Expanding the Line: Drawing, Video, and Sculpture
Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. is pleased to present a selection of artists who share both affinities and diversities in their dedication to expanding the possibilities of the line in their work. This exhibition provides the opportunity to view the variety of modes, techniques, and perspectives through which these artists, following in the tradition of Latin American Abstraction, have continued to interpret and adapt their own aesthetic approaches to the linear form.
Besides sharing a background in science and mathematics, Magdalena Fernández and Elias Crespin both create artworks that play with the line through bridging the gap between technology and art; the former, through digital media creating the illusion of destabilized linear movement, the latter, with computer programs that control kinetic wire-grid structures that float in the air as they take on different linear geometric patterns.
Marta Chilindron creates manipulable sculptures that can be maneuvered into multiple combinations, highlighting the artist’s continued exploration of new possibilities for movement, geometry, and the nature of the line. Mariano Dal Verme’s work hovers in between the space separating the line from drawing and sculpture, as he creates linear geometric artworks comprised out of the very graphite leads themselves.
Noted for their precise draughtmanship, Gustavo Díaz and Julián Terán both utilize software programs as a platform of departure, yet their works’ final execution are translated hyper-meticulously onto ink on paper by the artists’ hands. Díaz’s layered lines are based on theories of chaos and uncertainty, whilst Terán’s undulating lines are anything but random, and infuse the line with a sense of topographical volume.
León Ferrari and Gustavo Bonevardi share an interest in language as both a structural and visual form. While at first glance, Ferrari’s piece may read as his well-known “written drawings,” the undulating lines presented here are rid of any textural reference, and instead waver between negative and positive space. Bonevardi’s drawing, comprised of disintegrating, meaningless letters, take on a repetitive structural form that provokes the viewer’s perception of the line.
Mirtha Dermisache’s artist book, Livre No.4, continues in the tradition of the genre that challenges the conventional book format to become a work of art in itself, one that aims to make artworks interactive, portable, and elicit the viewer’s participation. Livre No.4 is a classic example of Dermisache’s notorious asemic writing: illegible and wordless visual mark-making that is void of any semantic content. The artist’s use of scribbled, repetitive, and acutely gestural lines, create a vacuum of meaning for the reader to discern and interpret. Dermisache’s variations of the line are what leave the viewer hovering in a state between reading and looking.
Marcelo Boullosa and Anna Maria Maiolino both play with the seriality of the line. Boullosa’s lines are ruptured and broken, changing into a labyrinthine maze through the act of repetition and patterning. Each drawing becomes a distinctive structure in and of itself, in which any sense of linearity simply dissolves. Maiolino’s devotion to drawing as a means of self-expression reflects her concern with the creative process itself—incorporating chance, gesture, and action. The lines in her work capture the organic, rhythmic nature of the artist’s hand, revealing her ongoing exploration of the variations of the line.
Bringing together works in various mediums, Expanding the Line highlights the commonalities, overlaps, and variances made manifest in the range of the gallery’s contemporary draughtsmen, videographers, and sculptors.
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b. 1960, New York City – lives in New York City
Trained as an architect with a degree from Princeton University, Gustavo Bonevardi’s artistic practice ranges from the meticulous to the monumental. Working on a small scale, Bonevardi is known for his “letter drawings,” graphite images in which a multitude of minute, yet precise letters of the alphabet tumble, spill, and stretch their way across the paper’s surface, creating undulating patterns or precise forms which, when viewed from a distance, conceal their miniscule components.
Bonevardi draws on his architectural background when working on his large-scale urban projects. These include the memorial, Tribute in Light (conceived in 2001 and illuminated each year in New York City in commemoration of September 11th), and 10,000 Flower Maze (2011). This later work, a temporary project commissioned for Shenzhen's Citizen Plaza in China, was inspired by the European maze garden commissioned by Emperor Qialong in 1756. The work consisted of thousands of orange traffic safety cones arranged in patterns across the public space.
In 2015, his latest body of work was shown in a solo exhibition, Fictions, at Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. His large-scale drawing, Falling (2007-2009), was recently included in the first group exhibition ever to be held at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, entitled Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11.
