Luis Fernando Benedit

Visual artist, architect and designer. His work is part of the main currents of the second half of the 20th century in our country, especially the emergence of conceptual art and its offshoots. His main themes are, firstly, the link between art and science, which allows him an anthropological investigation centred on the analysis of behaviour conditioned by the environment; then, the work on the paradigms of the construction of nationality and the quotations both from local plastic production and from the journeys of the naturalists who explored Patagonia.since childhood he has been inclined towards drawing, design and caricature. He entered the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires in 1956. He graduated in 1963 with an award-winning project. At the same time he began his career as a painter. His first exhibitions place him in the transition from an initial informalism towards a neo-figuration with images not exempt from critical humour: El candidato, Prócer federal, among others in his exhibition Nuevos rostros, presented in 1961 at the Galería Lirolay. There he experimented with the combination of oil and enamel.

In 1963 he moved to Madrid, where he continued to work both in architecture and painting. The latter changes towards an expression close to pop, made up of synthetic forms and flat tones. In 1966 he exhibited at the Galería Europe. He returns to the country and creates, together with Vicente Marotta, the setting Barba Azul, for the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires, combining volumetric enamels on sheet metal and sound settings, with Marotta’s sculptures in enamelled cement. After exhibiting at the Rubbers Gallery in 1967, he moved with his family to Rome, where he received a scholarship to study landscape architecture. He also produces painted acrylic objects. His interests extend to biology and the possibility of incorporating living organisms into his works.

He returns to Buenos Aires in 1968, where he continues his work as an architect and plastic artist. He presents in the exhibition Materiales. Nuevas técnicas. Nuevas expresiones, at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, his first artificial habitat. This was followed by the exhibition Microzoo, at the Rubbers Gallery, where he exhibited various habitats for plants, animals and insects – bees, fish, turtles, ants, cats. The interest in these works is the analysis of behaviours and their external, artificial and cultural conditioning: the opposition between nature and culture; the gesture, the demarcation of the artistic territory, and the appropriation of materials and techniques from biology, with a discourse that transgresses the purity of the postulates of the experimental sciences, to become sociological and philosophical.

In 1969 he took part in the exhibition Arte y cibernética, organised and curated by Jorge Glusberg to exhibit computer designs – his work with this critic and curator would continue over the years. In 1970, at the Venice Biennale, he presented one of his best-known habitats: the Biotron, with the collaboration of the scientists Antonio Battro and José Núñez, and Glusberg himself.

In 1971 he took part in the exhibition Arte de sistemas, a prelude to the conceptualist deployment of a group that was about to be formed: the Grupo de los 13, led by Glusberg at the CAYC. He was part of this group from the first exhibition, Hacia un perfil del arte latinoamericano, in 1972, to the last, Grupo CAYC in Santiago de Chile, in 1994, and in Arte de sistemas (1971) he exhibited his Laberinto invisible (Invisible Labyrinth), in which the spectator circulates along a route regulated by a set of mirrors, sensors and sound alarms. In 1972 he was invited to hold a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. There he presented the Phytotron, a hydroponic cultivation system whose designs were acquired by the museum. In the same year he began a series of pencil and watercolour drawings imitating the studies of naturalists: views of insects and other species, with notes and analytical references.

In 1977 he took part in the collective submission of the Group of 13 to the São Paulo Biennial, where the group won the Itamaraty Grand Prize, not without controversy, and around this time he began to produce a new series of conceptual works based on the drawings of one of his sons, Tomás, who was only five years old. The works consist of three elements: the child’s drawing, its reworking as a design and its concretion in a volumetric object. This series was exhibited in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo at the beginning of the 1980s, and from 1978 onwards he took on, in a critical spirit, themes linked to the construction of national identity. In the first place, the countryside – the bastion of Argentina’s agro-livestock industry – and its prototypes: gauchos, ranches, and also tools such as the castration tongs and the designs for cattle brands.

