various painting techniques such as print, oil, acrylic paint, collage and mural. An example of which is the colossal meander created by Knifer on a 20 x 30 m canvas in a quarry in Tübingen (1975). He was also one of the founding members of the Gorgona Group, whose members from 1959 to 1966 were: Miljenko Horvat, Ivan Kožarić, Marijan Jevšovar, Dimitrije Bašičević (who works under the name Mangelos), Matko Meštrović, Radoslav Putar, Đuro Seder and Josip Vaništa. In 1961 he participated at the first New Tendencies’ exhibition in Zagreb. He exhibited at many national and international shows including, The New Tendencies exhibitions (1961, 1963, 1969 and 1973), Art Abstrait Constructif International at the Denise René Gallery (Paris, 1961–1962), Konstruktivisten at the Städtisches Museum Leverkusen (Leverkusen, 1962), Oltre l’informale (San Marino, 1963), the Venice Biennale (1976 and 2001), the São Paulo Art Biennale (1973 with Juraj Dobrović and Vjenceslav Richter, 1979 and 1981). He collaborated with the Dany Keller Gallery in Munich, the Hoffmann Gallery in Friedberg and the Frank Elbaz Gallery in Paris. This increased the number of his works in private and museum collections which are now held in many prominent institutions across the world including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. In 1994 he moved to Paris, where he lived until his death. His first posthumous exhibition was organized by Arnauld Pierre at the Frank Elbaz Gallery in Paris (2010). In 2002 he was the recipient of the Vladimir Nazor Life Achievement Award. Died in paris in 2004.

80


A P 4, 2003, Acrylic on Canvas, 60.1h x 60.1w cm, 23 4/6h x 23 4/6w in

81


Attila Kovács

B. 1938 Budapest, Hungary - D. 2017 Budapest, Hungary.

“Attila Kovács´ use of symmetry and his specific forms are mainly based on mathematical calculations. Only Computer art is based on a similar use of mathematics, but Kovacs does the calculations and the drawings himself. Therefore one basic visual aspect of his artworks is the discrepancy between the exact calculated form and the hand-drawn line”. Ingmar Lähnemann. Buenos Aires, 2007.

Attila KOVÁCS was born in 1938 in Budapest. He emigrated to West-Germany in 1964 and graduated from the Department of Art at the Saatliche Akademie der Bildenen Künste in 1970. KOVÁCS moved to Cologne in 1972, where he lived and worked until 2010. After 1984, he regularly returned to Budapest, and had a retrospective exhibition at the Kunsthalle Budapest in 1995. Currently he lives and works in Budapest. Starting from 1958, and later between 1964 and 1970, he created a unique artistic language that he named “Frame of Reference and Statuesque Transmutation”. In this series, he built his own system of non-Euclidean sequential geometric abstractions by mathematical coordinates along an YXZ time axis. This infinitely variable series is defined by the artist in “The Function Table of Re lativisation and Synthetisation of Visual Structures” (1973-76). The selected sequences were executed on canvas, mounted on wooden board or paper.

82


Metrische sequenz 1973-75, 1981, Acrylic on Canvas Mounted on Board, 120h x 88w cm, 47.24h x 34.64w in.

83


Edoardo Landi B. 1937 Modena, Italy.

“The artists of the Group N , Alberto Biasi, Ennio Chiggio, Toni Costa, Edoardo Landi, and Manfredo Massironi were the undisputed protagonists of Programmed and Kinetic art.” Luigi Barzini JR. Milan, 2011.

After his studies in industrial design at high school, and having obtained a degree in architecture from Venice University, he joined Gruppo Enne with which he had in common a passion for provocation and for opposition to the art market system. He took part in the exhibitions “Nessuno è invitato a intervenire” in 1960 and in 1962 in “Arte Programmata” at the Olivetti shop in Milan; in 1961 became part of Nouvelles Tendences. After the dissolution of Gruppo Enne in 1965, the result of the difficulty in selling works signed by the whole group, he founded Gruppo ENNE 65, together with Massironi and Biasi. Dating from this period are his multi-sensorial and immersive works, the interpretation of which varies according the spatial relationship with the viewer. This work consists of an abstract geometrical plane, a blue square in which sixteen glass spheres contain double-faced cardboard discs that, when reflected on the concave part of the sphere, give rise to an optical effect that changes according to the position of the spectator. By moving, the spectator can observe the iridescent reflections of the discs.

84


Superficie a Triangoli, 1961 - 1971, Mixed Media on Cardboard, 70h x 70w cm, 27.56h x 27.56w in.

85


Judith Lauand B. 1922, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“A painting is not explained. A painting is seen. Words are not substitutes for the direct vision of formal structure, of color relationships, of spaces, of plasticity... the organization of equal elements.” Judith Lauand Milan, 2011.

In 1950, graduated in the School of Fine Arts of Araraquara, São Paulo, where she learns painting with Mario Ybarra de Almeida and Domenico Lazzarini. Two years later, she moved to São Paulo and studied engraving with Lívio Abramo. She works as a monitor at the 2nd International Biennial of São Paulo in 1954, and comes in contact with the concrete painting of Alexandre Wollner and Geraldo de Barros. In that year, he made his first solo show at Galeria Ambiente in São Paulo. In 1955 she is invited by Waldemar Cordeiro to join the Rupture Group, being until the end of the group the only integral woman. She participated in the National Exhibition of Concrete Art, held in 1956 at the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo - MAM / SP and, in 1957, at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro - MAM / RJ. She joined the Konkrete Kunst show in Zurich in 1960. In 1963, she exhibited at the inauguration of the NT-New Trends Gallery in São Paulo, with Hermelindo Fiaminghi and Luiz Sacilotto as founder. He received the Leirner Prize for Contemporary Art in 1958. In 1996, the Art Office Sylvio Nery da Fonseca, in São Paulo, gave him a retrospective exhibition, focusing in particular on his work from the 1950s.

