Verónica Vázquez: Geometric Dissonance

Vázquez joins metal with seemingly oppositional materials, to create a shared rhythm that presents new sides of unusual formal presentation.


The charismatic Chinese philosopher Tzé helps us defining the metaphysic of Art through one of his famous parable.

This great visionary poet -and mentor of the early Taoist philosophy- Tzé "dreamt his dream awake like the butterfly" and he has been outsmarting us, for the last 2300 years, with the idea that in order to dilute the hermetic mystery of the cosmos, one has to apply the following simple rule of 3. It is to say that between the two human tools; which come from our Reason and from our Five senses, we can succeed in understanding the occult mystery of the archetype idea: the enigma that Platon already announced as the truth mentor of any posterior form.

To justify of being truly Art, each artwork should have the three “holy ingredients:” soul, mind, and body.

As the master Torres Garcia said it, we agree that all idea original comes from the subconscious (from the indecipherable spirit). The very word “originality” comes from the concept of “origin;” and for this reason this should be the correct meaning that we should attribute to it. This primary initiative then passes through the cerebral juice of reason (which, with its logic, weights the presence of the idea and its viability). Finally, at the end of the process, we can see the concrete and tangible of the “thing” as realized through the artist gesture (or at least the intention of this thing). Nowadays there are only a few artists who really gather this emblematic trilogy in their work. The advances of conceptual art and thinking have deteriorated the purest roots of art. For this reason we are now interested in this young artist who, since her beginnings, walks along a holistic trip.

Veronica Vazquez is an upright representative of this new revision in contemporary sculpture. Her restless spirit brought her, since childhood, to become passionate about the plastic. From her passion, she got to know the Uruguayan Master Juan de Andrés, a well-known Geometrical artist who was once disciple of the Constructivist Day Mán Antúnez (co-founder of the famous “School of the South”). His advices, rooted in the sacro-Universalist tradition fostered by Torres Garcia, assured to Veronica her interest would focus on the purity of the form and in the valorization of the structure. As Torres Garcia stated it “structure is the acknowledgement that unity resides in everything.” This is to say that we should review the presence of geometry and of its functionalism –before- and primary to subjective interpretation. All form precedes the “material thing” or “material cause” in every times and places of the universe. This maxima, Torres was already emphasizing it in his wise lectures where he made us consider that the real artist: “sees the cosmos (first) and for this reason sees (after) the object.”

Vazquez continued her training in CEDARTES (Centro para el Desarrollo del Arte Estructurado). There, with Nicole Vanderhoeght, we had the pleasure to introduce her to other secrets of the constructivism through the use of clay transmutation (which happens in Ceramics) as a carrier model to try to understand the mystery of geometry. The malleability of the clay allows for unlimited creativity, being the most malleable, noble, and archetypical material par excellence to appeal to the innovative subconscious. Regarding the birth of the idea; facing the impassivity of the subconscious, is the quantifiable solidity of the logical “architecture;” where the continuous repetition of the rhythms produces the motor of all construction.

Everytime , as it happens in music and in other arts manifestations, it is the rhythm which is the protagonist in each weft. They are diverse entities which arrange themselves until they form a solid network of equilibriums; which goes the same for every artwork in the universe. The “empty” spaces, just like the “silences” – which are marked on the sheet music – construct in the same way that any other “concrete” material does it (the word derives from the latin: “con” and “cresco” “with” and “to grow” – to grow through the accumulation of congregated elements). From this philosophic point of view we foster the “synectic” vision of every creation. This updated way of appreciating the cosmos proposes to “make known the strange and to make strange the known.” It is to say that the image suffers, here, a conceptual subliminal mutation that strips it from any temporary anecdote and raises it to a super level of comprehension and consequence. These as well as other numerous precepts (directly or indirectly), seduced Veronica who, through her work, transformed herself into a tenacious collector of forms.

Between all the numerous materials that attract her, the choice of iron was determining. From her first works of deprived minimalism, she incorporated pieces that created a bridge between the heavy volumes and the ethereal of the feminine warp. In spite of all the pre-concepts that there are with this early material (very often considered as cold) the iron possesses other quality such as in the fiery phase of its metamorphosis. Originally it was a cosmic powder, and then it became eons and later again a solid material that falls from the sky in the form of a meteorite. It undergoes, in consequence, the circular alchemy of the “Ouroboros” (the snake that reforms itself by eating its own tail) and it materialized itself into an infinity of objects that have been accompanying mankind throughout History. Just as the sculptor Nicolas Marquez remembers it: We should not forget that “iron is the one responsible for the red color of our blood” when combined with the oxygen. Like us, the metal has a necessity for air and needs it for its existence and transmutation. Vazquez loves its earthy tone (of putrefaction) as well as the mineral itself. She looks for this oxidized iron in obsolete objects that few people could find deserving of interest. She classifies it, superimposes it, she puts it together, she sews it, she welds it and she mixes it in different thicknesses and with different intentionality. She uses it in heavy constructions as well as in subtle “spider webs” that remind of the laborious “Aracne” (the Greco-Roman myth that the immortal Velazquez revives in his hermetic painting “The Spinners”).

Today Veronica Vazquez joins (probably in a needed oppositional gesture toward the metal) other materials which possess their proper rhythm. Thus her collages of corrugated carton elements (you can see these from the profile of her weave) present new sides of unusual formal presentation. Her tie with the Fundacion Atchugarry and its creator Pablo Atchugarry, brings her in contact with other abstract masters, such as Podesta and Broglia, pillars of the contemporary steel sculpture. There she shares with us and with the wonderful scenery her work “Tubos Sonoros”. Additionally she developed a practice in light of knowledge from art history, from her relationship with the well-known teacher and designer Miguel Angel Battegazzore. The work of Veronica is in constant transition and promises an engaged effort to advance into unsuspected fields. Discovering the mystery of Art is, possibly, the great goal that each creator contemplates. Because of and with respect to the supernatural power of this mystery, we always ask ourselves: what comes first?

Maybe, just as many mystics claim it, “the artist circulates his karma in the consecrated act of creation” and his artworks would be like a small offering to the cosmos of which he takes part. We have trust in the concrete reality of the form and in our restricted feelings to appreciate it but, in the most intimate place we do suspect that in reality, “we are nothing” from the material point of view. Chuang Tzé dreamt that he was a butterfly. And upon waking up he did not remember if it was Tzé who dreamt he was a butterfly or if it was a butterfly who was dreaming of being Chuang Tzé.

The abstraction and the metaphor of pure art, offers us – always – this interrogative ambiguity. Upon contemplating, with close attention, the sculptures of Veronica Vazquez we should ask ourselves if we succeed, indeed, in understanding their mystery or if it is “them” which assess us from their unattainable and metaphysic truth. Perhaps then, like in the “fake mirror of Magritte,” we can see ourselves (and answer ourselves) from the other unnoticed angle.


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