OFF THE WALL Steel and Glass 

Opening

Friday Oct 2, 2020

OFF THE WALL Steel and Glass by Mario Almaguer & Carlos Marcoleta

Almaguer’s work uses allusions to the human figure, and particularly those components of the anatomy which are most strikingly symmetrical or geometric.  Eyes, the vulva, mouth recur in the drawings realistically, in the sculptures in stylized form.  In both media, Almaguer broadens the totem as a compositional concept, subtly linking the standing figure to the vertical syntax that connects elements.  Other allusions are produced simultaneously with the above, to tools, mechanical instruments, and machines, as well as to exoskeletons, tentacles, pistils, synapses, among other components of organisms.  The convergence of the mechanistic and the anatomical has a precursor in Cuban art: the paintings and drawings of Agustín Fernández (1928-2006), in which flesh, armor, grills, leather, razors, lace, flaps, cords, belts, among other elements, come together in novel if often unsettling ways.  Another important precursor is the Chilean Roberto Matta (1911-2002) whose insectoidal, machine-like figures emerge in the luminous landscapes of the unconscious.  However, Almaguer uses the multidimensional biomorph independently of context, as an almost ritualistic construct which is also a giant flower that is a face, a weapon, a trap, and a navigational instrument. . . . And unlike in Fernández’s work, an almost flirtatious humor runs through Almaguer’s pieces.  They make us recall fantastic machines and sets of early sci-fi films, as well as monstrances and other extravagantly fancied liturgical objects.  In all, Almaguer’s art is thoughtful, humorous, and sensuous.  It is vibrant with references without relinquishing its core abstract qualities.  He is an important contributor to the on-going Latin American fusion of styles at the service of ideas and beauty. 

 

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

17 September 2020

 

Carlos Marcoleta studied visual arts, painting and sculpture at the “Escuela Nacional de Artes” in Havana and at the famous school “San Alejandro”, the birthplace of many of Cuba’s greatest artists. Mr. Marcoleta has been an art professor in various institutions and his works have had a resounding success both within Cuba and in Europe and the United States of America. Mr. Marcoleta is an exceptional artist who has worked extensively in sculpture and ceramics but who, for over 30 years, has devoted himself entirely to glass sculpture. Mr. Marcoleta has participated in important events such as the European Glass Fair, Dusseldorf 1997, the Hungarian Triennial Fair 1987 among many others. His works have been reviewed in important publications such as Glasshouse Magazine 2003 and 2004. Important museums have pieces of Marcoleta in their collections, such as the work “Caribeña II” 2003 which is in the Glass Museum in Hof Herding Coesfeld Lette, Holland and the piece “El Espacio y Yo” that can be seen at the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christy, Texas, USA.

 

From Oct 2 - Nov 12, 2020 (by appointment only)

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