86


Concreto 53, 1957, Gouache on Cardboard, 48h x 52w cm, 18.89h x 20.47w in..

87


Concreto 97, 1958, China Ink on Paper, 13.7h x 13.7w in.

88


Untitled, 1959, China Ink on Board, 48h x 58w cm, 18.8h x 22.8w in.

89


Julio Le Parc B. 1928, Mendoza, Argentina.

“I have tried […] to elicit a different type of behavior from the viewer […] to seek, together with the public, various means of fighting off passivity, dependency or ideological conditioning, by developing reflective, comparative, analytical, creative or active capacities.” Julio Le Parc Paris, 1963.

Julio Le Parc lives and works in Paris, France. Le Parc attended the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires in 1943 where he became interested in Arte Concreto-Invencion and the Spaziliasmo movement. In 1958, Le Parc went to Paris on a French government scholarship and settled there working on works of art related to research into three dimensions, movement and light as it pertains to the kinetic arts. Victor Vasarely’s 1958 exhibition in Buenos Aires became an important catalyst for Le Parc’s career, while in Paris Le Parc pursued collaborative work with fellow artist friends of Vasarely and studied the writings of Mondrian, evolving his practice to reflect on the tradition of Constructivism. Le Parc represented Argentina at the 1966 Venice Biennale, he won the Grand International Prize for Painting as an individual artist. Le Parc had begun working on two-dimensional compositions in color and black and white as early as 1953, while he was still an art teacher in Buenos Aires. From 1960, however, he began to develop a series of distinctive works that made use of ‘skimming’ light: these objects, usually constructed with a lateral source of white light which was reflected and broken up by polished metal surfaces, combined a high degree of intensity with a subtle expression of continuous movement.nCelebrated for what he calls “disturbances in the artistic system,” Julio Le Parc is among the progenitors of the Op Art, or Kinetic Art, movement, who posits a utopian vision for art and society through his perceptually illusory paintings, sculptures, and immersive installations. As co-founder of the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (Visual Art Research Group) (1960-68), he worked to break down the boundaries between art and the viewer.

90


Jeu Visuel Formes en Mouvement, 1966, Wood with Electronic Movement, 57h x 57w x 14d cm, 22.44h x 22.44w x 5.51d in.

91


Jorge Lezama

B. 1921, Buenos Aires, Argentina. - D. 2011, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“Today I am more modest, I do not investigate, I do not even experiment, I only paint lines and colors that produce pleasure and amuse me. “ Jorge Lezama. Buenos Aires, 1990.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1921, Argentina. He studied at the workshops of Emilio Centurión and Adolfo De Ferrari in painting, and those of Bigatti, Guido, Spilimbergo and Curatella Manes in mural. During the 50s, he turned definitively to geometric abstraction. He participated in national and provincial shows and exhibited at Galatea, Corot, Hampton, Van Riel, Marienbad, Arte Nuevo and Müller galleries, among others. He joined the Asociación Arte Nuevo, founded by Aldo Pellegrini in order to bring together all the “non-representative” artists, among whom are Arden Quin, Melé, Tomasello, Silva and, later, Kemble, Polesello, Paternosto. He exhibited in Europe and Latin America. His work as a teacher who worked in major national universities and art schools and as rector of the National School of Fine Arts Prilidiano Pueyrredón, among other positions. In his last years he made a revisionism of his work, going from abstraction to figuration, constantly looking for new images. He died in 2011 in Buenos Aires.

92


Euritmia, 1953, Mixed Media on Paper, 50h x 70w cm, 19.69h x 27.56w in.

Euritmia, 1953, Mixed Media on Paper, 50h x 70w cm, 19.69h x 27.56w in.

93


Antonio Llorens

B. 1920, Buenos Aires, Argentina. - D. 1955, Montevideo, Uruguay.

“Llorens’ work, the fundamental one, is little known. His mastery of screen printing, according to Vasarely’s lesson, in the field of geometric expression, was unrivaled among his Uruguayan colleagues.” Nelson Di Maggio. Montevideo, 2004.

Born in Buenos Aires, in 1920, he studied at the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Montevideo under Guillermo Laborde, José Cúneo, and H. Tetti, with whom he studied advertising drawing and architecture. After an initial stage of training, he began his artistic - professional life working for the London Agency, as an advertising artist. Subsequently, he worked in other agencies as Art Director, He was linked to the graphic arts for 46 years and in the field of industrial design, murals or floors. As a decorator, he developed murals in different techniques. In 1952 he exhibited at the University of Architecture in Montevideo. He was a founding member of the Non-Figurative Art Group, with which he exhibited at the Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes, in 1952-1953. Participated in the Annual Meetings of the National Commission of Fine Arts (1953-1955). He participated in the II and III Biennial of Modern Art of San Pablo. In 1954 he exhibited at the Salamanca Gallery along side Jose Pedro Costigliolo and Maria Freire. In 1960 he joined the “Group 8” and exhibited his works in all the exhibitions held by the group. He participated in the “Exhibition of modern artists from Uruguay in the Catholic University of Santiago de Chile “, (1975). He was a teacher at the School of Fine Arts, a position he won by contest in 1961, and held this position until 1972. With the democratic reopening, he was appointed Director of said School, until May 1989. His work was in numerous exhibitions of the MADÍ group including the important 1958 Parisian MADÍ International, Groupe Argentine at the Galerie Denis René; the 1961 15 Years of MADÍ Art, Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Vanguardias de la década de los 40, Arte MADÍ Perceptismo, Museo Sivori, Buenos Aires in 1980; the 2001 Abstract Art From the Rio de la Plata, 1930s to 1950, Americas Society, New York and Tamayo Museum, Mexico City.