In 1979, together with Clorindo Testa and Jacques Bedel, he won the competition for the recycling of the Centro Cultural Recoleta building. In 1983 he designed the Ruth Benzacar Gallery building, and in 1990, the Munar Foundation, dedicated to design. Between 1984 and 1986, his research into nationality added themes related to pictorial production: quotations and reworkings of works by Jean-Léon Pallière and travelling painters. Towards the end of the decade, he developed his interest in Patagonia and, in particular, in the expeditions of naturalists such as Fitz Roy and Darwin, in Del viaje del Beagle (On the Voyage of the Beagle). The works, composed of drawings and objects, simulate the exhibits of a natural science museum.

Cynthia Cohen

Cynthia Cohen, 1969, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Graduated from Nacional school Prilidiano Pueyrredón, studied with Laura Batkis and did workshops with Pablo Suarez and Marcia Shwartz. Between numerous individual and collective exhibitions both in the country and abroad, stand out, “Bomba de Brillo”, Museo Marco (2020) PanDulce”(2019)Galeria PastoBrasil, BuenosAires“Naturaleza, refugio y recurso del hombre” en CCK (2017), “Futuro brillante” en Galería Van Riel (2016), “El resplandor” en PrismaKh, (2015), “Obra reciente” en Galería del Paseo, Lima (2014), “Monumentos ingravidos” en Galeria del Paseo, Punta del Este (2014), “Una acción para la amistad” en Centro Cultural Recoleta (2014), “Penetración en el medio“en Museo Macro, Rosario (2013), “Candy Crush” en Fundación Esteban Lisa (2013), “Deforme”en CC Ricardo Rojas (2012), “Poderosa Afrodita” en Museo de la Mujer, Córdoba (2011),“SynchroNYcity” en Consulado Argentino en Nueva York (2011) y “Sin palabras” en CC Recoleta(2008). Some of the awards obtained include the selection of her work in Banco Central (2015), Premio Primera Selección Fundación Banco Ciudad (2000), Primer Premio Distinción Alianza Francesa (2000) y Primera Selección Premio Universidad de Palermo (1999).

Las noches blancas

Artists: Roberto Aizenberg, Juan Battle Planas, Marcelo Canevari, Aída Carballo, Cynthia Cohen, Sandra Guascone, Misterio Tarot (Geraldine Lanteri y Aldo Benítez), Ornella Pocetti, Xul Solar, Osias Yanov y Rosario Zorraquin.

Curator: Lara Marmor

De noche el fuego nos ilumina (1971), Los límites del sueño (1970) y Quieto diálogo del insomnio (1968) by Juana Butler (1928-2017) lead us to a universe in which everything underlies, where the unconscious glimmers, revelations take place and the occult shines. Butler opens the doors of the surreal, mystical and ecstatic night.

On the surface of his paintings can be seen the active work of the thin layer of oil that simultaneously darkens and brightens the original pigments. Butler made use of the power of the mental emancipation of surrealism and also, when painting, he knew how to go through different states of consciousness from the alteration produced by the practice of meditation.

The works of the group of artists that today give life to Las noches blancas take us away from the limits of reason. Without psychic or moral repression, they bring us closer to the encounter with productions filled with enjoyment, dance, stimulation, multisensoriality and epiphanic discoveries that rise up at night. El llamado de la noche (2024) by Marcelo Canevari, together with Las edades (2024) by Ornella Pocetti, are timeless paintings, or instead they seem to have the indeterminate temporality of dreams. The meticulous contemplation of nature and also the collection of visual information from the Internet are some of the sources that give rise to these productions, where the shift between fiction and reality is brutal. In her works, the human figure is the main character, and in his, the landscape is usually the protagonist. The painting of both, indistinctly, condenses high doses of enchantment and mystery, enchantment and sensuality. At night for Cynthia Cohen, hallucinations are real. Vivac and Vivac #2 (2023) represent the moment when the artist participates in the opening of portals in northern Argentina. A few months later, near the Antarctic end of the Earth, in Chubut, Cohen picks up a bunch of stones. It is said that Quartz cleanses impurities and that Ruby represents the strength of passion. What could be the therapeutic quality of a black faceted stone that looks like a constellation? Sandra Guascone moves with fluidity between the fields of astronomy, chemistry and biology; between life and death; light and shadow; living and non-living matter. To materialize his drawings, like Cohen, she enters into a state of sensory openness in which he receives messages, allowing herself to be traversed by that elusive thing called energy. Thus her powerful and magnetic assemblages of insects, astral matter, vegetables and animals are born.

