Canaletas Kiosk (1918) by Rafael BarradasMALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires
Vibracionismo is the term Rafael Barradas coined to describe the work he produced early in his career (1917–1918) while living in Barcelona (it was there that he came into contact with avant-garde groups and, most importantly, with Joaquín Torres García).
Vibracionismo is characterized by breaking down the scene into geometric shapes—a cubist gesture—in order to capture the constant motion of the modern city—a futurist theme.
On the basis of that structure, Barradas engaged in all sorts of visual play, saturating the pictorial plan with lines, dots, and blotches to yield a densely chromatic pictorial surface.
Vibracionismo was more than a formal resolution to a visual problem, however. It set out to join two different temporalities: the fleetingness of urban life and the timeless of inner experience.
The dynamism of Quiosco de Canaletas is the result of a basic geometric structure that consists of a vertical axis crossed by two diagonal lines that intercept in the canvas’s middle portion.
In addition to scenes framed by angular forms are elements characteristic of Barradas’s art: semicircles, clocks, phrases, letters and numbers, and an illusion of depth resulting from fragmentation.