94


Untitled, 1959, Acrylic on Board, 90h x 68w cm, 35.43h x 26.77w in.

95


Formas Negras y Blancas, 1981, Acrylic on Wood, 40h x 45w cm, 15.7h x 17.7w in.

96


Constelaciรณn 2, 1982, Acrylic on Canvas, 130h x 97w cm, 51h x 27.56w in.

97


Rafael Martinez B. 1940, Apure, Venezuela.

“The essential is the “work-spectator” relationship that is established directly through a simple language. Without it, it can be said that the work does not exist.” Rafael Martinez. Paris, 1970.

Venezuelan painter and sculptor born on October 18, 1940 in the city of San Fernando de Apure, Apure State, Venezuela. Rafael Martinez began his journey at the Rafael Monasteries School of Plastic Arts in Maracay in 1958 and later at the Arturo Michelena School of Plastic Arts in Valencia. In 1965 he moved to France and studied art at the Experimental University of Vincennes in Paris, during this period he was assistant to the artists Jesús Soto and Carlos Cruz Diez. During the 1960’s Martinez had the opportunity to participate in almost all the exhibitions related with kinestism and constructivism. In 1970 he travels to Germany where he participates in a very important exhibition alongside Sergio Camargo, Carlos Cruz-Diez, and Julio LeParc at the Buchhloz Galerie in Munich. Also the same year he presented a solo exhibition at the prestigious Galleria del Naviglio in Milan . In 1972 the artist moved to Italy and resides in Milan, Rome and Brescia where he participates in solo and groups exhibitions in several art galleries. In 1978 he returned to Venezuela and after three years he traveled to New York where he studied graphical printing techniques at the Pratt Graphic Center. In 1984 he returned to Venezuela and settled in Valencia, where he currently resides. Rafael Martínez is represented in several collections, such as the National Art Gallery of Caracas, the Caracas Metro, the Alejandro Otero Museum, the Celarg Foundation, the Francisco Fajardo Autocad in Caracas, the Andrés Pérez Mujica Sculpture Museum in Valencia, the Ateneo de Valencia, Jesús Soto Museum in Ciudad Bolívar, Museum of Modern Art in Mérida, Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona, ​​Museum of Modern Art in Maracay, Maracaibo Graphic Museum, Museum of Modern of Philadelphia and Luis Ángel Arango Library of Bogotá.

98


Virtual Tactil IV, 2018, Acrylic and Metal on Wood, 121h x 121w cm, 47.64h x 47.64w in.

99


Virtual Tactil I, 2018, Acrylic on Metal, 70h x 70w cm, 27.56h x 27.56w in.

100


Tactil Virtual I, 2019, Acrylic and Metal,60h x 60w x 34d cm, 23.62h x 23.62w x 13.39d in.

101


Francois Morellet B. 1926, Cholet, France. D - 2016, Cholet, France.

“I strongly believe in the frivolity of Art and also all the pleasure it can give” François Morellet. Paris, 1962.

François Morellet began painting at age 14 and studied Russian literature in Paris. Upon completing his studies, he returned to Cholet in 1948, continuing to paint while running a family-owned toy factory until 1976. This position allowed him to finance his early artistic career while bringing him into dialogue with fabricators and exposing him to material production techniques, which greatly invigorated his artistic practice. In 1950, he visited Brazil, where he first encountered the Concrete Art movement and the innovations of its progenitor, Max Bill. Following his return to France in 1951, Morellet’s stylistic approach to painting shifted, becoming more geometric and analytical. In 1952, he visited the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, which was a revelatory experience. It was during this year that he embraced systems and geometric abstraction. He also became friends with Joël Stein and was introduced to the work of Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian. In 1961, he founded the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV) with Stein and fellow artists Julio Le Parc, Jean-Pierre Yvaral, Francisco Sobrino, and Horacio Garcia Rossi. The group pursued what Morellet termed “programmed experimental painting”: a mode of art-making which sought to actively engage the viewer through immersive, multi-sensory installations. In 1963, Morellet began working with a neon fabricator to generate arrangements of light combined with handmade mechanical timing systems which established a specific lighting rhythm for each panel. Morellet’s work has been included in important international group exhibitions including The Responsive Eye at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1965), Documenta in Kassel, Germany (1964 [with GRAV], 1968, and 1977), and the Venice Biennale (1970, 1990, and 2011). In 1971, his first solo museum exhibition originated at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and traveled throughout Europe. In 2016, the artist died in his Cholet home at the age of 90.

102


2 trames inĂŠgales avec 5 interfĂŠrences, 1974, Oil on Board, 80h x 80w cm, 31.5h x 31.5w in.