Between 2012 and 2021, Rosario Zorraquín made a series of drawings from which she created a new alphabet based on an automatic graph. These symbols were later carved in Braille to be perceived in sessions where the guests had to decode the signs with their impressions, while the painter, medium and explorer

of matter, translated them into new paintings. Osias Yanov’s artistic practice is also crossed by the creation or resignification of symbols, many of them taken from Xul Solar (recognized by Yanov as the first cuir artist producer of languages). Desire, esotericism and collective care are some of the keys to his artistic practice made up of objects, gatherings, parties and performances.

Corazón de madera (2022) and Mitominas (2023) are assemblages where autobiographical elements are related to historical ones and in which sexual toys coexist, resignified objects such as the spoon that, against the techno-heroic imaginary of the knife or the sword, is a tool that does not prick or cut, but contains and moves.

White nights are repeated at each summer solstice in the regions near the poles. They are clear and luminous. The twilights are eternal and in them the glow intertwines with the twilight. I imagine that the music accompanying this phenomenon is that of The Poem of Ecstasy, the composition by Aleksandr Scriabin (1872-1915) about which Henry Miller wrote: It has that distant cosmic itch. Divinely fouled. All fire and air. The first time I heard it I played it over and over again (…) It was like a bath of ice, cocaine and rainbows. For weeks I was in a trance. Something had happened to me (…) Every time a thought took hold of me, a little door opened inside my chest, and there, in this comfortable little nest, sat a bird, the sweetest and tamest bird imaginable. Our own white nights also have their own music. Misterio Tarot, the duo formed by Geraldine Lanteri and Aldo Benítez, made the sound design of the room based on the personal arcana of Juana Butler, Xul Solar, Juan Batlle Planas, Roberto Aizenberg and Aída Carballo. Perhaps the visible is overrated, suggest Lanteri & Benítez, who sought the syntonic tone of our southern nights to let in the invisible, other ways of being, opening the threshold to new senses.

A community of origin

Since the late 1960s, Nicolás García Uriburu and Luis Fernando Benedit, artists that MC Galería brings together in this exhibition, addressed with their works a concern for nature, bringing art and ecology together in a pioneering way, with the intervention or incorporation of natural elements in their productions. Their trajectories have a common origin: they met while studying architecture at the University of Buenos Aires, became friends and developed their artistic practice in a self-taught way parallel to their university education. Both took their first steps in the artistic field with painting at the beginning of the sixties, a decade marked by political ups and downs, by censorship, but also by radical ruptures in art. It is possible to find between them an affinity of thought that expanded, from a shared disciplinary root to an artistic exploration with new media and supports, alien until then to the field of art, to investigate in an ecological and ethological problem that will distinguish them from then on.

The word ecology, from the Greek Oekologie, has its root in the term Oikos, which refers to the house, the habitat, the environment where organisms develop. In this conception, the house cannot be reduced to a building construction, but encompasses a whole territory, its vegetation, the other beings that inhabit it and allow its existence. “This complex integrality is what the science of ecology is all about,” says biologist Marcela Castelo. This shift seems to have operated in both artists, from a concern for habitable spaces for human beings to a consideration of the planet as the common home of all species.

The environmental concern that can be found in their works has both a planetary imprint and a local root. Together they undertook, around 1961, a trip to Peru that was decisive in the development of a thinking committed to the cultural history of the Latin American continent, which was later manifested in their productions. In the case of Uriburu, it was expressed in his permanent defense of the continent as a natural reservoir of the planet, denouncing the depredation of the hegemonic powers. In both of them there persists a work with the rural imaginary and the tradition of the Argentine landscape, especially of the Pampean plains. In García Uriburu’s work this can be seen from his early paintings to his series dedicated to ombúes and bulls; in Benedit’s work it is revealed through references to Argentine history, to traveling painters or the painting of Florencio Molina Campos, as well as to the design of furniture with cow bones and hides. Marcelo Pacheco described the latter as the most criollo of Argentine artists, a category that, far from a stereotyped or universalist expression, manifests a force capable of “phagocytizing what is proper and what is foreign, what is learned and what is inherited, what is national and what is international”, a phagocytic force that can be traced in national essay writing, from Ezequiel Martinez de Estrada to Rodolfo Kusch, some of them frequented, at least theoretically, by Benedit.