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and China Project Installation Photos
b. 1956, Buenos Aires, Argentina – lives in Buenos Aires
The concept of repetition and its effects on visual perception inform the work produced by Argentinean artist, Marcelo Boullosa. Methodical in his artistic technique, Boullosa often repeats a single gesture to create intricate drawings, collages, and paintings which appear to reverberate with echoed shapes and patterns.
In comparison to his monochrome drawings of carefully etched lines, curves, and other graphic elements, Boullosa executes his paintings of repeated squares in both muted pastels and primary colors. At first glance, these paintings seem to follow a strict, grid-like pattern; however, upon closer inspection, they reveal variations in both color and line. These slight variances translate as optical illusions to the viewer’s perception, as the squares appear to rhythmically pulsate across the canvas.
In 1994, Boullosa's artwork was selected to represent Argentina as part of the V Havana Biennial. Works by the artist are included in private collections across Europe, the United States, and South America, as well as at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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b. 1951, La Plata, Argentina – lives in New York City since 1969
From her early veristic paintings to her contemporary sculptural installations, Marta Chilindron has created art which explores perspectival, temporal, and spatial relationships. In the 1990s, Chilindron began experimenting with furniture forms, altering their shapes to reflect her point of view in relation to physical space. In 1998/2000 the artist began making collapsible, geometric sculptures in transparent colored acrylics, using hinges to allow movement. These pieces entreat the viewer to manipulate and change their shape.
In 2010, Chilindron was invited to create a public installation as part of the Fokus Lodz Biennale in Poland, and her sculptures were featured as a special project at the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA) in Long Beach, California in 2013. The artist had a retrospective exhibition at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts in 2014, and at Point of Contact Gallery at Syracuse University in 2018. Chilindron is currently working on Houston Mobius, a large-scale sculpture commissioned by the University of Houston for the inauguration of their Temporary Public Art Program. She has been invited by El Museo del Barrio to be part of their "Diálogos" section at New York’s 2019 Frieze Art Fair.
Chilindron's artworks are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; the Phoenix Art Museum, AZ; El Museo del Barrio, NYC; the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL; the State University of New York (SUNY), Old Westbury, NY; Fonds D’Art Contemporain de Ville de Geneve, Switzerland; IBEU Cultural Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as numerous international private collections.
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b. 1965, Caracas, Venezuela – lives in Paris, France since 2008
The child of mathematicians, Elias Crespin frequently visited the studio of his grandmother, the artist Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), and her partner, the artist and designer Gerd Leufert. During this time, the young Crespin was encouraged to experiment with different materials. His technical inclinations led him to study Computer Science at Venezuela's Universidad Central in Caracas, where he delved into the fields of mathematics and topographical formulas. After working for various software companies, he decided to dedicate his skills to art making.
Crespin constantly applies new technological methods towards his artistic production, bridging the gap between technology and art. His installations consist of arrangements of hand-made elements in various geometric forms, which are suspended in midair by nearly invisible nylon threads. Through computer programs of custom software-controlled motors designed by the artist himself, his pieces constantly shift and mutate, producing highly nuanced choreographic effects, which make them appear to dance in the air as they adopt and morph into new forms and patterns. Crespin’s work questions the concepts of form, space, movement, and time, and is often associated with the study of color, light, shadow, and the experimentation of different materials and textures.
Since 2004, the artist’s pieces have been exhibited in many international institutions and venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris; Grand Palais, Paris; Galerie Denise René, Paris; Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris; Boghossian Foundation, Brussels; Das Kleine Museum, Weissenstadt, Germany; Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich; Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas; and Fundación Sala Mendoza, Caracas, amongst others.
Crespin's artworks are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH); Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection (CIFO), Miami; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Das Kleine Museum, Weissenstadt, Germany, as well as numerous other prestigious private collections.
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b. 1973, Buenos Aires, Argentina – lives in Buenos Aires
Mariano Dal Verme began his artistic studies in 1992, and has participated in collective exhibitions since 1994. In the mid-90s he studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón in Buenos Aires.
In 1998, Dal Verme founed Kunstwerks, a company devoted to the visual arts, and since the early 2000s, the artist has continued to explore different methods of drawing which resist the conventions of the medium. His exploration of drawing has evolved over time into three-dimensional works. In these, Dal Verme's manipulation of the distance between the paper and the graphite playfully engages with the viewer’s perception.