103


Reginald Neal

B. 1909, Leicester, Britain. - D. 1992, Florida, USA.

“[...]Mr. Neal was present at the birth of Pop Art. He maneuvers the essential symbols, stars and stripes, in the manner of Robert Indiana[...]” William Zimmer. New York, 1991.

Born in Leicester, Britain, Reginald Neal moved to Decatur, Illinois at an early age. Neal first studied at the School of Fine Arts at Yale University in 1929-1930. He continued studying art history at Chicago University, earning his master’s degree in 1939. Five years later, he had his first one-man show in Chicago. His Op Art works, which were generally black-and-white, explored the optical elements that produced flickering, vibrating, and pulsating effects. Equally well known as a teacher and as an art theorist, Neal taught at the Escuela de Bellas Artes, Mexico, and the Contemporaries Graphic Center, New York. Neal’s use of overlapping printed lines to create a moiré effect led to his inclusion in The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art. In the 1960s Neal was represented by the Amel Gallery in New York. The New Jersey State Museum held a retrospective titled Reginald Neal: Works from 1958 to the Present in 1989. A retrospective of Neal’s prints was held at the Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University in 1986. Neal’s works are part of the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Brigham Young University, Provo, UT; Princeton University, New Jersey; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX. Reginald Neal died in 1992.

104


Double Circle MoirĂŠ, 1967, Lithograph and Plexiglas Construction (unique work), 38.1h x 38.1w cm, 15h x 15w in.

105


Maurício Nogueira Lima B. 1930, Recife, Brazil. - D. 1999, Campinas, Brazil.

“The development of Maurício Nogueira Lima’s work over the last two decades can be paralleled by that of Waldemar Cordeiro, distancing himself only in its most recent consequences. In fact, both were among the first artists to absorb, after the First International Biennial of São Paulo, in 1951, the new language of concrete art [...]” Roberto Pontual. Sao Paulo, 1973.

Painter, architect, designer, graphic artist, teacher. At the age of two, he moves with his family to São Paulo. Between 1947 and 1950, he studied fine arts at the “Instituto de Belas Artes da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulUFRGS, in Porto Alegre. Back in São Paulo in 1951, he attended courses in visual communication, industrial design and advertising at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Assis Chateaubriand - MASP Art Museum, where he met Alexandre Wollner, Antônio Maluf and Leopold Haar. At the invitation of Waldemar Cordeiro, he joined Grupo Ruptura in 1953 and participated in several exhibitions of concrete art in the years that followed. Between 1953 and 1957 he studied architecture at the Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo. In 1958 he was responsible for the creation of the logo and visual programming of the 1st International Textile Industry Fair - Fenit, in São Paulo, and in 1960, environmental facilities for automotive industries in the Motor Show. Since 1974, he teaches, among other schools, the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo (FAU / USP), where he concludes a master’s and doctoral degree in the area of ​​urban environmental structures. In the 1980s and 1990s, he works in public spaces such as Roosevelt square, Sao Bento square, subway stations and high Costa e Silva, all in São Paulo.

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1951,China Ink on Cardboard, 23h x 30w cm 9h x 11.8w in.

1951, Gouache on Cardoboard, 35h x 25w cm, 13.7h x 9.8w in.

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Manuel Pailos

b. 1918 Galicia, Spain - d. 2004 Montevideo, Uruguay.

“[...] I will offer you something I have never offered to my own children. I will lend you my palette and my paintbrushes [...]” Joaquin Torres Garcia. Montevideo, 1942.

The child of Spanish immigrants, Pailós studied painting at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Montevideo before joining the Taller Torres-Garcia in 1943. Profoundly influenced by the pedagogy and theories of the workshop’s founder, Joaquín Torres-García, Pailós was an important contributing member of the Taller throughout its existence, working as both a student and eventually a teacher. In addition to his drawing and painting production, Pailós executed sculptures in wood, granite, and other materials, and many of his reliefs and free-standing sculptures now grace parks and plazas in Montevideo. Works by Pailós have been exhibited extensively throughout Latin America, and in 1991 the artist was honored by the Spanish regional government of Galicia with a museum exhibition and sculpture commission for the gardens at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

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Construcciรณn Blanca, 1971, Oil on Wood, 68.50h x 67w cm, 26.97h x 26.38w in.

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Raul Pavlotzky

B. 1918, Israel. - D. 1998, Montevideo, Uruguay.

“A burst of geometrical art shook the main cities of South America during the 40’s and 50’s decades. tired out the naturalistic, impressionist and expressionist tendencies, as well as the brief foray into the fauvism, the cubism and the social realism.” Nelson di Maggio. Montevideo, 2010.

Raúl Pavlotzky lived, studied and created in Uruguay. He adopted Uruguayan citizenship and was an enthusiastic member of different artistic groups and endeavors. Pavlotzky was one of the earliest concrete artists along with Carmelo Arden Quin, Rhod Rothfuss, Antonio Llorens, Rodolfo Ian Uricchio, among others. In the 1950’s he was linked to the group of geometric artists whose precursors were José Pedro Costigliolo and María Freire. Later he was the co-founder of “Grupo 8,” another reference point for the vernacular avant-garde. From the 1950s through the end of the 1970s he worked on experimental art projects. His most noteworthy work was produced in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. In 1958 he was invited to represent Uruguay at the first Sao Paulo Biennial, and in 1962 he was chosen to exhibit at the first Córdoba Biennial as well. Pavlotzky presented solo shows in Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Jerusalem, Beer Sheva and Tel Aviv. As founding member of “Grupo 8” he participated in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires, at the University of Chile, and in Prague, and participated in different abstract art exhibitions in Uruguay, Israel, Brazil, United States, Poland, Sweden and Venezuela. His works are located in the collections of the Blanes Museum in Montevideo, the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires, the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, the University of Dallas, the Municipal Pinacoteca of Porto Alegre, as well as in celebrated private collections.

