1958 - 2017

The Principle of Negative Space


The exhibition presents pieces from the Institue of Contemporary Art’s collection (IAC) and guest artists that share the concepts of abstract art, from the geometric language.    

El Principio del Vacío, parts from the proposal of the Basque sculptor Jorge de Oteiza, and implies the dialectical game of forms and voids, lights and shadows, as part of a creative principle that was projected towards the action and the traditional rupture of the artistic object, to generate a mobilization that would develop from the conceptualization, production and aesthetic consumption.  
The intention of this exhibition is to establish connections, similarities and differences between the various generations of artists from the 40s and 50s to the present day, from painting to the moving objects, sculpture and assembly, fabric and objectual or recycling, which together presents the artistic work as an element of intervention for the exhibition’s area from the visual field, making the interaction with the public part of an aesthetic experience to achieve its purpose: surprise, like and meditate. 
In the 1950s, a new language of an universal character with its own characteristics was set in motion, promoted by young artists under the influence of Ricardo Grau, Lajos D'ebneth, Jean Dewasne and Jorge de Oteiza, and the actions of Grupo Espacio and Galería de Lima, seeking to break the figurative trend.

Victor Pasmore, an architect by education, contributed to the development of abstraction as an artistic language in England in the 1940s and 1950s. His work in three dimensions, with wood and acrylic elements, indicates his study of the projection of forms in a two-dimensional surface, in space. That is how the work is unified and interacts with the space around it.

In the 1960s, a new generation of artists, including José Tang, Regina Aprijaskis, Armando Varela, Rubela Dávila, Walter Dávila, Emilio Rodríguez Larraín, among others, channeled their creations towards geometric abstraction as an expression of the essential, sharing concepts such as emptiness, movement, shape and color.

Rubela Dávila is a Peruvian artist who belongs to the 60s generation when the visual languages ​​influenced by neoplasticism and “Hard Edge” from the New York school of abstraction were explored, displacing the limits of painting, sculpture, engraving and action, making their productions with vanguard proposals and transgression with the academicisms and aesthetic formalists of the time. Hence many of the productions of those years were called by the critic Juan Acha as "non-objectualist art".

Structures in Blue is a 1968 piece that presents a chromatic game obtained by the internal unevenness of the circular fields that in its relation with the variations of blues and the illumination of its set, achieves light shadows that move from a circle to another, generating a fine mobility, similar to the lunar phases.

In the series of pieces titled Physicromie, Carlos Cruz-Diez explores color in an autonomous and methodical way.

Through a structure that has colored fields, he creates structures, generally in aluminum, that require the presence of the spectator to fulfill its purpose: to demonstrate the qualities of nature and color, with its perspective effects.

This project establishes links between the modern and the contemporary, in order to promote the integration of the spectator into the aesthetic experience under the premise that "it is the work that intervenes to the person and not the person to the work." For the proposal, it was important to establish this continuity, assuming as part of this selection, artists who currently maintain the geometric language as an inherent part of their production, whithout losing this sight, and even shifting it to other ways of thinking and working.

Iliana Scheggia builds from the structure (combinations of planes and edges) and the mathematical principle, a great sphere in stainless steel, composed with a sum of geometric modules.

A particular and clean work based on mathematical proportions and fractal shapes, as well as on her concern for the mysteries of the universe’s laws, projected in the creation’s cycles and destruction of the forms of nature and its spatiality, and the relativity of the theories built around them. In Iliana Scheggia’s pieces we can see referents such as Richard Serra, Olafur Eliasson and Theo Jansen.

Jorge Cabieses presents in Ignoto pure geometry, striping it off totally from the visual references to which we are used to in this time, to give way to a visual and aesthetic freedom based on the formal and chromatic synthesis that is repowered when a large geometric framework made of plastic boxes is superimposed.

It creates a sensation of movement and change of the chromatic background composed by shapes between triangles and trapezoidal fields, reminiscences of concrete art or “Hard Edge”, pop art and the synthesis of the graphic language of signage.

Jose Ignacio Lora Iturburu (Peru) builds architectural spaces from the pictorial liberty, imaginary structures that allude to frozen, quiet and desolate spaces, sometimes very particular and others with expressive tensions obtained by the pictorial treatment. His inquiries in the geometric synthesis’ field come from the city’s urbanism, his domestic environment in the complex housing of the Torres de Limatambo (Towers of Limatambo), always fed by the lines of perspectives, street graphics and its architecture, prehispanic remains that contribute in the spatial treatments and the relation with its surroundings, the light and the shadows, among other aspects.

His work for geometry has been with him since his formative stage in art school, hence the quality of his proposals and versatility, as he goes from painting to the installation, objectual or sculptural proposal. The piece "Habitación a oscuras" is the connection of pictorial creation and poetry, where the artist takes from the poet Sebastián Salazar Bondy this phrase: Let me say that poetry is a dark room.

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