An avid reader of surrealist poetry, German existentialist philosophy, and Carl Jung’s meditations on memory and consciousness, Gramcko explored different avenues of painterly abstraction as a new path to humanism. This exhibition is an effort to present her contribution to postwar global modernism, outside the doctrinaire limitations of the avant-garde and beyond the binary distinction between abstraction and figuration.
Born in Venezuela in 1942, Rolando Peña, a.k.a El Príncipe Negro, contributed to the definition of contemporary Latin American art in the 1960s and the 1970s, when living in New York. An artist who delves in various art media, Peña also made creative use of photomaton photography early in his career. His first exhibition at Artmedia Gallery in Miami focuses in that period still in force until today.
Combining abstraction and representation with mystical effect, the compositions incorporate sweeping lines and curves, seemingly depicting the interaction of bodies and muscular forms. These totemic figures coupled with the pinks, blues, and greens that draw inspiration from the landscapes and tropical flora of Mexico and her native Venezuela, demonstrate Hurtado’s deeply rooted belief in the mutuality of all living organisms.
The Piero Atchugarry Gallery presented «Good Blue Day», a solo exhibition of new work by Venezuelan conceptual artist Eugenio Espinoza, including sculpture, painting, installation and performance. Espinoza began his career by subverting our understanding of the Modernist grid, and is celebrated for his radical works that reacted to the dominant movements of geometric abstraction and Kinetic art in Venezuela in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Organized in partnership with the Otero Pardo Foundation of Caracas, Venezuela, the exhibition «Alejandro Otero: Rhythm in Line and Space» at Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino highlights works from his «Cafeteras» (Coffeepots), «Tablones» (Planks), and «Coloritmos» (Colorhythms) series, among others, offering a glimpse into the dynamic practice of this master artist (Venezuela, 1921-1990). Although this exhibition cannot show any of these structures on a public scale, except in images, it does exhibit the artist’s preparatory process that gave rise to them. Following a rigorous methodology, Otero, when producing paintings or sculptural works, always began with drawings, sketches or models, before making the final work a reality.
Renowned as art history’s leading kinetic artist, Jesús Rafael Soto (Venezuela, 1923-2005) explored the dematerialization, or ‘disintegration’ of the art object, breaking new ground while anticipating conceptual strategies to come. Hauser & Wirth in New York presents «Soto. Vibrations 1950 – 1960», the first exhibition to focus on the critical first decade of the artist’s life in Paris, curated by Jean-Paul Ameline. Imbued with vibration and movement, Soto’s early works constitute a breakthrough in his output, laying crucial groundwork for his later kinetic works and the uniquely fluid style that shaped his artistic vocabulary.
This year, the Venezuelan Pavilion failed to open its doors to the public during the preview days of Venice Biennale amongst the political turmoil that has taken over the country since the beginning of 2019. Unintentionally, the closed pavilion became a powerful metaphor for the devastating effect of twenty years of disastrous cultural policies in the country -not to mention numerous other government policies that have led to the current humanitarian crisis. As a response to this episode, Kupfer invited Venezuelan artists Luis Romero and Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe to stage their own guerrilla pavilion in East London.
Jaime Gili’s painting is steeped in the paradox of an abstract practice whose meaning depends largely on referentiality. Despite the artist’s long-term commitment to the mostly flat and broken planes of geometry in an investigation of color that delights in the specificities of materials and technique, Gili’s paintings are mostly discussed in relation to the histories of prewar and postwar geometric abstraction that circulate globally.