In 2001, Dal Verme joined the staff at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Argentina. In 2002, he created Re-collection, along with Beto de Volder and Fernando Brizuela, which was later exhibited in Tucumán, at ArteBA, and at MALBA. In 2013, Sicardi Gallery in Houston, Texas, presented a retrospective exhibition of Dal Verme's oeuvre entitled On Drawing.
Dal Verme's works are included in various prestigious Latin American collections, including MALBA, and the artist has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Argentina and the United States.
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b. 1969, Buenos Aires, Argentina – lives in Houston, Texas
Drawing on such esoteric concepts as Ilya Prigogine's chaos theory, non-Euclidian geometry, and the behavior of hyper-complex systems, Gustavo Díaz uses diverse media to create artworks that reflect his education in art, music, and science. Before deciding to dedicate himself fully to art making, Díaz studied at the Escuela Técnica Otto Krause and at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Industrial in his native Argentina. This background, as well as his continued studies in mathematics, philosophy, and other fields, inform the intricate lines and complex structures of his drawings, acrylic sculptures, and reliefs.
In 2001, Díaz received the Banco Ciudad Foundation Prize from the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, and in 2002 he co-founded NOUS, a Center of Art and Design dedicated to interdisciplinary scientific research. In 2013, the artist's work was featured at ExpoChicago, where he was named Artforum's “Critics' Pick.” Two years later, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston included Díaz's work in an exhibition entitled Cosmic Dialogues: Selections from the Latin American Collection, which focused on artistic explorations of space and light. The show was curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez, MFAH Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the International Center for Arts of the Americas (ICAA).
Díaz's work has been shown in both group and solo exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), TX; the Museo Valenciano de la Ilustración y la Modernidad in Valencia, Spain; as well as other exhibition spaces throughout the United States and Argentina.
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b. 1920, Buenos Aires, Argentina – d. 2013, Buenos Aires
Recognized for his unique oeuvre which blends art with politics, drawing with sculpture, and concept with form, Ferrari is today regarded as one of the most important Latin American artists of the second half of the twentieth century.
Although he began his career in Argentina pursuing parallel interests in art and engineering (an influence which can be observed in the structural emphasis of much of his art), Ferrari first started exhibiting ceramic sculptures in the 1950s. From this point of origin, Ferrari's artistic experiments expanded over the decades to include film, drawings, found objects, and hanging sculptures in materials ranging from wire to bones.
Despite the diversity of his artwork, a fascination for language - as a means of communication, as a visual form, and as a metaphor - has permeated Ferrari's career. This is perhaps best observed in Ferrari's written drawings, which take their departure from written script.
A world renowned artist, Ferrari's work is included in major museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY; the Casa de las Americas, Havana; Daros Latin America, Zurich; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The artist received the prestigious Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Award at the Venice Biennale in 2007. In 2009, Ferrari's work was shown in New York's Museum of Modern Art exhibition, Tangled Alphabets.
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b. 1977, La Plata, Argentina – lives in Buenos Aires
Julián Terán grew up in Monte, a rural town in the province of Buenos Aires, where the artist continues to reside and work. He graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón in Buenos Aires where he was trained along with artists Fabiana Barreda and Rodrigo Alonso, amongst others. In addition to being a visual artist, Terán is a musician and composer that fuses traditional Argentine folk rhythms with electronic and alternative music.
In 2011, Terán completed several major projects, including an extensive solo exhibition at the Museo J.R. Vidal de Corrientes, Argentina; an exhibition at the Multiespacio San Telmo, Buenos Aires; and a large-scale mural work at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA), Argentina. In 2014, the artist's work was featured in the exhibition, Litoralismo, at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Argentina.
Terán has had solo and group exhibitions in both galleries and museums throughout Argentina, including the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Rosario (MACRO); the Museo Castagnino, Rosario; the Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires; and the Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires.
Terán's artwork also forms part of various important Latin American private collections, and has been exhibited in several international art fairs, including ArteBA, Buenos Aires; ArtBo, Bogotá; and Pinta, New York.
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