The medium is the message and the message is within the painting
Marshall McLuhan’s renowned quote from 1964 that entitles this show, proposes that the medium is the message due to its ability to shape and introduce a change of scale and rhythm to human issues. It’s clear that, since the first paintings were acknowledged from the Paleolithic era, painting as we know it today has grown in both characteristics and diversity of techniques, enhancing its expressive possibilities.
Herlitzka + Faria presents a prominent selection of works by artists from different eras and backgrounds, where each of them brings a message of their own, sharing in all cases the pictorial medium.
The works by Osvaldo Romberg (Argentina, 1938 - Israel, 2019) are based on the analysis and decomposition of the chromatic system. Since the early ’70s, he began to use a grid structure to analyze the hue and saturation of colors, cataloging tasks that led to vibrant compositions that showcase the conventions in the act of seeing. Juan Pablo Renzi (Argentina, 1940 - 1992) developed works that summarize topics from literature, music, and painting, thus creating interdisciplinary representations. Among others, we find references to Argentine writer Juan José Saer, the music magazine Lulú and the Dutch painter Pat Andrea. In the realm of minimalism, we show the paintings by Alejandro Puente (Argentina, 1933 - 2013) who was connected to this movement in New York during the sixties. In these works, the artist restricted himself to minimal formal structures, through geometric compositions and pure color surfaces.
Regarding abstraction, Abdulio Giudici (Argentina, 1914 - 2008) was a pioneer in Argentina. He created geometric works that are detached from any type of narrative, setting the focus of attention on the formal language of painting. Also, Sameer Makarius (Egypt, 1924 - Argentina 2009) –best known for his photographic production– created paintings in his early years experimenting in the field of informalist abstraction. His images referred to the Dripping technique connected to action painting.
The set of painted panels with colorful abstract compositions by Marta Minujín (Argentina, 1943) were part of the Laberinto Minujinda installation in 1985. The idea of the artist was to generate sensations in the viewer through a visual and corporeal experience throughout 24 themed rooms. The works of Luis Roldán (Colombia, 1955) are determined by the expressive capacities of painting. The series Eidola (plural of the Greek term eidolon, a word that refers to an apparition or a phantom figure) reveals the influence of the modernist abstraction in his contemporary production.
Horacio Zabala (Argentina, 1943) developed the Serie de hipótesis in 2009, hand-painted monochromes, interspersed with grammatical and mathematical wood signs that build visual phrases. The artist expresses his idea about aesthetic sensibility: the relationship between objects is as important as the relationship between their appearance. Oscar Bony (Argentina, 1941 - 2002) moved to Milan in 1976, where he lived for almost ten years. There, he worked entirely with painting, incorporating for the first time a vast diversity of materials, themes, and colors.
Regarding Juan Tessi (Perú, 1972) and Elda Cerrato (Italia, 1930), figuration has a strong presence. The first one is represented with a portrait that touches hyperrealism and disrupts with the depicted topic. Cerrato combines, on the other hand, some figurative and architectural elements with abstract features, but referring to a subject of her interest: migrations and the habitat’s changes.
Therefore, the show invites the viewer to browse the multiplicity of worlds and ideas that each artist conveys, discovering what is the message that dwells within each painting.
Herlitzka + Faria