Galleria Umberto Di Marino is delighted to present, the second personal exhibition of the Venezuelan artist Eugenio Espinoza, titled Tre stanze, tre mesi (Three rooms, three months).
Nurtured in a context of artistic research affected by the mannerism of geometrical abstraction and Kinetic art, during the early 70s Espinoza develops a practice that showcases all the impatience and disillusionment regarding both the modernist ideology and the inconsistency of economic and social politics that were starting to flourish in Latin America. In Venezuela, a country that between the 60s and the 70s was going through a prospering oil boom, the public support of geometrical abstraction was becoming a true political propaganda movement, finalized to christening the country as an example of Western modernity. In response to what’s widely considered as the symbol of modern rationalism, the grid, Eugenio Espinoza performs a constant desecration and distortion of the grid’s stiffness; he cuts it, lengthens it, folds it. Contaminating it with all the “impurities” that come from the natural world, from raw canvas to found objects, Espinoza bares the grid of its rigorous rigidity by forcing the artwork into a constant process of re-signification.
Through three iconic works of the 70s and through others of more recent creation, Tra stanze, tre mesi (Three rooms, three months) insists on the grid system, although now with a completely different perspective. His desecrated grid, now left wide open, seems to originate from a careful study of Piet Mondrian’s compositions, from which he ignores the search for a formal and spiritual perfect equilibrium. In this case the artist’s attention focuses instead on the function of the colors in Mondrian’s work and on the inevitable and irrational fascination that they create on the spectator.
Overloading the empty spaces of the grid through color and depriving the artwork from it’s traditional support, Espinoza moves within the search of not only a different spatiality, but also towards the possibility of attributing other meanings into this immobile geometry.
The works explicitly invite the spectator into doubting its perfect composition, to open it, and to transform it into an apparently limitless monochrome.
Simultaneously, the attempt at instilling a less passive approach to the artwork becomes an excuse to break the “silence of the painting.” In some of the intersections of the lines that form the grid, the artist has included a component of text that at first impression is only casual and without a specific order to it. Only a more careful and slow observation will be able to find an arrangement of words, bringing forth a disconnected speech formed by phrases of varying degrees of expression.
Now putting pressure on the stiff grid of language, Espinoza tries to convey into the canvas a new ability to “think” and to produce a sense of something that lives beyond its own strict system.