The persistence of abstract painting

by Adriana Lauría, Pinturas exhibition, Cecilia Caballero Gallery, Buenos Aires, 2001

Emphatically worked colour planes confront undulating and modulated lines. In certain cases these lines pierce through the colour planes creating an ambiguous play between figure and background, and in others they are inscribed on top of them, as if traced by a spontaneous gesticulation. These elements, displayed either in large-frame formats or in small serial units that merge their surfaces through similarity of color, continuity of the drawing, contiguity and composition, are created by Margarita Garcia Faure in order to create these abstractions. Whether it is the outlines of an amplified detail, folds or the spaces in between, her works introduce a divergence from the formal disposition of synthesis, either due to its arbitrary design or the organic origin of the forms, which give them a certain vital character.

The backgrounds resonate either due to the saturation of colours, their size, the contrasts established by the designs that cut through them or due to the juxtaposition of its parts. The manual application of paint accompanies this vibration, as do the accidents typical of that which is handmade, and is opposed to the world of the industrially polished surfaces, with which, however, these works try to identify. Indeed, in this ambiguous representation, references vary from one piece to another. The works made up of squares resemble tiles or any other modular covering, which, like them, have the flexibility of offering different and interchangeable distribution possibilities. But the lines, doodles or elementary graphics that move across them make explicit references to the primary stages of writing and drawing. Stages that not only refer us to moments of childhood, but to situations freed from conscious order where bodily expression is carried away by automatic spontaneity.

The paintings made on a single canvas show the different expressive possibilities of lines against the backgrounds. Sometimes the thickening of the stroke makes the image more voluminous. However, the extensive presence of color forces it to preserve its graphic characteristics that pierce through the surface. Other times these pictorial aspects hang like strings or become undefined shapes. But in all cases, they all float in an atmospheric chromatic space.

The use of pastel colors, generally identified with decoration or fashion, and the contrast between the geometric supports with irregular, fragmented and expansive designs, seems to find its foundation in the nonconformity with which the postmodern expressions of abstraction have recreated and adapted the avant-garde non-figurative inventions.

The fact of interfering with the conceptual and metaphysical structure that underlies all geometric composition, with a drawing that seeks to represent an expressiveness that goes beyond rational controls, informs us of the need of the artist to recover the playful sense of art, by investigating and appropriating the modern tradition without renouncing the hedonistic qualities of painting.

Adrian Lauría
Teacher and researcher at the UBA
Member of the Argentine Association of Art Critics

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