Galería RGR is pleased to present Convergences, a project between Venezuelan artist Elias Crespin and Argentine-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone. This is an unprecedented exhibition in which we have worked for more than a year. It brings together pieces from the practice of each artist and, in addition, two completely new pieces made between both artists especially for this exhibition.
According to Tania Aedo, who was in charge of the curatorial text of the exhibition, a double disturbance emerges with Convergences. On the one hand, a visual perturbance, and on the other hand, a disruption in the evolution of the art of our time.
In the pieces on display there is a dialogue between two broad and very different research that the artists have carried out individually over a long period of time. Both languages converge harmoniously to delve into the relationships that exist between time, movement, color and technology. At the same time, the proposal reflects on the repercussions of technology on the constitution of the artistic object.
Elias Crespin has developed a practice that revolves around the joint of two universes: art and programming. His artistic production is characterized by a reflection on movement based on mathematics. His mobile sculptures are made up of metallic elements suspended by nylon threads that together form geometric figures. From computer programming, Crespin makes the figures move in complex choreographies. The movements produced by the pieces break with the notion of a strict geometry, presenting open and unstable figures.
For his part, Felipe Pantone has developed an artistic practice in which urban and digital art converge. His work deals with dynamism, the digital revolution, the ephemeral and the speed, themes related to our present. With these topics, Pantone reflects on the visual implications of the movement produced virtually. Glitch, iridescence and distortion are important visual components to articulate his unique language. His work maintains a historical connection to current ways of production and to the visual references of the hyper-connected and digitized society by the way we process visual information in current times.
Chromadynamica Flexionante and Cubo ondulatorio are the collaborative pieces made by the artists. Each research is present in these works, Elias Crespin seeking to make emerge in the air a subtle dance executed by programmed engines, and Felipe Pantone in search of universality through maximum visibility, a premise that he has brought from the street; from monumental painting and graffiti, but also from the internet, a visuality constituted by the contrast and saturation of graphic elements native to the universe emerged from the digital revolution.
Elias Crespin has classified the research he has developed into typologies. Such is the case of the Tetralineados, where he forms a suspended row of several individual squares separated at a certain distance. The metallic elements seem to form an extended body that by programmed movements produces choreographies that have effects on light and shadow.
In the works called Trianguconcéntricos and Circuconcéntricos, the artist focuses on the relationship between the whole and the part, turning the triangle and the circle into the main elements. The pieces consist of placing concentric geometric structures of different sizes, from the largest to the smallest, contained within each other. The human eye is stimulated by the unusual movement of the figures for the concentric; each element is independent in its trajectory and speed, which produces the feeling that the geometric figure is an organism obsessed with inhabiting space.
In Cuadrado flexionante, we see the figure of the square changing into different states and positions. According to the angle from which it is observed, the figure seems to transform its edges and modify its volume, as if the square remains intact while at the same time looks to be breathing.
With these models the artist seeks to distance himself from the excess of rationality in the conception of geometric form. The choreographies of the different typologies will seem as chaotic as they are ordered, and this is because the pieces materialize the complex relationship of mathematical language with the unstable formal continuity between the work and the space.
Felipe Pantone named the Optichromie series in homage to Carlos Cruz-Diez's Physichromies. The starting point for the development of the production was the detachment of the letter in the graffiti as the main element of the composition. Pantone juxtaposes black and white elements of op art over highly saturated colors to increase contrast and generate depth and volume, creating purely abstract compositions.
The works create a certain visual stridency to such a degree that fatigue in the eye is produced; the full fragmentation of elements is a response to new visual conditions configured by the digital world, where multiple images compete for the ephemeral attention of their viewers.
Chromadynamica is a series that deepens into the graphic details of Felipe Pantone's Optichromie series; as if within a large visual alphabet, the artist decided to experiment with some of its letters.
The works in this project comprises a set of rectangular and circular prisms, which combine a technique between spray and ultraviolet printing on aluminum. The panels, as a whole, have certain tones, but by moving each one of them, different images can be created and their state can be distorted. The dynamism in these works is produced by the interactions between colors as if they were the product of a meticulous approach to the pixels of a screen, where certain patterns resemble waterfalls or software errors.
Influenced by Carlos Cruz-Diez's research on the autonomy of color, Felipe Pantone developed Subtractive Variability, a gropu of works in which he aims to investigate the subtractive phenomenon of color. This phenomenon allows color to become evident as an event in its own.
Pantone began developing the series in 2018 with white background works in which the artist overlaid yellow, magenta and cyan colors to generate a wide variety of combinations. Eventually, he transformed the format to a circular one of rotating panels. With this approach, Pantone succeeds in developing constantly changing compositions.
Individually, each acrylic panel contains one of the above mentioned colors positioned in a specific way. By rotating the panels the colors overlap and combine in a transformative way to make the subtraction of color evident.
The visual "disturbance" identified by Tania Aedo is perceptible to the human eye as a subtle collision of elements characteristic of each artist's work: the gradients of color and a highly contrasted palette of Pantone's work, and the precise choreography indicated by the programming of motors, characteristic of Crespin's work.
Retinal fatigue, to which Felipe Pantone constantly refers, would operate differently in specific visual fields -such as the scrolling of the screen in social networks or the attraction it arouses in those who go around a city on skateboards, that “we” for whom graffiti artists paint, who look sideways at one of their huge murals-. These are tensions that Pantone is interested in promoting, creative spaces that he constantly explores in his practice.
The geometric dances of suspended physical elements designed by Elias Crespin expressly question vision, avoiding the passage of concepts, of discursive language that does not form the basis of experience -unless we broaden our definition of language to include that of stars or particles- as we have sometimes been required to think. The movement that Crespin programs responds to grammars that relate more to the dynamics of the universe or celestial mechanics than to the conventions agreed upon among humans as language.
Convergences is presented as a disturbance in the evolution of the art of our time. The group of pieces demonstrate that art, as technology, is situated between the social and the individual, the local and the global, space and time, the singular and the multiple, the visual and the corporeal, and between the artist and the spectator. The result is a language that moves between technology and fine art, like a glitch within the history of art.
In the same way that an accidental disturbance - generated by an internal dynamic of the universe - could cause a catastrophe to emerge, minimal gestures such as this collaboration between two artists whose creative processes inevitably make us turn to the works of the great masters of optical and kinetic art of this continent, such as Gego, Carlos Cruz-Diez or Jesús Rafael Soto, could cause discreet - or not so discreet - disturbances in the history of art.