With these concerns for the future of the planet, towards the end of the 1960s the works of both artists acquired international visibility, both for the material radicality of their proposals and for the conceptual development under the orbit of what Jack Burnham called “systems art”. This denomination, conceived by Burnham in an article published in September 1968 in Artforum magazine, soon had an impact on the local artistic field, particularly in the figure of Jorge Glusberg, who from the Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAYC) promoted the production of experimental works of a conceptual nature through this category. Benedit had an active participation in this center, being part of its board of directors and integrating the Group of Thirteen that emerged from it. Uriburu, installed abroad during those years, had a more peripheral participation, but he exhibited in many of its shows and his links with the center were fundamental for him to develop the coloring of the Río de la Plata in 1970, a process that had begun a few years earlier.

In 1968 he made his first coloring by pouring thirty kilos of flourescein, a harmless dye, over the Grand Canal of Venice, with which he dyed its waters green. In a Europe still convulsed by the recent events of the French May, which impacted in deep criticism towards the Venice Biennale about to inaugurate its 34th edition, Uriburu, in an anti-institutional gesture, intervened directly on the real space with an ephemeral action that exceeded the traditional practices of art. This action, which attracted the attention of the press and even caused him to be arrested by the police, marked a turning point in his career: he oriented his production towards the environmental issue and began a series of colorations that he carried out all over the world.

Meanwhile his fellow student, Benedit, traveled on a scholarship to Rome in 1967 to study landscape architecture with Francesco Fariello. Driven by the knowledge of botany and biology acquired there, and with the advice of ethologist José Núñez, he developed Biotrón, one of his most paradigmatic works, which he presented in 1970 at the XXXV Venice Biennale, just two years after García Uriburu’s first coloration in the same city. It consisted of a large aluminum and transparent Plexiglas structure with artificial plants inside, to be inhabited by four thousand bees, which could either collect pollen from the technological flowers or go outside. In addition to this work, Benedit presented Minibiotron, a transparent acrylic piece for insects or arachnids to inhabit, which allowed them to be observed closely through a magnifying glass. These habitable proposals for living beings, as well as the work Fitotrón, a closed environment for the hydroponic cultivation of plants that was exhibited in 1972 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, together with the labyrinths and circuits that he developed in those years, are based on his interest in the study of animal and plant behavior, as well as the express link between science and art, which puts into discussion the disciplinary limits and the traditional conception of the figure of the author.

Both Uriburu’s colorations and Benedit’s large habitable installations show a projectual aspect in their work methods, -undoubtedly supported by their architectural training- consistent with the difficulties of realization, both in budgetary terms and in terms of the need to carry out interdisciplinary research. This is evident in the development of schemes and project drawings, especially in Benedit, essential for planning technical aspects, as can be seen in the drawings presented here, Proyecto múltiple – Mini Biotron (1971) and Proyecto múltiple – Pecera para peces tropicales, ( 1971). Other drawings, which did not necessarily go beyond their apparent project aspect and where Benedit leans towards a more pictorial elaboration, represent mechanically articulated animals that display in detail the different elements that compose them, as is the case of Proyecto para una langosta articulada ( 1974) and Fernando Rufus – Vulgar “Hornero” (1976). Here, the natural-artificial relationship is revealed, but rather than as an opposition between nature and culture or nature and art, it appears as a joint collaboration where the technical artifice acts in favor of nature, being able to give a technological response to a planetary crisis caused by anthropic impact.

