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European art from centuries XII to XIX
Argentinian art from XIX century
International art from the XX century
Argentinian art from the XX century
From Oct. 8, 2019 to Feb. 2, 2020
Rooms 37, 38, 39 and 40, first floor
37 works on display
Curator: Andrés Duprat
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Geometry adopts the utopian dream of perfection as its system. Visionaries from every era have conceived of an ideal world designed with precision instruments, where history’s chaos is resolved in harmonious concord. The random appearance of the cosmos, in which bits of chance—perhaps divine in origin—are assembled like a jigsaw puzzle, would therefore ultimately be governed by mathematical logic.
The “Grand Architect” imagined by esoteric literary minds would have conceived of a universe not in words but in secret signs; knowledge of this sacred math would provide a clue to the world’s mysteries. However, for the advent of an order that would replicate math’s beauty to be plausible, abstraction that is also capable of conjugating a universe of feeling would have to be produced.
Over the course of decades of artistic labor, César Paternosto has embodied these dilemmas, articulating rationality and sensitivity in conjunction with great lucidity. Architecture has contemplated the dialectic between a world governed by geometric equivalents and life, which colonizes them by inhabiting them, offering a digression from the autonomous sequence of lines, spaces and planes.
If art that is emancipated from the mathematical language that animates it does exist, it is thanks to this primordial tension between a regulated order and the unpredictable nature of intuition. This paradox invariably evades closure, making artistic languages the means by which it can be explored. Paternosto’s visual thought process emerges with this paradox as its starting point: the world is because there are articulated sequences of lines, colors and planes, precisely assembled. Nevertheless, something occurs, and the subtle presence of a vital aura eventually unseats the geometric dream. There is always a disappearing point in his works, a dominant space that calls out to its blind side. His works are metaphors of the longed-for geometric daydream, where the throb of an animistic dimension inside either exceeds or refutes it. The visual experience it proposes invites the viewer to discover an interrogation into the presence of forms in the world. However, it also takes painting’s two-dimensionality to the limit, wagering on the deconstruction of pictorial conventions with a singular proposition: by working on the painting’s edges, he carries out a shift of meaning that indicates a different way of taking on the regulated institution of art.
The exhibition the artist presents at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes brings together a group of works from the ‘60s—outstanding for their use of color and undulating forms—and ‘70s—with geometric, minimalist leanings—including various works that have never been publicly exhibited before. Similarly, a series of works from Paternosto’s most recent production accompanies the site-specific installation Deconstrucción pictórica (Pictorial Deconstruction), exhibited for the first time, in which the artist takes his postulates yet further: it allows visitors to submerge themselves in one of his creations on a monumental scale. In addition, a work conceived especially for this show, Continuidad tectónica (Tectonic Continuity) will be on view, destined to form part of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes collection.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes