10 Monumental sculptures by Venezuelan Artist Rafael Barrios will be displayed in New York’s Park Avenue.
Rafael Barrios on Park Avenue in New York
United States, New York
The iconic New York City landmark, Park Avenue, will be graced this spring with the presence of 10 monumental sculptures by Venezuelan master Rafael Barrios.
The sculptures will be on display between East 51st and East 67th Streets, from the Waldorf Astoria to the Park Avenue Armory. The scheduled inauguration of the sculptural display will be on the night of March 2, prior to the opening of the prestigious annual ADAA: The Art Show, scheduled to take place this year from March 8 through March 12.
Since 2000, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, in collaboration with the Fund for Park Avenue, has presented an important program of temporal exhibitions of works by prominent artists from the international contemporary art scene. Noteworthy among these are Will Ryman, Robert Indiana, Manolo Valdés, Tom Otterness, Louise Nevelson, and Yoshitomo Nara.
Barrios is the first Venezuelan artist selected to participate in this important program, and the second time a Latin American artist has been invited, with Fernando Botero as the first.
Concurrent to the event, prominent curator, artist and writer, Robert C. Morgan, will present an essay on Rafael Barrios¿ prolific career. The essay will become the central text of a book on Barrios¿ work that will be published this spring.
Characterized for its geometry and conceptual approach, the ludic work by Barrios is an exploration of fundamental principles of perception-such as dynamism, balance, and distortion-that stems from the reinterpretation of elemental abstract forms from everyday life. In this sense, the works that stand out are his well-known sculptural series of tables, chairs, and doors. Not lacking in humor, these works explore the sense of three-dimensionality.
As part of this interest in the exploration of space and relational dynamic, Rafael Barrios has been developing a line of works expressly created for the public space. Characterized by the integration of the dynamic and levity, these sculptures of geometric natures defy gravity in harmonious geometrical progression.
The play on viewers expectations represents one of the most interesting components of these series, where the sensation of volume is interpreted based on the two-dimensional forms that populate the three-dimensional thread and in which the passersby take part.
Such is the case of the sculptural complex soon to be inaugurated on Park Avenue, where volumetric forms observed from afar, turn out to be thin sheets of lined metal that expand on the plane and play with tone, value, and color, in order to generate a sort of dislocation of perception in the viewer. It is a wonderful trompe l’oeil charged with a profound playful sense.
Rafael Barrios was born in Louisiana in 1947 and grew up in Venezuela. He currently resides in Miami, Paris, and Caracas.