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Untitled, 1956, Enamel on Steel, 63.50h x 53.35w cm, 25h x 21w in.

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Rogelio Polesello

B. 1939, Buenos Aires, Argentina - D. 2014, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“[...] His work allowed abstract painting to find the “vibration of space through matter” with strong lyrical resonances [...]” Felipe Noé. Buenos Aires, 1960.

Argentine artist Rogelio Polesello was born in Buenos Aires and became known as one of the pioneers of optical art in his country. In 1958 he graduated as a teacher of engraving, drawing and painting at the Prilidiano Pueyrredón Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in his hometown. His work took on special relevance amid a scenario of appraisal of abstract art and the use of industrial materials as being poetic in relation to the developmental momentum of the mid-20th century in Latin America. Polesello thus became one of the most representative artists of the project of internationalization of Argentine art, prompted by Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, an artistic center directed by art critic Jorge Romero Brest. He participated in numerous international exhibitions and events, such as the Esso Salon of Young Artists (1965), a contest for which he received first prize in the painting category in the final showing at the Pan American Union in Washington, D.C. From the beginning of his career, Polesello related his artistic work to his professional experience in the design and advertising fields. His paintings in the sixties produced optical effects of movement through layers of paint applied to canvas with guns through perforated metal sheets. Toward the end of that decade, he created three-dimensional pieces from carved acrylic sheets that produced magnifying-glass effects and visual distortions, actively involving the observer. He also explored the fields of textile design, industrial design, and architecture. His work can be found both in public and private collections in Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and the United States. In 2015, a year after his death, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires presented an extensive exhibition of his work of 1959 to 1974.

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Two Ovals I, 1959, Gouache on paper, 41.5h x 41.5w cm, 16.3h x 16.3w in.

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Black and White, 1959, Gouache on Paper, 30h x 38h cm, 13.7h, 11.8h x 14.9w in.

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Sin Título, 1960, China Ink on Paper, 42h x 84w cm, 16.5h x 33w in.

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Ana Sacerdote B. 1925, Rome, Italy.

“Recently , I came across several works painted by Ana more than 50 years ago and, once again, I recognize her talent and her sensitive artist gouachement , In addition to her valuable chromatic contributions, we could appreciate the solid composition of a structure dominated by reason.” Martin Blazko. Buenos Aires, 2009.

In 1940, at the age of 14, she moved to Buenos Aires with her family. Two years later she enrolled in the Manuel Belgrano School of Arts and in 1946 was given her degree in the Prilidiano Pueyrredon School of Fine Arts. She studied drawing with Lino Eneas Spilimbergo. In 1955 she painted her first abstract oil painting, Study of equilibrium. Influenced by Malevich and Moholy-Nagy, as well as works from the 1940s by concrete Argentine artists Raúl Lozza, Alfredo Hlito and Juan Melé. At that time she painted Linear Topic (Study in continuity) and Variations on a topic of quadrilateral opposites, both oils on canvas that link her work to concrete and neo-concrete Brazilians, though the artist does not remember seeing these works before. She participated in meetings of the nascent New Art Association with Carmelo Arden Quin, Aldo Pellegrini, Gregory Vardánega, Virgilio Villalba and Luis Tomasello. After studying painting and photography in Paris in 1959, she created Essai de Couleur Animee, while she was in Cuba, using a 16mm Paillard Bolex camera and a complex assembly and filming system designed and built by her. To do this, she painted and then filmed each animation frame from the first section called Monochrome. Her work was inspired by the pioneering works from Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling, and Norman McLaren. Essai de Couleur Animee would be one of the few surviving films from Argentine artists from the 1950s and 1960s. In 1961 she moved to Rio de Janeiro and painted Sete Acordes exhibited at the Salão National Fine Arts Museum. Between approximately 1961 and 1962 she painted her series of free geometric watercolors and participated in the Salão National Modern Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro. In 1964 she moved to Sao Paulo where she lived until 1967, when she finally returned to Buenos Aires.

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Variaciones Triรกngulo, 1954, Gouache on Cardboard, 10h x 17.50w cm, 3.94h x 6.89w in.

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Eduardo Serón B. 1930, Santa Fe, Argentina

“…The bases of concretism are in the ideas of a painting that is a plastic reality and not a reality representative of another reality.” Eduardo Serón. Rosario, 1984.

He studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral and attended courses painting. In the 60s he joined the group Refugio y Taller. He was Professor of Painting in the Provincial School of Visual Arts of Rosario and Professor Deputy of Implementation and Specialist in Color, Faculty of Architecture of the National University of Rosario. He also served as Secretary of the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts Rosa Galisteo de Rodríguez (Santa Fe) and as Director of the Museum of Fine Arts J.B.Castagnino (Rosario). He participated in collective and individual exhibitions in galleries and museums of Argentina, America and Europe, in institutions such as Museo de Artes Visuales Sor Josefa Díaz Clusellas, Santa Fe (1958 and 1961); Provincial Museum of Fine Arts Pedro E. Martínez, Paraná (1961); National Museum of Fine Arts of Santiago de Chile (1969); Sívori Museum (Buenos Aires, 1981); Municipal Museum J.B. Castagnino (1981); Provincial Museum of Fine Arts Rosa Galisteo de Rodríguez (1990); Parque de España Cultural Center (2004); Castagnino Museum + Macro (2009), among others.Between the awards that it has received : First Prize of Drawing, Hall of Friends of Art, Rosario (1961); Martín Rodríguez Galisteo Acquisition Award, XLV Annual Salon of the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe (1968); Scholarship, X Fellowship Hall of the Directorate of Culture, Santa Fe (1968); Prize Acquisition, Municipal Bank of Rosario, First Hall of Prizes, Halls of Modern Art of Amigos del Arte, Rosario (1972); and Dr. Carlos Corbella Award, Hector I. Astengo Foundation (1994). His work is part of important collections from Argentina, Spain, England, France, Uruguay, Chile and the United States. Live and work in Rosario, Argentina.

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Serie 6 No.4b, 1959, Ink on White Heavy Paper, 46.50h x 46.50w cm, 18.31h x 18.31w in.

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Serie VI No.5, 1957, Ink on White Heavy Paper, 46.50h x 46.50w cm, 18.31h x 18.31w in.

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Serie 2 No. IV, 1957, Ink on Paper, 34.50h x 25.50w cm, 13.58h x 10.04w in.

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Turi Simeti B. 1929, Siciliy, Italy.

“Simeti helped define an important spatial denominator that led to the environment and the dimension of the habitat” Bruno Cora. Firenze, 2014.

Turi Simeti is a painter affiliated with Spatialism and the ZERO group. Simeti is considered a true pioneer, a “maestro,” of 20th and 21st Century Italian art. The artist is often described as an engineer of light, color, and geometry. He moved to Rome in 1958, where he started painting as an autodidact. Simeti embarked upon his successful career as an artist in 1962, developing the oval motif that would be a keystone of his work for decades to come. Known for his minimalist, monochrome canvases, Simeti worked alongside other members of the avant-garde such as Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni. Simeti’s work embodies the desire of the artists of his generation to capture a peaceful quality through monochromatic abstraction during the aftermath of World War II. Simeti’s first Milanese years led to a considerable number of experiences where the surface of his canvases became a space to be conquered with radical elements, drawn both from minimalism and the notion of the monochrome. For the last 50 years, Simeti has created different types of tension on several formats in his works, frequently relying on small-scale canvases to produce startling dimensions. Usually employing the motif of the oval and oblong ellipses, he has attempted to develop an irregular writing system that liberates the surface of the canvas from the old principles of materiality which allowed nothing but the silent expression of the dynamic patterns dancing across the monochromatic surfaces of shaped canvases. This focused combination of color and shape speaks to Simeti’s concern with emphasizing the physical presence of the artwork itself, rather than an expression of the artist’s voice.

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Un Ovale Bianco, 1988, Acrylic on Shaped Canvas, 60h x 140w cm, 23.622h x 55.18w in.

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Julian Stanczak

B. 1928, Borownica, Poland. - D. 2017, Seven Hills, OH.

“The art of Julian Stanczak is an exploration of what it is to see. It is a journey into the miracle of sight and an amplification of discoveries in that journey. The depth of his knowledge, the remarkable keenness of his vision together with flawless execution has brought about the most significant art since the American Abstract Artists movement of a half century ago.” Louis Zona. Ohio, 1970.

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Julian Stanczak was born in eastern Poland in 1928. The Stanczak family was forced into a Siberian labor camp at the start of World War II where Julian lost the use of his right arm. In 1942 the Stanczak family escaped from Siberia and by 1948 were reunited in Britain. In London Julian visited the city’s galleries where he first experienced modern art. In 1950 the Stanczak family moved to the United States in 1950, where Julian enrolled at the Cleveland Institute of Art. In 1954, Stanczak went on to Yale University for his masters where he and his roommate Richard Anuszkiewicz studied with Josef Albers in the Bauhaus tradition. The New York art dealer Martha Jackson opened her 1964-1965 season with a solo exhibition of Stanczak’s work titled, Julian Stanczak- Optical Paintings. This led to the first printed use of “Op Art” to describe perceptual abstraction. The exhibition was so successful Stanczak was given 8 more solo exhibitions at the gallery from 1965 to 1973. In 1965 alone, Stanczak was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s The Responsive Eye as well as The Colorists, 1950-1965 at the San Francisco Museum of Art, California; Kinetic and Optical Art Today at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; and Vibrations Eleven at the Martha Jackson Gallery. In 1967 Stanczak exhibited at the Carnegie International and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s annual. The 1970 Carnegie International had a room devoted to Stanczak’s paintings. In 1972 Stanczak had a solo exhibition of serigraphs and drawings at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC organized by its director, Gene Baro, including Brim Two. Julian Stanczak’s paintings were included in Extreme Abstraction at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in 2005; Sensory Overload: Light, Motion, Sound, and the Optical in Art Since 1945 at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin in 2006; The Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s at the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio in 2007, and CLE OP: Cleveland Op Art Pioneers, an exhibition of paintings from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s permanent collection in 2011. A major monograph in English and Polish, Julian Stanczak: Op Art and the Dynamics of Perception, was published in 2014. Museums with his paintings, include: the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; the Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, among others.


Brim Two, 1972, Oil on Plastic, 91.44 x 91.44 cm, 36h x 36w in.

