Seven Artists: Colombian Geometry Abstraction
Durban Segnini Gallery continues its commitment to the unique period of Colombian geometric abstraction with a valuable selection of works by seven different artists that have been fundamental in its development:
Edgar Negret (1920-2012), Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar (1922-2004), Carlos Rojas (1923) -1997), Omar Rayo (1928-2010), Fanny Sanín (1938), Manolo Vellojín (1942-2013) and Germán Botero (1946).
Throughout the decades, the gallery has contributed to the recognition of the diverse and divergent paths of the abstract geometric art in Colombia, whose representatives maintained a thread of connection with reality. The allusions to the landscape, the referentiality to architectural spaces, and the connection with a sense of the sacred can be seen in an exhibition that includes valuable and unique pieces.
Ramírez Villamizar, Botero and Negret have a very strong relationship with architecture and are inspired by both the archetypal spaces of civilization and nature. Among the exhibited sculptures we can find Villamizar’s Paisaje de Machu Pichu, 1989, and Templo Tikal, 1987. The sculpture Pájaro, 1995, by Negret, represents an abstraction of the bird in an intense blue inspired by the primary colors of Mondrián and has an unmistakable use of metallic gears with visible nuts and bolts. The exhibition includes two notable works from 1979: Escalera, and Torre Roja. From Botero, the sculpture Hanging Serpiente, 2014, was selected. The geometric representation of this animal, an important and vital specie during rituals in several pre-Hispanic cultures, is made in black and gold, and has a structure that represents a modern tower. His installation Trompos brings back to life this endearing object of former times.
In the 2004 acrylics of Rayo, Corteza del arco iris and Noche fósil – Crisálida del Arrebol, whose title contains an air of the poetic, the rigorous heritage of Mondrian is challenged by the green, by the sensuality of fringes like ribbons softly curved, and by shadows that introduce blurred areas. Rojas’s interest in architecture includes the sculpture-tribute to the Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, Puerta a Bellas Artes, 1985, and other significant works from the seventies, eighties and nineties. In that first decade he developed the Ingeniería de la visión series, inducing the viewer to turn on his own perception. There is also a remarkable body of works by Vellojín who investigated “the spiritual side of geometry”: Estandarte, Sudario, Relicario o Doloroso are, at the same time, formally rigorous pieces and open unexpected passages towards transcendence.
Finally, there are important paintings by Fanny Sanín, who constitutes a notable exception to any connection with reality and at the same time has built a pictorial universe with its own rules that do not follow any dominant tendencies. “I’m not interested in breaking symmetry,” he warns. There is no doubt: in these exhibited artists, the uniqueness and value of Colombian abstract geometric abstraction is cited and celebrated.