Constructing the Space
Bruno Munari | Luis Tomasello | Francisco Sobrino | Peter Weber | Riccardo de Marchi
Piero Atchugarry Gallery in Garzón, Uruguay is proud to inaugurate a new location on January 5th, 2014 with a group exhibition featuring European and South American artists of Geometric Abstraction and Optical Art. Presenting Bruno Munari, Luis Tomasello, Francisco Sobrino, Peter Weber, and Riccardo de Marchi, the works abandon figuration to focus on light, space, movement, and form in art.
Born in 1907 in Milan and originally influenced by Italian futurist Filippo Marinetti, Bruno Munari became a pioneer of Arte Programmata. Munari’s Curva di Peano paintings explore optical and physical phenomena through repeating shapes and colors that reveal an almost scientific approach to art. The title references mathematician Giuseppe Peano’s invention of the first example of a space-filling curve in geometry. Munari’s Negativo Positivo works are autonomous, concrete realities of abstract shapes and colors that are free from narrative. Not intended to represent something else, each part is a component of the whole machine-like unit, and what is negative or positive depends on the viewer’s interpretation.
Born in 1915 in Argentina, Luis Tomasello cited Piet Mondrian as his major influence; however, he was likely influenced as well by Joaquín Torres García’s academy in Montevido, Uruguay. Tomasello’s geometric paintings evolved into a focus on optically charged reliefs called “chromoplastic atmospheres,” which are made up of a multitude of wooden polyhedrons arranged in a grid, as exemplified by Atmosphere Chromoplastique from the early 1970s. Painted white, there exists an elegant play of opposites created by the shadows and angled forms. Experienced from different angles, the work attains holographic properties and a sense of movement. A contributor to Op-art and Kinetic art, Tomasello’s work also engages with minimalism.
Francisco Sobrino was born in 1932 in Guadalajara, Spain, and attended art school in both Spain and Argentina. After school, he abandoned figuration for geometric shapes, and in 1958 was creating works mainly in black and white, such as Untitled, 1961. Investigating light and space, the work combines a progression of forms to achieve a sense of movement and a visually unstable, illusory Op-art character. Sobrino now lives and works in Spain and France.
Born in 1944, German artist Peter Weber began as a painter of the Op-art movement, but he gained international acclaim for his folded felt constructions such as Untitled, 2000. Made out of one piece of material, his felt works are the result of a complex mathematical folding process that evolves into a woven looking pattern. A continual presence and wholeness exists in the single piece of material, with color giving a particular sense of life to the work.
Born in 1964, Italian artist Riccardo de Marchi is known for his works in mirror-finish stainless steel, aluminum, plexiglass, and polyethylene. Untitled, 2012, reveals his art process of removal or subtraction. An art of multiples, the retraced actions of removing material creates slightly different sized holes, producing a work in which absence of material becomes presence. Made of stainless steel, the surface conveys a sort of blank page to be written on, with the reflective material generating a dialogue between work of art, spectator, and environment.