Prototypes for an artificial garden at the Iris Clert gallery in Paris a few weeks before his first coloring. Still focused on the production of objects, he presented a group of works on cut acrylic plates linked to the natural world, cats and lambs, clouds and waterfalls, which made up a plastic garden in a pop setting. Already at that time, animals acquired a prominent place in García Uriburu’s work, which was later sustained by the representation of anacondas from the Amazon, giraffes in danger of extinction, oiled penguins, anteaters and vicuñas, dolphins and cows. Uriburu found in animals one of the most outstanding manifestations of nature, which he contrasted with famous New York City skyscrapers and constructions, such as a giraffe in front of the Pan Am mirrored tower or the head of a cow next to the Twin Towers. In this way, the artist denounced the binary opposition between nature and culture, a modern operation that, as Bruno Latour affirms, hierarchizes humanity above all living things, reducing them to mere resources to be exploited. In this sense, the city, the ultimate expression of the modern domination of the human, is represented in García Uriburu’s paintings in contrast with natural elements, and he also chooses for his colorations waters located in urban spaces, denouncing the destructive action of Man on them.

The work of both artists expresses this relationship, not necessarily oppositional, between nature and culture. The concern that both seem to show for animals, both for the local ones with their rural traditions and gaucho traces, as well as those of manifest precariousness and whose continuity as a species is in danger, allow us to think -from Benedit and García Uriburu, but also beyond them- of belonging to a community more than human, whose motivation is a concern for the habitat of all beings on the planet, that community that Latour calls “earthlings”. Recently María Puig de la Bellacasa stressed that the ecological “understood as the interdependent interaction between multiple forms of life, is collective by definition”, which leads not only to strengthen particular searches and knowledge, such as the proposals to merge life and art observed in García Uriburu, but also to an ethological concern, of the type developed by Benedit, which does not stop at the observation and investigation of animal behavior, but leads to an improvement in the life capacity of the whole, human and non-human. In this sense, an ecological formulation such as the one that can be observed in these works, but which – again – goes beyond them, also demands a strong ethical commitment.

Jesu Antuña y Mercedes Claus

Realidades sonoras y ficciones visuales

Eduardo Costa: 1966-today

Professor of letters, editor, proto-conceptualist (Alberro, 2001), genre creator (Herrera, 2008), sound poet, fashion novelist, journalist, essayist, volumetric painter are some of the titles Eduardo Costa has been defined with throughout his career: Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and New York, from 1966 to the present.

Tireless in his search for new paths in art, this admirer of Duchamp has the ability to find his artistic materialities in the unthinkable: a few stolen dialogues in the street to create the first oral literature, a fictional happening for a mass media art, a fake and unreachable gold accessory to infiltrate the mass media of fashion, semen itself as organic acrylic and acrylic as sculptural clay to expand the possibilities of painting.

Sound realisms and visual fictions. Eduardo Costa: 1966-hoy proposes a non-linear journey through the artist’s career in the gallery’s three rooms, using as reference points three events that took place in three spaces that are as emblematic as they are disparate: an iconic fashion magazine, a traditional fine arts museum, and a legendary rock record.

Anatomy lesson

“Don’t suffer, don’t suffer, it’s only fiction!”, Eduardo Costa requested to an audience that alternated between surprise and astonishment at the dissection of each of the works and the subsequent exhibition of their entrails. Presented on November 22, 2004 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, La biología de la pintura n.° 2: La lección de anatomía was a didactic performance conceived to explain the invisible in the works belonging to a new genre developed by Costa since 1994: volumetric painting. Referred to by the American critic and poet Carter Ratcliff, volumetric paintings are composed not only of external surfaces but also of internal spaces. A volumetric painting of a watermelon is green on the outside, white and red on the inside. A head portrait contains both the organs, muscles and bones, invisible to the viewer, as well as the visible features traditionally manifested in flat painting or sculpture. Geometric abstractions are usually pure monochrome, painted in the same color from beginning to end. Without any other materiality than acrylic pigment and an occasional thickener, volumes are obtained by adding layer upon layer. The volumetric paintings free themselves from the traditional material supports of painting and sculpture to support themselves in each brushstroke with the aesthetics of modernism and the historical avant-garde. Thus, the pigments dissolve, thicken and solidify when mixed with constructivist, neoplasticist, concrete, perceptualist, minimalist or “pop” molecules. “For the (volumetric) paintings are the result of a wide range of concepts and legacies whose complex synthesis provides insight into how modernist paintings can be productively reformulated in the 21st century” (Alberro, 2001).

