FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALÍ GONZÁLEZ and PEDRO TERÁN
July 5 -- August 31, 2007
San Francisco, CA: Gallery 415 is proud to present work by Venezuelan conceptual artists Alí González and Pedro Terán, who employ the compositional device of the grid to explore their very different concerns.
The cartoonist Saul Steinberg drew a man with a fingerprint for a face. Alí González's multimedia installation, El Rostro, Lugar de Nadie (The Face, Where Nobody Dwells), infuses minimal abstraction with social and political concerns, questioning the nature of identity and the possibility of representation in the modern information age. His Cabezas Tejidas (Woven Heads) subvert the grid's implacable rigor and implicit objectivity. Starting with white rectangles of perforated pegboard (or simulated pegboard, in the larger pieces), the artist weaves metal wire in and out through the apertures to produce irregular organic surfaces or eruptions suggestive of landscape or the human body; in the smaller pieces he uses hexagonal chicken wire fencing, which replicates the cell patterns in human skin. Looking through these wire-frame skins we see random patterns of black circular dots, which coalesce, if we move back, into human faces, generalized and phantasmal -- the scanned raster imagery of Total Information Awareness.
Archivologia , González's invented term linking archiving and studying, is a sculpture that combines wall-hung and freestanding elements. Luis Pérez-Oramas, Curator of Latin American Art at MOMA has written that "The collection of González's Archivologia is one of the most significant political works of art of our time in Venezuela..."
For Archivologia González asked a number of people to squeeze lumps of clay; each lump, made without expressive intent, is as unique as a fingerprint; mounted in a matrix on the wall, they become a gallery of portraits, a typological time capsule, or trophy collection of the concretized space once grasped in clenched fists: they symbolize both human transience and indomitability. Below these wall-mounted clenchings sit storage drawers of handprints on sanded Plexiglas, like biological specimens mounted on microscope slides. The piece becomes a metaphor for the dichotomies of social life, the megastructure of the masses versus the self/cell. González's work is being shown at Miami's CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation) Museum "Jump Cuts" exhibition from June 1 to July 15.
Where González questions the dehumanizing philosophic implications of the grid, Pedro Terán uses the grid as a way of combining views so as to reveal patterns in nature (and that vehicle of nature, the artist) over time. The lightly penciled grids of his Dibujos de Agua (Water Drawings) enable Terán to paint spontaneously with ink and watercolor, one section at a time, as fresco painters worked in small manageable areas, creating records of improvised, intuitive paraphrases or recapitulations of natural forces. The blue and tan squares read as sky and water and earth -- glimpses of nature seen in various weathers. They also encapsulate time, creating a kind of narrative, or comic strip; one of them is even entitled Dibujo Animado , animated drawing or cartoon. The titles ( Geometria Acuatica , and Mapa Acuatico ) allude to the artist's experiences on the Orinoco River that inspired the series. Terán invokes nature while transcending mere naturalism, his experiential and experimental sensibility shaped by the multiple perspectives of conceptualism.
Gallery 415 in San Francisco focuses on modern and contemporary art from Latin America. The gallery program challenges the traditional views of Latin American art and showcases the great range of styles, materials, themes and aesthetics in artistic production from this diverse region. The gallery is located in the Union Square area of downtown San Francisco and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00am-5:30pm. For more information please contact: Christina Bosemark 1.415.690.0026 www.g415.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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