POP, abstraction & minimalism

MCMC Galería is pleased to present “POP, Abstraction and Minimalism” a group show that gathers the artworks of different Argentine artists: Miguel Angel Vidal, Ary Brizzi, César Paternosto, Antonio Asís, Rogelio Polesello, Eduardo Costa, Edgardo Giménez, María Boneo and Azul Caverna.

The exhibition proposes to relate and explore different artistic languages ​​such as Pop-art, Geometric Abstraction, Minimalism and Conceptualism, from the 60s to the present.

The corpus of works exhibited is intertwined in an agonizing and antagonistic discourse, where colors and shapes attract and repel to each other. It is in this way that Edgardo Giménez’s Pop animals coexist, together with the rhythmic minimalism of César Paternosto and in turn, Polesello’s colorful play on his geometric abstractions.

“Pop, Abstraction and Minimalism” combines and juxtaposes the discourse of Argentine artists representing the main artistic trends of the 60s and 70s, and today.

Miguel Ángel Vidal (1928 – 2009) was an Argentine painter, draftsman and graphic designer. He investigated naturalism and studied the line as an expression. Over time, his expressive needs led him to investigate Abstraction and Geometry. In 1959 he founded, together with Eduardo Mac Entyre, the Generative Art Movement of Buenos Aires.

Ary Brizzi (1930 – 2014) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina; he developed a career as a painter, sculptor, and designer; and refrente of geometric abstraction in Argentina. In his works, the concepts of “visual reality” and “plastic reality” were upheld by Brizzi, who did not speak of geometry or abstraction, but of “concrete forms”, as the Bauhaus constructivists would call them.

César Paternosto (1931) was born in La Plata, Argentina. Reference artist of geometric abstraction in Argentina. In 1969 Paternosto began a series of works where at first glance the front of the work, white and uniform, did not reveal an image. The geometric artist began to paint on the wide edges of the frame. Paternosto’s color planes appear and disappear as the traveler or viewer walks.

Antonio Asis (1932 – 2019) Argentine artist, exponent of the op-art. Throughout the 1940s, Asis explored abstraction and nonrepresentative art; with the publication of the “Arturo” magazine in 1944, and the creation of the Concrete Art-Invention Association. In 1956 he moved to Paris where he began a series of works in which he considered how the phenomena of light could be mediated through photography. His work is characterized by studying the vibrations between colors and the many possibilities within monochromatic compositions.

Rogelio Polesello (1939-2014) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Painter and sculptor, he presented his first solo exhibition in 1959 at the Peuser gallery where his admiration for Víctor Vasarely was manifested. Shortly after, his geometry obtained references to the New Abstraction with resources from optical artists, such as the offset of geometric shapes, with which it produced a strong effect of instability. He worked with painting, engraving and acrylic objects capable of generating optical effects that decompose the image.

Eduardo Costa (1940, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine artist who lived twenty-five years in the United States and four in Brazil. He began his career in Buenos Aires as part of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella generation and continued to work in New York, where he made a strong contribution to the local avant-garde. He has collaborated with American artists such as Vito Acconci, Scott Burton, John Perreault, and Hannah Weiner, among others. In Brazil, he participated in projects organized by Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Antonio Manuel, Lygia Clark and others from the Rio de Janeiro school.

Edgardo Giménez (1942) was born in Santa Fe, Argentina. A self-taught artist, he began working in advertising graphics. He is one of the greatest representatives of Pop art in Argentina. He was part of the mythical Instituto di Tella during the 60s and 70s. His works celebrate color and joy.

María Boneo (1959) is an Argentine sculptor who lives in Buenos Aires. Her work knew how to be figurative, today more inclined to abstraction, in it,it is still possible to trace the memory of the female body in the meticulous program of deformity purification to which her sculptures were subjected. Boneo worked with different materials, from early wood carving, to marble carving, and now bronze.

Azul Caverna (1979) his work reviews geometric artistic movements and traditions to investigate the ascetic use of form and color. He intuitively seeks to understand what is the function of a current geometric language and what is the influence of contemporary personal avant-gardes, in a discipline historically influenced by group movements.

Silvia Torras – Youth & Joy

MCMC gallery is pleased to announce Silvia Torras’ solo exhibition, titled Youth and joy; a joy that is not silly exuberance, but true joy, with a text by Florencia Qualina.

The Informalist movement that dominated the scene in Buenos Aires between the late 1950s and the first half of the 1960s was led by a group of young people with a revolutionary hunger. They shared a visceral rejection of the dominant art that they considered dull, predictable, boring; they wanted a new art founded on the collapse of Good Taste. The abstract painting that was born from there, made of fast brushstrokes loaded with matter, often embedded with something abject about the world and the body – urine, blood, rubbish – took over the galleries of the city with the same dizzying pace.

