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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

Azul Caverna – Emptiness expansion

Emptiness expansion is the individual show of Azul Caverna. The text that accompanied the exhibition was in charge of Florencia Qualina.

The huge painting has a disturbing name, something blasphemous: Chicken or Nietszche?. On the white background of the canvas three stripes are distributed composed of small rectangles that cross the surface diagonally. Two stripes are relatively short, their rectangles are yellow and pink; the other strip, more extensive, is composed of black figures. The repetition turns them into a system, they are no longer geometric structures and they begin to be characters. The characters move between the paintings like a swarm of bees. At first sight it is more evident to establish relations between the work of Azul Caverna with Concrete Art, than with the man of philosophy with hammers. Concrete Art is, for A.C, a primary source. You only need look at the works of Lidy Prati or Tomás Maldonado to see in him, a certain continuation in the iconographic plane. Other perceptions, relationships or readings, are somewhat more elusive and require the persistent attention of whoever meets them.

The images of Azul Caverna have, at some point, an unstable bias. In the serial characters, repeated without stop, you can read zebra’s steps, bar codes suspended in the desert. The conceptual axis of this exhibition is the emptiness. Said in his words: “The emptiness as a cold still mass, this eternal bubble seems to contain us and distance us enough from each other, as if protecting us from something, or better, as if protecting others from ourselves.” In a cryptic way, the rectangles transpose for A.C a herd that circulates between virtual networks. A swarm report led by common sense and publicity.

These ideas and impressions are not, however, the closing of the works. There will be, from this exhibition other multiple, contradictory, never misguided ideas and impressions around, about the works. The emptiness can be read as a Taoist emanation:

The space between heaven and earth is like a bellows, exhales empty endlessly.

The more you move, the more you exhale.

More is talked about him

and less is reached.

Or as a space arranged for contemplation, where there is nothing to understand or explain. This last possibility is the one I strongly suggest.

Rogelio Polesello – A circle, a game

A circle, a game brings together a selection of paintings, papers and acrylic sculptures by the consecrated and prolific argentinean artist Rogelio Polesello.

Polesello takes place into the world of geometric art at an early age, as early as 1959 he had made his first individual exhibition at the Peuser gallery. Then he is part of the legendary generation of artists who passed through the mythical Di Tella Institute in Buenos Aires in the sixties and who, being young, had already achieved great international recognition.

The set of exhibited works, dating from the sixties to the last years of production, show his authentic journey within geometric and optical abstract art in Argentina. Crossed by the games of vision, Polesello, defies the gaze with the deformation and succession of synthetic forms.

A circle, a game, reveals Polesello’s innate ability to use unpublished materials and techniques, evident in the works present at the exhibition. Among them: acrylic plates from 1969 – 1971, a set of works on paper from 1959; and paintings of the sixties and seventies.

The show puts the viewer in the center of the board to continue with the game and put in check his perception of reality.

Monochromes II: Micro-stories

Monochromes II: micro-stories, is a group exhibition of Marcelo Boullosa, Adriana Cimino Torres, Eduardo Costa, César Paternosto and Horacio Zabala. Curated by María José Herrera, is presented as the continuation of Monochromes exhibition at the Recoleta Cultural Center in 2010. This exhibition aims to recognize, ten years later, other possible stories in the “monochrome spectrum”, a type of artistic object that is defined more by the reductive character than by the use of a single color.

As Herrera referred in 2010, “the monochrome is resignified within contemporary art, filtering through the interstices of the international and local tradition, developing a reviewing art concepts and perception established by avant-garde movements. The current monochromes can refer to themes and narratives that modernist orthodoxy would have called spurious.

Among the works present in the exhibition are paintings, drawings, engravings and sculptures of artists of two generations that pay tribute to the expression “less is more”, but do not get satisfied only with that.

Growing in parallel with the field of modern Latin American art, with a greater international presence, MCMC emphasizes the expansion of the aesthetic knowledge of Argentine art, providing a careful approach to the important legacy of the artists it represents.

Monocromes II: micro-stories

Monochromes or bichromes, it seems that it is the color that defines these objects. However, it is not so. It is the reductive spirit, the will to bring to the minimum expression some of the characteristics that define the plastic phenomenon, either color, matter, composition, meaning, the common element of this set. In this sense, the monochrome has a vast Argentine tradition that connects it with the Invention Concrete Art, the Madí, the Perceptism, the Neoconstructivism of the 40s and its counterpart, the informalism. Both trends generated works of distinctive local identity.

 Contemplation of the void, delight for the texture, for the brief gesture of a line, astonishment for the matter that exposes itself, or for the fictions of the representation, the micro-story that implies a contemporary monochrome  -no matter how brief it is- turns on itself. Play with the limits of genres and disciplines. The monochrome points outs the edges, the conceptual or physical margins, as a scope ofresignification. Towards there it leads our gaze so that it pokes bewildered or fascinated, in the beauty of the idea.

María José Herrera

Edgardo A. Vigo: In the center of the margin

MCMC is pleased to announce a solo exhibition from Edgardo Antonio Vigo (La Plata, Argenti­na, 1928-1997): conceptual artist, xylographer, engraver, critic and essayist.

Vigo is one of the greatest referents of conceptual art in Argentina, as well as of mail art and experimental poetry. He used to record and certified the existence of everything that was positioned outside the boundaries of art. He appealed to the social conscience and sometimes operated on langua­ge. He was an admirer of Marcel Duchamp, Macedonio Fernández, as well as of Lettrism and Fluxus.