Of visual fictions and sonorous realisms

“The most exciting thing I’ve seen in recent years” proclaimed Alexander Liberman, art editor of American Vogue magazine between 1941 and 1962, after his meeting with Costa thanks to the intermediation of gallery owner Leo Castelli. On February 1, 1968, a strange accessory was published in its pages: Oreja. Photographed and commented by Richard Avedon and modeled by Marisa Berenson, granddaughter of surrealist fashion icon Elsa Schiaparelli and renowned art critic Bernard Berenson. Made in gold on the mold taken from Argentine model María Larreta in 1966, this object is part of Fashion Fiction I, along with other jewelry in the form of phalanges and hair. Costa was trying to broaden its audience, reaching out to the fashion mass media with a strategy that included fictionalizing a luxury product as well as making use of the visual and written languages characteristic of these publications. In the months following its print appearance, the object would be transformed into several real jewels at the request of a group of the magazine’s readers.  Oreja is a bottle launched into the sea of media that has been and continues to be a reference and source of inspiration. In fashion, Gucci and its creative director, Alessandro Michele, will produce a ready-to-wear version in 2019, which was also featured in Harper’s Bazaar magazine on Serena Williams’ ear, shot by Alexi Lubomirski. Also, in the field of art, several artists have cited it as is the case of the work Untitled, 2021 photograph by La Chola Poblete where the artist adopts the same position and framing of Berenson’s photo and replaces the materiality of gold with that of bread; with this operation “the prosthetic jewel acquires its luxury character, not from the shine of the metal, but from the homey warmth of bread” (Martínez Depietri, 2021).

At the same time, Costa continued to explore oral language, ethnographic realism, sound and the possibilities of the stereophonic recorder in his search for new materialities and media. This path had taken shape for the first time in 1966 in the project Poema ilustrado for the exhibition El Poema y su sombrura, curated by Mercedes Álvarez Reynolds at the Galería de Arte Joven de Radio Municipal; finding in this oral ready-made an objective and external memory to the artist who surpassed photography in her ability to achieve greater realism, inaugurating another new genre: oral literature. In 1969, together with artist John Perreault, a tape that includes the work of fifteen artists and poets from Latin America and the United States, accompanied by a manifesto written by both of them. For the authors, “the works exist entirely in terms of auditory phenomena, rather than in terms of visual sign systems, thus beginning a new art of the tape recorder that has in common with written literature the fact that it refers to real language” (Costa-Perreault, 1969). “While Oreja had materialized the anatomy of sound reception-the aural with the auditory-Tape Poems focused on the material storage of sound outside the body” (McEnaney, 2016).

For Costa, oral language is an immersed historical ocean in which he will remain diving throughout his career. The appearance of an ear made of gold can be read as a tribute to the human organ that receives and decodes this ancestral expression of culture, an auricular-auric-auratic object.

A honeymoon in the hand

“I want you to write a lyric for Virus – did you think it would be about any particular issue? Yes, about masturbation”. On October 25, 1985 the album Locura is released, the fifth studio work of the group Virus, the most successful of the band in sales and the favorite of its leader Federico Moura.  Costa is the author of the lyrics of Una luna de miel en la mano. Inspired by the fictional play Everyman His Own Wife Or, A Honeymoon in the Hand: A National Immorality in Three Orgasms imagined by Buck Mulligan’s character in James Joyce’s most famous work Ulysses. Some works made at different stages in Costa’s production contain the male body as a theme or as a source of plastic material. With an ambiguous, delicate and poetic sexual charge, these works resort to the torso, genitals and semen to try out new genres in art. A soft and sinuous rectangle next to an erect cylinder constitute a pornogeometric painting, the ejaculations are gestures of an orgasmic informalism on the canvas, the perforations on the stretcher bars resemble spatialism à la Fontana. Under the light of a honey-colored acrylic moon, a hand holding a cucumber, a roll of toilet paper and a small notebook with a poem written by Costa in his adolescence, compose an intimate still life captured minutes before self-satisfaction, a moment mori that foreshadows the petit morte.

Joaquín Rodríguez

Buenos Aires, October 11, 2023


This exhibition by Cynthia Cohen shows the current state of her perception of the world and the way she understands life and art today. Each painting is an exploration of perceptions that allow her to project internal dynamics outwards. A creative process related to Batlle Planas “inner model” and the free associations of automatism, but with a very different pictorial resolution. It is a shift from consumer pop to metaphysical pop, with elements of camp and surrealism in its use of extravagance, humor and absurdity. As Susan Sontag defines it, Camp is “a sensibility; it is not an idea or a style, but a way of seeing the world”.