It didn’t take long for the excitement to fade. They perceived that the force had been absorbed into the official system; or that Painting had exhausted its life cycle – towards the mid-60s the center of the aesthetic debate was dominated by the statement: Painting is Dead – these were two perspectives that digested the adventures towards new experimental paths. Pop, Conceptualism, Happenings, were the names under which new forms were illuminated for a time that required and obtained energetic, constant, volcanic renovations.

When the movement had dissipated Kenneth Kemble and Alberto Greco, the great agitators, had managed to settle on the main stage of The Great Ruptures and these cuts signified the great capital of art history. Other names would be inseparable from Pop, action art, settings or land-art and its passage through Informalism would be established as a baptism in modern grammar. Numerous valuable interventions were left behind, unexplored, semi-forgotten: a large part of them correspond to the women of Informalism. At this point the work of Silvia Torras is introduced.

In the first three years of the sixties Silvia Torras, in addition to being part of the foundational collective experiences for the future of installation and Conceptualism, such as Destructive Art – 61’– and Man before Man –62’– produced a powerful volume of paintings. Some of them were seen in the individual exhibitions that she had in the Peuser Gallery – 60 ‘- and in the Lirolay Gallery –61 -, or in prestigious awards, such as the Di Tella and Ver y Estimar in 1963. In that year she definitely closed her artistic career, her life in Buenos Aires and her marriage to Kemble. She died in 1970, at the age of 34, in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

The temptation to foresee a truncated journey when noticing such a young death vanishes when knowing her intense and extensive work: for Silvia Torras, time in art was enough to leave a work in which pathos and ornamentation converge. Unlike the informalist commonplace so moderate, harsh in the use of color, she is distinguished by taking it as an emblem: yellows, blues, greens, reds vibrate like jungles or lava storms. The dramatic sense of her painting has very high points, overwhelming when it is directed to huge canvases – another singularity of hers at a time that reserved contained formats, not too large for women and thus moderated its ambitions – however, it does not give up when reduced. Going back to Silvia Torras’ work is essential to continue spinning a diverse art history, also made up of forgetfulness, fragments and untimely appearances.

Florencia Qualina

Marzo, 2021

Ary Brizzi – Visual thinking

The MCMC gallery is pleased to announce the individual exhibition of Ary Brizzi, entitled Visual Thinking with the curatorship of María José Herrera.

For those who chose a background in drawing and decorative painting, the case of Ary Brizzi, geometry was never a mere “ornament” but a reason for study for the composition and correct historical interpretation of the subject to be illustrated. His student notebooks with expressive sketches, detailed plates with drawings of capitals, friezes and architectures show how early he became familiar with the codes of a non-naturalistic image. The concept of painting as a “unique fact”, that is to say autonomous, independent of representation, had been proposed by the specific avant-gardes of the 1920s and 1940s. With these premises well understood and ready to expand them, a third generation of geometric – Among which is Brizzi-, the neo-concretes, he pointed out new directions: those of light and movement.

Once received at the High School, Brizzi took six years to study everything he felt the school had not given him. The intuition that geometric art would be its mature form of expression led the artist to form through reading with those authors and teachers who theorized about the beginnings of abstraction in the twentieth century. Between 1952 and 1957, Brizzi carried out daily studies, in which he put into practice all the conceptual baggage of the different trends in geometry and constructivism that he had analyzed. Shocked by Max Bill’s visual developments, he continued his trend towards an art that, as defined by the Swiss artist, is governed by mathematics, “one of the most efficient means for the knowledge of objective reality [and] at the same time , science of relationships, of behavior from thing to thing, from group to group, from movement to movement. And since mathematics contains these fundamental principles and relates them to each other, it is natural that such events can be presented, this is transformed into visual reality ”.

Indeed, the concepts of “visual reality” and “plastic reality” were supported by Brizzi, who did not speak of geometry or abstraction but of “concrete forms”, as the Bauhaus constructivists called them. The concrete form does not depend on mimesis or allegories. Thus, his color and composition studies based on the laws of vision develop a vast repertoire of forms created through the application of the seriation method. That is, each exercise that belongs to a thematic series has color or position variations of its elements until it shows that condition that contemporary physics spoke of: matter is energy and space its infinite field of action. Attractions and repulsions, colors that advance or recede, and time as a necessary participant in these movements were some of the pictorial themes where art and science met once again.

Many of the cardboard tempera presented today were never exhibited. We know some of them because from being sketches they became paintings. Others because they appealed to us from the exquisite graphics of various products of the industry and culture of the time. But most of them are unpublished. Jealously preserved by the artist, its quality of completion and the date with day, month and year tells us that more than sketches they are the evidence of a true “visual thinking” that Brizzi sought to retain to understand the logic of his creativity, as well as to use it as a “in reserve” repertoire.

“Art is the force and the unrepeatable beauty of transformed matter,” wrote Brizzi, and he devoted himself to this task for more than sixty years, vibrating, transforming, lines, lights and colors before our own eyes.