Vigo used postal mail as his maximum vehicle of expression. He conceived Mail art as “commu­nication at distance”, which facilitated the active participation of the spectator. A circulation that rescued the vitality of a utopian and magical reality where collaboration was key, and the distance traveled that configured its structure was the work itself. In his countless critical inter­ventions he created useless objects, strange machines, poetry and woodcuts.

Among his numerous editorial works we can highlight the following: Diagonal Cero (1962-1969), a quarterly magazine dedicated to experimental poetry and Hexágono’71 (1971-1975), a maga­zine dedicated to experimental theory and poetry. Vigo understood the world as an organic whole in which there was no separation between knowledge, artistic practice and life. He believed fervently in the potential of art to mobilize the intellectual and emotional stillness of society and therefore sought, through his work, to esta­blish new ways of looking and acting in the world.

MCMC presents a small fragment from the large body of works preserved from this artist, who­se limits are not yet completely defined. The exhibition includes: pamphlets, Diagonal Cero (Diagonal Zero) and Hexagono’71 (Hexagon ’71) publications from 1962-1975, Mail art (conver­ted into concrete actions), visual poems, a series of actions called Señalamientos (signal work) from 1968, woodcuts, as well as unique museum quality pieces, such as Proletarian Chess.

Vigo’s works condense many stories: from the Di Tella Institute, as well as Buenos Aires’s under­ground and military dictatorship. Vigo’s production is unthinkable outside references to criti­cism, institutions, history, his colleagues and to his environment.

María Boneo – The luminous sound of forms

The luminous sound of the forms, is the solo exhibition of the argentinian sculptor María Boneo. The exhibition, curated by Ana María Battistozzi, brings together Boneo’s recent sculptures in colored resin and nickel-plated bronze that impose their resounding presence with their spatial alternations, polished surfaces and increasing scales.

Her works, which used to be figurative, keep the reminiscences of that past in the configuration of the abstract lines of the present. It is still possible to trace the memory of the female body in the meticulous program of depuration of forms.

From the wood carving of her beginnings, to the marble carving, whose reflections suggested many of the works exhibited in this exhibition, the artist reoriented her perception and body. She ponders the quality and the response of the materiality, as well as the incidence of light to define the form. A process that seems to be simple, but is far from it. 

María Boneo has repeatedly mentioned the “nest” form as a significant feature in her work. If the images of the world are not –as Jean Grondin points out– simple duplications of reality and that they correspond to interpretations that are implicit in our relationship with the world, it is interesting to explore the meaning of this form in the exhibition. It may be possible to think the internal movement of Boneo’s works as a vortex, as a pole of energy that in its rotation inevitably attracts bodies towards their center. A kind of whirlpool that draws all life force to a center from which it is not possible to escape.  In defiant contradiction with the impulse of current art that insists on considering beauty of forms with a certain disdain, María Boneo is committed to it. She affirms the unavoidable presence of forms that, as it is possible to notice in this exhibition, gravitate in space from a growing, increasingly daring scale.  

Norberto Gomez: 1967 – 2016

MCMC Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition Norberto Gómez: 1967 – 2016, curated by Florencia Chernajovsky. Norberto Gómez (1941) studied at “Manuel Belgrano” School of Fine Arts in 1954 and attended the workshops of Castagnino and Berni. In 1965 he traveled to Paris, where he worked with Julio Le Parc. A year later he returned to Buenos Aires and began a series of geometric objects that explored the relationship of forms with space, ascribing to the gui­delines of American minimalism. In 1976 he develops a body of works that oscillate between the geometric and melted objects, using wood and metallic paint.

By 1977, he moved away completely from geometry and began to explore the possibilities and limits of polyester. These sculptures in resin, which take the form of viscera and human organs, are strongly traversed by the atrocities that occurred during the military dictatorship in Buenos Aires y the 70s. In 1984 begins a series of polyester works that address issues around power and oppression; in 1990 he exhibited at Ruth Benzacar gallery, mutilated human figures, mixed with animals and architectural fragments, with a parody tone and full of humor. In 1995 the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires made a retrospective of his work and in 1999 he was invited to be part of the Memory Park in Buenos Aires, where he presented the monumental sculpture Torres de la Memoria. In the first decade of 2000 he works on a series of bronzes that question the his­tory and the monument with great irony; in 2002 he received the Konex Prize. In 2011, the Osde Foundation made a retrospective exhibition of his works and in 2016 the National Museum of Fine Arts made an individual exhibition with geometric works made between 2014 and 2016.

Norberto Gómez: 1967-2016 explores different facets of the work of an intrinsically versatile ar­tist. A main figure in the history of Argentine art, Gómez slid through various movements and languages over the course of half a century, finding small interstices of full and sovereign free­dom of expression. The exhibition shows works that are linked to the Minimalist movement of the 60s, as well as the Pop art influence in his soft geometries.

The exhibition also includes works made in the 70s that refer to the Argentine political context, as well as the bronze pieces made in the 2000s that show the artist’s disruptive humor. These pieces will coexist with unpublished drawings of the 70s that express his skill as a lyricist, a pro­fession that Norberto Gómez exercises for more than twenty years, which allows him to develop an acute sensitivity of space, distances and forms.