Judith Lauand, Brazil: Untitled, 1959, tempera on board
Welcome to Part 2 of my report of The Illusive Eye at El Museo del Barrio in New York city, a splendid exhibition curated by the museum’s director, Jorge Daniel Veneciano. While I loved the entire exhibition, I respond more strongly to the galleries you see here. In part that’s because we are led into them by Carmen Herrera's black and white tondo, and we get to see the work of Judith Lauand, Lolo Soldevilla, Gego, Antonieta Sosa, Maria Friere, Zilia Sanchez, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Maria Appolonio and Fanny Sanin. See the pattern here?
Let's pick up where we left off in the previous post
From left: Lolo Soldevilla, Judith Lauand, Josef Albers; foreground: Gego. At right: sculptures by Antonieta Sosa, Lygia Clark, and Maria Friere. In the distance, right: works on wall by Edgar Negret and Carmen Herrera
Foreground,. Gego, Venezuela via Germany: Reticularea, 1969-1970, iron wire
Detail below. I love the angular and linear relationship it shares with the paintings that flank it
Josef Albers, United States via Germany: Structural Constellation: F.M.E. 5, 1962. Here's a surprise: It's machine engraved plastic laminate mounted on wood
Antonieta Sosa, Venezuela and New York: Stable Unstable, from the series Seven White Objects, 1967/2014, wood and formica
Lygia Clark, Brazil: Bicho-Carruagem Fantastica (Beast-Fantastic Carriage), 1960, ten attached modules in anodized aluminum
With Clark's Bichos behind us we make a panoramic sweep of the opposite wall here in what I'm calling Gallery Four
From left: Maria Friere, Uruguay, sculpture; Zilia Sanchez, Cuba, shaped painting; Manuel Espinosa, Argentina; Alberto Biasi; Jesus Rafael Soto
Alberto Biasi, Italy: Gocce (Gotas, Drops), 1969
Jesus Rafael Soto, Antonio Asis, Ivan Contreras Brunet, all shown individually below. (We'll look into that mysterious room beyond in a moment)
Jesus Rafael Soto, Venezuela and Paris: Escritura Hurtado, 1975, paint, wire, nylon cord on wood
Closer view below
Antonia Asis, Argentina: 8 circulos blancos, 8 circulos negros (8 white circles, 8 black circles), 1969, acrylic, wood, metal
Ivan Contreras Brunet, Chile: Neuf cercles mobiles (Nine Mobile Circles), 1968, grillage [some kind of netting], acrylic, wood
From Gallery Four, with the Brunet construction at left and Gego sculpture to the right, we look into a small black-walled space (which I'm galling Gallery Five), that seems to contain a hovering form . . .
. . . which appears spatially unstable . . .
Marina Appolonio, Italy: Spazio ad Attivazione Cinetica (Space to Kinetic Activation), 1966-2015
. . . but is in fact flat, as a museum guard was willing to show
Just outside the room with Appolonio's spatial experience, Judith Lauand's painting orients us to where we are. Before we enter Gallery Six in the distance, we stop to view a small dark painting at the end of the wall . . .
Lolo Soldevilla, Cuba: Untitled, 1956, oil on board
Soldevilla leads our eye into the backmost gallery, which I am calling Gallery Six, where the emphasis is on color and form, or Concrete Art
Panorama of the gallery (click to enlarge)
Carlos Cruz-Diez, Venezuela: Transchromie Dames A, 1965/2009, Plexiglas and stainless steel
Freddy Rodriguez, Dominican Republic: Un problema de estado III (A problem of the state III, 1974, acrylic on canvas; Mario Carreno; Helio Oiticica, Brazil: Relevo Expacial/6, 1959/1991, painted wood
Mario Carreno, Cuba and Chile: Untitled, 1954, oil on canvas
With the Sanin at our left shoulder, we turn to view the other side of the gallery, which is where we entered.
At left, an installation by Lygia Pape, Tteia, 1976-2004, gold thread against painted wall
From left, Abraham Palatnik, Brazil: Object Cinetico CK-8 (Kinetic Object CK-8), 1966/2005, stainless steel, industrial paint, wood and motor; Judith Lauand painting; Sandu Darie, Cuba via Romania: Untitled, undated, mixed media on Masonite and wood sticks
Now we begin our exit. With the Darie at center, you can see the small gallery with Appolonio's installation at right, and Gallery Four in the distance (which also contains a doorway to the installation)
As we walk through Gallery three (with the Frank Stella at our back, if you recall from Part One), we pause to see the optically kinetic piece on the right wall by an artist who studied in Paris and was introduced to the work of Victor Vasarely
Matilde Perez, Chile: Untitled, 1982, acrylic and metal
A final view of Gallery One as we turn left and walk past the Cruz-Diez in the anteroom before leaving the exhibition
Each work in the museum is described by a brief wall text that helps create a context for the individual works and the way they relate to one another the exhibition. While the artists included in the exhibition are from at least two generations and about 20 countries, many lived and worked or studied in Paris or New York--two great non-geographical Latin-American cities--and some knew (or knew of or studied with) each other. The Illusive Eye is up through May 21. There is no catalog. If you are interested in optical, geometric, kinetic or concrete art, you owe it to yourself to see this show.