María José Herrera

Juan Nicolás Melé

Juan Nicolás Melé (1923 – 2012) was an Argentine artist. At the age of 11 he began studying drawing and painting with Enrique Rodríguez. He began his education at the School of Fine Arts “Manuel Belgrano” (with his friends also artists Gregorio Vardanega and Tomás Maldonado) and then at the National School of Fine Arts “Prilidiano Pueyrredon”.

After finishing his studies, he comes in contact with the Arte Concreto Invencion association formed by Alfredo Hlito, Lidy Prati, Manuel Espinosa, Enio Iommi, the Lozza brothers, Tomás Maldonado, Alberto Molenberg, Claudio Girola, Jorge Souza, Antonio Caraduje, Oscar Nunez, Virgilio Villalba y Contreras, with whom he participates in the group’s third exhibition, in October 1946.

The French government gives him a scholarship, with which he attends L’École du Louvre between 1948 and 1949. He exhibits in Italy, where he comes into contact with the members of the Béton group in Milan. In Switzerland he comes in contact with Max Bill and, in Paris, with Michel Seuphor.

In 1950, back in Argentina, he continues to work in art as a teacher of History of the Arts at the National School of Fine Arts. In 1955 he is co-founder of the Arte Nuevo group, led by Aldo Pellegrini and Carmelo Arden-Quin and counting among its members Martha Boto, Simona Ertan, Eduardo Jonquieres and Gregorio Vardanega.

In 1974 he moved to New York where he worked and exhibited in the Gallery of Caïman (1978) and in the Arc Gallery (1983 – 1985). In 1981 he exhibited at the “Eduardo Sívori” Museum in Buenos Aires. In 1986, he returned to Argentina and a year later he organized an individual exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

He received the Alberto J. Trabucco prize in 1997, awarded by the National Academy of Fine Arts. Edit a book with his memoirs, La avant-garde of ‘40. Memories of a concrete artist, published in 1999.

He died of on 2012, at eighty-eight years of age.

Ary Brizzi

Ary Brizzi (1930) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he developed a career as a painter, sculptor and designer. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts “Manuel Belgrano” and at the School of Fine Arts “Ernesto de la Cárcova”. Influenced by the Swiss artist Max Bill, he turned to abstraction, an interest that he shared with his colleagues Eduardo Mac Entyre, Manuel Álvarez, Miguel Ángel Vidal, Carlos Silva and César Paternosto. In 1958 he held his first solo exhibition, and a year later he participated in the first Paris Biennial. That year he was also selected for the Argentine Pavilion at the World Trade Fair in New York.

Brizzi was included in two important exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires: International Exhibition of Modern Art (1960) and From Concrete Art to the New Trend (1964). In 1965 he represented Argentina at the 8th São Paulo Biennial, and in 1967 he took part in Beyond Geometry, at the Di Tella Institute. The Argentine government sent him to the United States in 1968, as a member of the exhibitions Four New Argentine Artists, at the Bonino Gallery (New York), and Beyond Geometry, at the Center for Inter-American Relations (New York). That same year he received an honorable mention at the 2nd Biennial of Lima and the first prize at the Quito Biennial. In 1976 he won the Grand Prize of Honor of the National Hall (Buenos Aires). In 2012 he participated in the Real / Virtual. Argentine kinetic art in the 60s exhibition, National Museum of Fine Arts (Buenos Aires).

Gregorio Vardánega

Gregorio Vardánega (1923-2007) was born in Passagno, Treviso, Italy. He moved to Buenos Aires in 1926. In 1939 he began his artistic training at the National Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1946 as a drawing teacher. He joined the Concrete Art-Invention Association, participating in several of his exhibitions. He was a founding member of the New Art Association and the Argentine Non-Figurative Artists Group (ANFA). In 1957 he integrated the submission presented at the IV International Biennial of Sao Paulo and, the following year, participated in the International Exhibition in Brussels, where he obtained a Gold Medal. In 1959 he decided to settle in Paris, a city in which he exhibited his works regularly in well-known Institutions, such as: Salon de France-Amérique, Paris, France (1959); Galerie Denise René, Paris, France (1961, 1963 1966); Galerie Creuze (1962); Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, France (1962, 1967); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris, France (1964); Di Tella Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina (1966); Grand Palais, Paris, France (1978-1982); Rachel Adler Gallery, New York, USA (1990); Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (1993) and The Americas Society, New York, USA (2001), among others.

His work is included in public collections such as the Center Georges Pompidou, the National Fund for Contemporary Art and the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, France; the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA), the Torcuato Di Tella Foundation and the National Museum of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston (MFAH) and the Museum of Geometric Art and MADI, Dallas, Texas; The Cisneros Fontanals Foundation (CIFO), Miami, USA; the Recklinghausen Museum, Recklinghausen, Germany, among many others.