EDUARDO SANTIERE: Inter-Spaces
MERCEDES ELENA GONZÁLEZ: September 1955
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 26, 6-9 pm
Exhibition runs through Friday, August 1, 2014
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11-6 pm
Summer Hours: Monday to Friday 11-6 pm, starting the week of June 30
Henrique Faria Fine Art is pleased to present two concurrent exhibitions: Inter-Spaces and September 1955, featuring works by Eduardo Santiere and Mercedes Elena González, respectively. González uses drawing as a means to investigate the relationship between the hopeful aesthetics of Venezuelan modernism of the 1950s and the resulting disappointments delivered by the country’s history and politics. Eduardo Santiere’s drawings use paper as a springboard for imagining a distant and uncertain future, where playful, dream-like forms interact with biomorphic constellations and aggregations. The techniques employed by these artists are purposefully channeled, and serve to not only portray, but also embody the themes infused into the work.
In envisioning futuristic, science fiction landscapes, Eduardo Santiere, in exacting detail, builds the composition up from the paper itself. For some works he applies a technique that he has termed “scratching”: manipulating the surface of the paper as if it were a bas-relief sculpture, Santiere creates delicate scratches, stipples, tears and mounds. In Untitled (First Psycho) (2013), a variety of markings intermingle with sumptuously colored shapes made by colored pencil and graphite. With such heightened detail, the viewer loses sense of scale and becomes lost in a work that could represent a cluster of galaxies or a microverse of single-celled organisms. Santiere’s interest in depicting the abstract is further seen in his Symphonies series. Utilizing the paper as if it were a sheet of music, Santiere plays with the placement of “notes”, or dots of color defined by a scratched edge, around the paper: he proposes new chords and progressions that suggest a richly textured sound that can be heard within the viewer’s mind.
Mercedes Elena González, in her series of works inspired by the Venezuelan art and architecture magazine Integral from September 1955, is also constructing a kind of abstract landscape, but it is composed of what Juan Ledezma calls a “melancholy geometry” of pieces from Venezuela’s past. When modernist art and thought arrived in Venezuela in the mid 20th century, it encouraged the country’s youth to envision a future full of cultural, social and economic progress. When the government failed to turn thoughts into practice, the forms that once symbolized revitalization became reminders of empty promises. September 1955 (2013) and Studies for September 1955 (2014) are series that reflect González’s coming to terms with reality and her shattered dreams for a better Venezuela. In these series, dark, spindly branch forms creep out from beyond the image frame, penetrating into interlocking shapes and subtly destroying their delicate harmony.
While these two shows represent different approaches to drawing, they both use it as the technique with which deeper ideas and subjects are explored and represented, and the viewer is transported to different places in time and space.
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