Beyond Geometry, Cueto Project, New York, NY

Work by Jesus Rafael Soto

May 8 – June 19, 2010

Participating Artists:
Mario Ballocco, Julije Knifer, Marco Maggi, Francois Morellet, Olivier Mosset, Jesus Rafael Soto

After World War II, many artists turned to geometric abstraction as a springboard for experimentation, leaving behind figurative art. Some said that was the death of painting. I prefer thinking of it as a new start.

I was first introduced to geometric abstract art when instructed by Serge Lemoine at lʼEcole du Louvre and have been since then fascinated by the subject. My strong continued interest in geometric art has led me to creating this exhibition to explore what is beyond geometry. Since the Renaissance, viewing a painting has been described as looking through a window onto the world. I would like to engage a more experimental approach and to bring the viewer inside the “world” made available by these artworks.

Francois Morelletʼs serigraphs abolish the system of one point perspective. His systematic method of image making is a study of the eyeʼs perception. Only using flat solid shapes on a monochromatic background, Morelletʼs layer effect creates depth, which can be experienced from multiple angles. This play on the eye is also seen in Mario Balloccoʼs work. And through his chromatic problems, Ballocco utilizes color to reveal how it has a positive and stimulating effect over the eye, provoking a psychic action on the whole human body.

This idea of action and movement has been synthesized by the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau Ponty, who described perception as ʻan immediate and physical fluid, involving the whole body and not just the eyeʼ. Physical movement becomes a means of reaching a revelation about the art works by shifting the viewerʼs sensory and perceptual point of view. With Sotoʼs installation, a piece of the actual set of the 1978 ballet Genesis, choreographed by Alicia Alonso, at the Great Theatre of Havana, this is precisely how the viewer will experience this theme by literally walking into geometry. In another way, Marco Maggiʼs study explores the threshold between the second and third dimension. These works intensifies the viewerʼs physical relationship to the art.  His objects- papers – sit directly on the floor without pedestals and share our same space.

Finally, our experimental interaction ends with Julije Knifer and Olivier Mosset. Both have explored where flatness and surfaces can lead us – a rhythmic close up of a pattern, which develops into an independent surface that we can admire.

To answer the problematic of this showʼs title, what is beyond geometry is something that is over points, angles, surfaces and solids; what we find is a window to a world, which can function as a mirror of our sensations.

All the works presented have an impact to our senses and they envelop us into a mesmerizing geometric and transcendent atmosphere.