Contemporary Abstraction: Recent Works by Gallery Artists
With this exhibition, Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. highlights the most recent production of the gallery's contemporary artists. Created within the last five years (2008-2013), the paintings, sculptures, and drawings on view reflect the varied backgrounds and techniques of artists in South America, Europe, and the United States. Since its founding in 1992, it has been the gallery's mission to feature work by contemporary artists who follow the tradition of abstraction established in Latin America by Joaquín Torres-García and his students at the Taller Torres-García. With works by both the gallery's emerging and established artists on display, this exhibition provides a unique opportunity to view the variety of modes through which the gallery's practicing artists have continued to share, interpret and adapt this tradition.
The paintings by Inés Bancalari (b. 1946 Buenos Aires; lives in Buenos Aires) date to the artist's latest series of paintings. Executed in soft pastels, these large scale works are evocative of textiles and represent a shift from her earlier boldly colored geometric canvases and collages.
Working in mediums ranging from drawings to sculpture to large-scale architectural installations, Gustavo Bonevardi (b. 1960 New York; lives in New York City) references both organic structures as well as man-made systems in his artwork. The multi-panel drawing, Falling, demonstrates Bonevardi's continued exploration of the forms and content of language, while also serving as a subtle and poetic tribute to the artist's experience of 9-11.
In recent years, the ceramic sculpture of Lidya Buzio (b. 1948, Montevideo, Uruguay – lives in Long Island, New York) has shifted from formal representations inspired by the New York City skyline to abstract works dominated by the concepts of volume, geometry, and color. Created since her recent 2012 solo exhibition at Cecilia de Torres, Ltd., the vessel on view demonstrates how Buzio continues to explore her new geometric style, without abandoning the organic qualities of her artistic style.
Since 2000, Marta Chilindron (b. 1951, Buenos Aires, Argentina – lives in New York City) has worked in clear and color acrylics to create manipulable sculptural installations. These latest pieces illustrate her continued exploration of new materials, color combinations, and geometries. Both executed in 2013, Mobius and Ring highlight Chilindron's most recent material investigations and their effects on transparency and reflection.
Having begun his artistic studies in 1992, Mariano Dal Verme (b. 1973, Buenos Aires, Argentina - lives in Buenos Aires) is among the gallery's youngest artists. Working with pencil leads to create three-dimensional objects, Dal Verme’s artwork hovers between drawing and sculpture.
Gustavo Díaz (b. Buenos Aires, Argentina 1969 - lives in Buenos Aires Province) is represented in this exhibition with examples of both his sculptural and drawn production. Whereas strong, bisecting lines cut across the page of Díaz's drawing, Paradigma II (2008), etched designs are embedded within the physical volume of the artist's transparent Untitled acrylic sculptures (2009). In both media, Díaz brings attention to structure through his precise manipulation and multi-layering of line.
Revealing the artists' background in graphic arts and printmaking, the black-and-white woodcuts by Jesús Matheus (b. 1957 Caracas, Venezuela - lives in Boston, Massachusetts) demonstrate how the artist explores the basic principles of color, line, and structure as the principles of artistic creation. These works offer a preview of the artist's solo-exhibition that will be held at the gallery in the spring of 2014.
Less frequently exhibited than his paintings, two works on paper and a steel sculpture by César Paternosto (b. 1931 La Plata, Argentina - lives in Segovia, Spain) highlight recent examples of the artist's non-canvas based artistic production. The two pieces from the Conjuntos/Progresiones (Groups/Progressions) series demonstrate an evolution from Paternosto's earliest folded paper works, first exhibited as part of the artist's 2002 Drawing Center exhibition, Dis solving. These paper works are juxtaposed with one of Paternosto's rarely exhibited sculptures, the Cor-ten steel Virtual Cube (2008). Composed of five individual steel pieces, the sculpture can be manipulated into numerous combinations that explore the nature of the cubic form and project Paternosto’s theories on linear expansion into three-dimensional space. Cast at the Capa Foundry in Madrid, Virtual Cube also reflects the artist’s new surroundings - in 2005, Paternosto moved to Segovia, Spain after four decades of living in New York.
Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. is pleased to unite the production of these eight artists, whose most recent work reveals a continued dedication to abstraction, approached from diverse visual and intellectual perspectives.
b. 1946 Buenos Aires, Argentina - lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Drawing inspiration from diverse sources ranging from the stained glass windows of Chartres Cathedral to Andean textiles, Inés Bancalari's artistic background is truly international.