The stories are built around situations and images that point her in this new direction. It unites, in a contradictory way, different elements that provoke alienation.  The artist is the one who points, who expands the possibilities of the cosmos with new articulations of the real, understanding that the real is also what is hidden and sometimes unhidden. This is what happens in “accept the thoughts that arise”, where the artist constructs a work in which an infinite number of fascinating scenes and thoughts are superimposed, with no apparent logical structure, as happens when we meditate.  There are fragments of an antique French Aubusson tapestry, pieces of sashimi, fish, skies, a cornucopia and iron bars.

The hands point and at the same time create paradoxical worlds, as in the scene of the painting “Amazonita”, where an emerald is floating above a mass of green against a mountain landscape.  It is the signalling of contradiction, where the absurd is the basis for the production of pictorial discourse.  Throughout the Renaissance we find hands with the index finger pointing towards what seems to be the interpretation of the riddle. A secret to be revealed in each story.

We feel the latency of eroticism in tongues coming out of a wallpaper where red prevails in “Libertine”, an installation with digital recreations projected on the walls of the gallery hall.

In “Azurita”, the sensuality of taste is embodied by a tongue licking a creamy cherry, and the senses are heightened to the extreme by the rare beauty of a huge blue stone floating above the landscape.

The stones that Cynthia used in her first exhibition, when she painted them in groups as gems set in rings, are back. At that time, the context was linked to a reflection on economic power as an allusion to the tyranny of the patriarchal institution. These first rings later became enormous protagonists, with perfectly painted jewels of extreme rigour in the faceting and brilliance of each one.

Today, the rocks are structured in an expressive way, far removed from the precision of those days. Now they are part of a crystalline journey in which he has found another goal in his identity as an artist. The conviction that the work activates something ineffable, something that has no name because there is no word to describe it.  He places himself in the line of poets and mystics who have sought to bear witness to transcendent experiences.

That is why we cannot rationally understand what is happening in these works, but we must enter into these dwellings proposed by the artist. The history of art has repeatedly tried to manifest the metaphysical dimension, as in the works of Hilma af Klint, Malevich or the Argentinean Xul Solar, among many others.

What makes Cynthia’s work so original is that she materialises these ideas with a contemporary approach, mixing brightly coloured objects against the backdrop of the Argentinean landscape. She also draws on her own history. She reappropriates her artistic autobiography with new meanings.

When she painted flowers, as in jewellery, his “Roses” suggested the success of the perfect appearance, open in its maximum splendour. Today, the flower in his painting “A Wish” has fallen petals, is almost withered and is the only work that, instead of floating, has to be held up. She shamelessly exposes the fall and the melancholic register of the final stage.

Endings, like farewells, are encounters. I celebrate this encounter of a new direction in Cynthia Cohen’s work. It was there from the beginning, but today she has been able to manifest it. I think of the story of the English pilot who, having miscalculated his course, discovered England under the impression that it was an unknown island in the South Sea. And when he planted the flag, he had finally arrived in his own country.

Cynthia discovered in Cruz Chica the key that opened the portal to a new meaning. A belief in art as a transcendent and spiritual revelation.

Laura Batkis



The art of the passage to contemporary art

Marcelo E. Pacheco

Informalism, thresholds, stitching, decollage, other art, driping, are different semblances that enter on a base of paint in superimposed layers of remains of materials, also, drips of different materials such as oil, tempera, collage different from the one that had been given as wire to make the piece: floor rags, rags grids, mixtures of different types of wood, sometimes some cardboard, cardboard and all material, mixed with frames of them.  The base is always complete with very outstanding collage temperatures, reaching different kinds of assemblage.

There are different titles for variations and regional schools that show different typologies: informalism, tachism, collage and decollage, and as long as one chooses the superimpositions of materials. The two extremes are abstract expressionism, pure solidity and dualities of oil, working in layers of brushstrokes that burst in different hardness and subtlety, as in the works of Del Prete or Pucciarelli and, in tachismo or informalism that works with traces, marks, stamp, executive transparency, of all kinds of things. The two extremes play with the range of the material that moves away or gets closer and closer to the specific weight and the network of the real.