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Henryk Stazeweski B. 1894, Warsaw, Poland. - D. 1988, Warsaw, Poland

“Abstraction is a result of a versatile study. And abstract art is not separated from the outer world which surrounds us; however , it ceases to be descriptive and it uses pure artist means. It is the artistic equivalent of the nature.” Henryk Stazewenski. Warsaw, 1924.

Polish abstract painter and maker of reliefs, born in Warsaw. Studied at the Warsaw School of Fine Arts 1913-20, and was afterwards strongly influenced by Cubism. Participated in the New Art exhibition in Vilno in 1923 organized by Strzeminski and Kajruksztis, and joined the Blok group of Cubists, Suprematists and Constructivists that resulted. Editorin-chief of the first five issues of the periodical Blok 1924. From 1926 adopted an abstract style influenced by Dutch Neo-Plasticism and Russian Constructivism. Spent much of the period 1929-34 in Paris, where he took an active part in the groups Cercle et Carré and Abstraction-Création with Arp, Mondrian, Vantongerloo and others; also helped to collect works by avant-garde artists to establish a new museum of abstract art at Lodz. First one-man exhibition with Karol Krynski at the Instytut Propagandy Sztuki, Warsaw, 1933. Was unable to paint during the German Occupation 1939-45, and all but a few of his early works were destroyed. After the war painted figurative compositions and nudes, then in 1955 turned again to a geometrical abstract style. Began to make reliefs in 1957, at first mainly in white, or black and white, then from 1967 in color, many of them with movable parts. Died in Warsaw in 1988.

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Nr.37, 1976, Collage on Wood, 21.50h x 21.50w cm, 8.46h x 8.46w in.

Untitled Nr.6, 1977, Oil on Wood, 64h x 64w cm, 25.20h x 25.20w in.

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Augusto Torres

B. 1913, Terrassa, Spain. - D. 1992, Barcelona, Spain.

“[…] In 1930 we find that Augusto, aged seventeen already possessed an artistic education that was high above that of the other young artists of his age. This was probably the result of his participation in artistic meetings held at his parents’ home, where, among other artists, Mondrian, Arp, Van Doesburg, Calder, Delaunary, Lipshitz were frequent visitors. Augusto also attended Amadée Ozenfant’s workshop, where he took drawing classes that also contributed to his artistic education” Fernando Castilo Visca. Montevideo, 2016. The eldest son of Joaquín Torres-García, Augusto was an active participant in his father’s artistic life. Growing up primarily in Italy and France, the young artist met many of the great figures of twentieth century art, including Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Joan Miró. During the 1930s, while living in Paris with his family, Augusto was the apprentice of the sculptor Julio González and studied drawing in Amedée Ozenfant’s academy. Introduced to North African and American Indian art by the painter Jean Hélion, it was also in Paris that the artist developed his lifelong passion for tribal and primitive art. After Torres-García brought his family to Uruguay in 1934, Augusto participated in all the activities of his father’s teaching atelier, the Taller Torres-García. One of the Taller’s most well known students, Augusto later went on become a teacher himself, instructing subsequent generations of artists. Throughout his life, Augusto traveled widely, including two years of living in New York. From 1973 on, he divided his time between Barcelona and Montevideo. The art of Augusto has been displayed internationally in both solo and group exhibitions, and his work is included in the collections of such institutions as Museo Torres-García, Montevideo; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Santa Bárbara Museum of Art, and the Miró Foundation, Barcelona.

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Constructivo Universal, 1952, Oil on Cardboard, 70h x 70w cm, 27.56h x 27.56w in.

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Composiciรณn constructiva 1937 , Ink on Paper 29.2h x 31.8w cm, 11.4h x 12.51w in.

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Constructive Box, 1954, Incised Oil on wood, 35h x 37w x 28.5d cm, 13.7h x 14.5w x 11.2d in.

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Joaquín Torres Garcia B. 1874 Montevideo, Uruguay - D. 1949 Montevideo, Uruguay.

“The acceptance or rejection of constructed planar painting depends on each individual’s degree of aesthetic evolution.” Joaquin Torres Garcia Montevideo, 1943.

When Torres-García arrived in Montevideo on April 30, 1934 after forty-three years of absence, Torres-García told the press that he had returned to his native country of Uruguay in order to “develop a wide range of activities, to lecture, to teach courses, to achieve... on walls what I have already achieved on canvas,... to create in Montevideo a movement that will surpass the art of Paris.” These lofty ambitions were achieved through the creation of his world famous workshop, the Taller Torres-García, where he taught his theory of Universal Constructivism to future generations of Latin American artists. Before returning to Uruguay, Torres-García had arrived at the concept of Universal Constructivism after a long development during which his painting evolved from Mediterranean classicism through periods of Vibrationism, Cubism, and Fauvism. A truly global artist, Torres-García lived in Spain, New York, Italy, and Paris, where his theories and aesthetic style culminated into his characteristic incorporation of symbols located in a geometric grid based on the golden section. The uniqueness of Torres’ proposal consisted of his incorporation of essential elements of indigenous American art into the basic principles of European constructivism and geometric abstraction. Today, he is recognized as a canonical figure in both Latin American and modern art in general, with works in prestigious public and private collections worldwide.

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Constructivo con Mascaras, 1930, Ink on Paper, 12.20h x 8.50w cm, 4.80h x 3.35w in.

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Constructivo, 1932, Ink on Paper, 14.5h x 11.8w cm, 5.7h x 4.6w in.