The artist graduated as valedictorian with a professor's degree in painting from the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón in Buenos Aires, and studied under Aurelio Macchi and Luis Barragán. She also worked with Robert Beverly Hale and Frank Mason at the Art Students League in New York. Her extensive travels and experiences have profoundly impacted her approach to art.
Although Bancalari's early works were primarily representational, her career shifted towards abstraction in the 1980s. For almost two decades, the color red dominated her brightly colored geometric canvases and collages, however, in recent years she has begun to work in soft pastels. These new large scale works seem to evoke textiles through their layered planes of superimposed colors.
Artworks by Bancalari have been featured in group and solo exhibitions in the Americas as well as in Europe. In addition to pursuing her own artistic career, for many years Bancalari has also taught art from her studio in Buenos Aires.
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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. 1948, Montevideo, Uruguay - d. 2014, Greenport, New York
A unique talent in the world of ceramics, Buzio learned to create, form, and shape clay sculptures from the master ceramicist José Collell, based on ancient Amerindian practices. Buzio continued to work within this same method, cutting earthenware slabs into geometric shapes, and then combining these cylinders, cones, and hemispheres to form the body of her sculptures. Using special pigments which she mixed herself, the artist drew and painted directly onto her unfired works. Before firing, Buzio burnished her pieces; this step serves to fuse the paint into the clay and results in the unique luminosity and distinctive hues that characterize her artworks.
After moving to New York in the early 70s', Buzio's pictorial vocabulary shifted to reflect her new urban surroundings, inspiring her to create her New York Cityscapes, with their evocative rooflines, cast iron architecture, and water towers. Her last series of abstract geometric designs executed in bright primary colors, represented a new direction in her practice.
Buzio's ceramics are found in the Brooklyn Museum New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York; the Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; the Honolulu Academy of Art, Hawaii; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the National Museum of History and the Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. Buzio’s work is also included in several other international museums and private collections.
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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 has recently completed a large-scale sculpture titled Houston Mobius commissioned by the University of Houston for the inauguration of their Temporary Public Art Program. She was also 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. 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. 1957 Caracas, Venezuela - lives in Boston, Massachusetts
Since 1973, Jesús Matheus has studied the art of print-making, both in his native Venezuela, as well as in Brazil. His paintings and drawings reflect this graphic background through their linear and textural layers.
Matheus executes drawings, paintings, and installations that evoke a history culled from the artist's research on culture and ethnicity, his expeditions throughout South America, and other personal experiences. He cites modern Latin American artists such as Joaquín Torres-García and Wifredo Lam, as well as indigenous and pre-Columbian craft and folk art, as strong influences on his geometrically minimalist artistic production.
In 2014, a solo exhibition of the artist's work was on view at Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. in New York. This show, entitled "Jesús Matheus: The Ideogram of Place," was curated by Juan Ledezma, and was accompanied by a catalogue of the artist's oeuvre.
Matheus has taught drawing and print-making at the Armando Reverón Institute in Caracas, and has exhibited extensively around the globe.
The artist's work is part of several public and private collections including: the Cisneros Foundation and the Carlos Cruz-Diez Museum of Illustration and Design in Venezuela; the Wifredo Lam Center in Cuba; and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in New York.
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b. 1931 La Plata, Argentina – lives in Segovia, Spain
Around 1957, César Paternosto started creating artworks based on Geometric Abstraction. After attending a serial music concert, he was enthralled by Anton Webern's pregnant silences, which influenced the next development in his art. By the end of the 1960s, Paternosto moved the emphasis of depicted matter in his paintings to the outer-sides of the canvas, leaving the front blank. By shifting the attention to the sides, he was questioning the traditional viewing of paintings frontally, and as the range of the pictorial field was expanded to the sides, the three dimensionality of the painting turned it into an object. His 2012 essay, “Painting as Object: Geometric Forms and Lateral Expansions,” explained the evolution and continuity of his idea, from the early lateral vision canvases, to his most recent work.
In 1977, Paternosto began to travel to Bolivia and Peru to study the archaeological sites Tiwanaku, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu. These trips marked an important turning point in his work sparking new formal explorations in form, composition, and color. By rooting his art in American autochthonous traditions rather than in the modern European model, Paternosto created a new and original type of abstraction based on the centuries-old woven textiles and sculptural stones of the Inca.
Paintings by Paternosto are found in various prestigious collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland; and the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany, amongst others.
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