At the other point of the space appear the abstract or non-figurative with collage as a base and hyper-abundant collage stickers that finally explodes in the assemblages. The first occurs more fully in the New York School culminating with Pollock and locally with Greco and Del Prete. The second occurs with less traversed collage, being protagonist rags grids, floor rags, draped, as Towas, Peluffo, Kemble, Lublin.

With several cast manipulations, different variants with Creole personality are grouped together, making the pieces divided in the graphics and draperies and in the fabrics worked with the tips of the handles of the brushes or their coats.

A special note is the group of works by the Uruguayan Teresa Vila with her semi-abstract paintings. In the territory the games between the freedom of non-figuration and the freedom of non-abstractions.

From informalism to concrete art and kinetic and optical art, different virtual visual forms or boxes with their own supports follow each other.

The total filling of the surface reaches the maximum, even the frames, and they choose multiple bases, the infinitude of choices as a basis for their stories that are non-figurative. The current exhibition is a very good example of diversity.

The general qualities of the informalist language, forms a bundle of figurative works confronted, or interwoven, or directly mixed or in tension. The manner is clearly seen as an astonishing manner since the 1940s, although as a group it was shown in only two exhibitions, both in 1959. This location and this movement of comings and goings and ideas, place Informalism as one of the broad thresholds of passage from modern art to contemporary art. From this point, the neo-criollo informalism of artists such as Peluffo, Greco and Kemble nourish with frictions the three enclaves that since the end of the 1950s have been running towards post-historic art.

The starry ordered by parallel and simultaneous conversations shows a whole possible to be broken or in sets that intermingle.

A sample of the poly-informalism that was deployed throughout the field of objective accidents and adjectives of history and aesthetics.

Manuel Espinosa

Manuel Espinosa (1942 – 2006) Born in Buenos Aires. He attended the National School of Fine Arts and the School of Fine Arts Ernesto de la Cárcova.

After a brief surrealist period, he is co-founder of the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención. It subscribes to the Invencionista Manifesto and participates in the exhibitions presented by the group in 1946: in March, that of the Peuser Room; in September, the one organized in the Center for Secondary Education Diploma Teachers; in October, at the Argentine Society of Plastic Artists (SAAP) and in the same month at the Ateneo Popular de La Boca.

Later his work is kept within a geometric abstraction characterized by the repetition of the square or the circle in the entire compositional surface. On this serial arrangement works shadows, superposition and displacements, which allow you to incorporate forward and backward spatial relationships.

Integrates collective exhibitions such as From concrete art to the new trend, Museum of Modern Art (1963), Beyond geometry, Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (1967), Salon Campa- raison, Paris (1967), Twenty-five Argentine artists, National Museum of Fine Arts (1970), International Biennial of Cagnes-sur-Mer, France (1970), Projection and dynamics, Museum of Modern Art of the Ville de Paris (1973), Current Trends in Argentine Art, Art Center of International Reunions, Nice, France (1974), among others.

In the decade of the ‘80 participates in the exhibitions of the trend called “sensible abstraction”, among which is Geometry 81, presented at the Provincial Museum of Fine Arts of La Plata. In the city of Buenos Aires integrates geometry. Tribute to Max Bill, organized by the Center for Art and Communication, Sensitive Abstraction, shows that it accompanies the Days of Criticism, both held in 1981 and From Constructivism to Sensitive Geometry, presented at Harrods in May 1992, among others.

Participates in the main exhibitions that deal with the development of abstraction in the Río de la Plata. These include Tribute to the Argentine avant-garde of the 1940s, held at Galería Arte Nuevo (1976), Vanguardias of the 1940s. Concrete Art-Invention. Arte Madí. Perceptismo, Eduardo Sívori Museum (1980) and among the most recent, in abstract art from Río de la Plata. Buenos Aires and Montevideo 1933/53, presented at The Americas Society, New York (2001).

In 2001, the Juan B. Castagnino Museum in Rosario dedicated a tribute to him.