Untitled, 1926, Ink and Pencil on Paper, 16.40h x 9.50w cm, 6.46h x 3.74w in. 134


Constructif, 1927, Ink on Paper, 8.30h x 10.50w cm 3.27h x 4.13w in.

Untitled, 1933, Gouache and Ink on Paper, 12.70h x 10.20w cm, 5h x 4.02w in 135


Untitled, 1929, ink and pencil on paper 17h x 12w cm, 6.69h x 4.72w in

Barco-object, 1928 Ink on Paper, 10.20h x 13.40w cm, 4.02h x 5.28w in.

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Constructivo 55, 1928, Ink on Paper, 10.5h x 14w cm, 4.1h x 5.5w in.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - ADRIANA HERRERA Adriana Herrera earned her P.h.D. with an interdisciplinary dissertation in the fields of Literature and Art, proposing the concept of “Extreme Fiction” as derived from a particular way of its relation that ultimately filters reality. Her curatorial vision searches for the connection between the intimacy and the collective, the personal and the social realms, and the interest for the need and possibilities of imagination. She conducted the panel Strategies of Post-Utopian Art: Panel with Cuban Artists at the Miami Art Fair (2010). This research was essential for the curatorial project Critical Strategies of Post-Utopian Cuban Art, presented at Houston Art Fair in 2011. In 2012 she co-curated María Thereza Negreiros: Offerings, at the Frost Art Museum. Adriana Herrera was an art critic for El Nuevo Herald from 2000 to 2013. She worked as an editor advisor with Arte al Día International Magazine, conducting the publication to a new level of intellectual strength. She has work as a free-lancer art critic with publication such us Art Nexus, Arte al Limite, Art Experience NYC and also wrote for and managed the contemporary art section of the magazine Poder in Mexico for ten years. She is member of Art Table, and was part of the Advisory Committee of the Bakehouse Art Complex. Herrera lectured about Ernesto Oroza’s “Arquitectura de la necesidad” at Arizona State University. During the V Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Spanish and Latin American Literatures, Linguistics, and Cultures at the University of Florida, she presented the essay “Paradojas del mercado de arte cubano de la generación disidente de los 80” (published in the academic magazine Sin fronteras). Furthermore, she has given different lectures about art in local spaces of Miami and participated in many cultural panels. Herrera is the co-author of the critical essay for the book of “Raúl Canibano” published by La Fabrica/FotoBolsillo (Madrid, 2012). She is one of the authors of “The Island Rape. Nesolectura exercises around Bill Viola”, published by the Deputy Ministry of Culture of the Canary Islands. She has written essays for the catalogues of artists from different countries and generations such as the Peruvian Fernando de Szyszlo, the Cuban Rubén Torres Llorca, the Argentinean Miguel Angel Giovanetti, the Venezuelan Nela Ochoa, and the Colombian Joel Grossman, among others. She wrote essays for the Museum’s catalogs of the exhibitions of Lorna Otero (Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico), Xavier G-Solis (Mussée International de la chaussure de Romans, France), or the Cuban Art Collection of Arturo and Lisa Mosquera (Museum of Art + Design, Miami), as she participated in the book Gonzalo Lebrija. As times goes by (“Other Criteria”, Londres, 2010) to name a few. In 2011 she was awarded at Art Tables as one of the outstanding women leading in art in South Florida. She was included for the curator Adriano Pedrosa in the anthology Brazilian Art in Art Nexus (2011). In 2011, she created with Willy Castellanos called Aluna Art Foundation as an alternative art space which the aims to promote the dialogue among local and international artistic practices and explore unreeled practices in Miami. Since its founding, Aluna Curatorial Collective has curated, organized and/or produced more than 30 exhibition projects that were hosted at Aluna’s space or in different galleries and museums in Miami, Siberia and Monaco. Among the most significant of them are: “Contemporary Families in Miami: a Photo Album” (The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, 2015, Miami); “Affective Architectures” (AAF, 2014-2015, Miami); “Walking in someone else’s shoes: Identities in Transit” (AAF, 2013-2014, Miami), “Exodus: Alternate Documents” (CCEMiami, winner of the “Best Cultural Event of the Year 2014 in Miami”), “Seminal Art” (Siberian Museum of Contemporary Art, 2013, Siberia); “Damien Hirst & Sonia Falcone” (General Society Private Banking of Monaco, 2013, Monaco); Vanishing Points and Convergences: Salvadorian artist in Perspective” (Biscayne Art House, 2013, Miami); “Memories of the Oikos: The House Re-Presented” (CCEMiami, 2012, Miami), “Body, Maps and Territories: Personel Geographies” (AAF, 2012, Miami); and “Concerning The Spiritual in Art” (AAF, 2012, Miami).

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IN TOTAL ABSENCE/PRESENCE OF COLOR

Photography Andrea Baridon Mariano Costa Peuser Kasak Archives Carly Angenscheidt Lorente Essay Adriana Herrera PhD Design Andrea Baridon Printed by ARTIUM Publisher, Miami Publisher Sammer Gallery LLC

This catalogue has been published on the occasion of the exhibition “In Total Absence/Presence of Color” organized by Sammer Gallery, Miami, Fall, 2019. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced or transmited in any form or format or by any electronic, mechanical or other medium without the prior authorisation of the owners of the book itself, of any intellectual property rights and of the publisher. Copyright of edition: © 2019, Sammer Gallery.

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In the Total Absence/Presence of Color