A clear encounter with abstract forms puts this artwork in the context of the eighties: the rejection of neo-expressionist subjectivism and the acceptance of a simulated abstraction that avoids the load of originality. The central dynamics used by Rufo Criado distributes the compositional weight across the surface of the artwork creating impulses that seem to emerge in an inside-outside-inside process from the sharpness of the shapes, sizes, situation and balanced character of the rhythms.
Also, the colour reinforces this dynamic-sensorial play of very clean, pulsating blues contrasting with the apparent stillness of more static, warm and cold golds. This contrast revitalises the eye and provokes the viewer, leading to a reading of a picture within a picture with a recursive strength from which very sumptuous pre-Renaissance traditions and devotional imagery are revisited.
Centred rhythms suggest the rebirth of other historical moments; a rebirth with a life of its own in this artwork and which Rudolf Arnheim’s studies on the power of the centre can help make sense: “There has been a revival of the square format in the last hundred years or so. This is in keeping with a tendency to overcome the sense of weight in the artefacts of our culture. As long as art wishes to reflect the experience of living with the constraints on human existence, it is likely to display the anisotropy of space, the coping with weight.”*
The possible statism from the centre and the compositional symmetry caused by the formal presentation of the artwork breaks up and becomes energised, too, in the evocation of a mystery that is born in the interior of the darkness of the central background. The “break” of blue lattice on the dark central forms allows and gives way to an imaginative departure and to let oneself be led by pleasure and the experience of looking.
Isabel Cabanellas Aguilera


  • Title: Untitled
  • Creator: Rufo Criado
  • Creator Birth Place: Aranda de Duero, Spain
  • Date: 1996
  • Physical Dimensions: 65 x 81 cm
  • Provenance: Donation
  • Type: Painting

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