Visions in Motion

27.02.19 – 04.05.19

Carlos Cruz-Diez | Fernando Prats | Javier León Peréz

Laurent Martin ‘Lo‘ | María García-Ibáñez | Mariano Ferrante

Visions in Motion curates a dialogue between artists who have previously exhibited in major solo-shows at Puerta Roja and provides a condensed physical map of the gallery’s development over the last eight years. The exhibition highlights Puerta Roja’s distinctive focus on process-driven artistic practices that pursue conceptual and intellectual integrity whilst engaging the viewer through powerful aesthetics. The exhibition also reflects the gallery’s philosophy to juxtapose works by master, mid-career and emerging artists.

Op and Kinetic works by 95-year-old Franco-Venezuelan master Carlos Cruz-Diez will be exhibited alongside paintings and sculptures by the next generation of contemporary artists; detailed repetitive works by Spanish artist Javier León Pérez (Spain), laser-cut paper drawings by María García-Ibáñez (Spain / Mexico), bamboo mobiles by Laurent Martin ‘Lo’ (France / Spain), optical paintings by Mariano Ferrante (Argentina) and nature made paintings by Fernando Prats (Chile).

From Carlos Cruz-Diez, the exhibition presents works from the Physichromie series developed in 1959 which have captured the imagination of viewers across Asia through multiple museum shows and since their representation by Puerta Roja in 2016. The three-dimensional works feature a flat surface of vertical bands rendered in a contrasting palette and arranged with mathematical regularity into multiple geometric planes. Each structure creates a “light trap” where colours transform when seen from different angles. As the viewer moves, colour dissolves and oscillates from one chromatic range to another, generating virtual colours not present in the support.

Bird Paintings by Fernando Prats record a bird’s flight on smoked canvas. Uncontrolled wing-beats mark the surface, depicting the bird’s movement through a process in between abstraction and sequence photography. Prats is internationally renowned for devising unique pictorial systems, far removed from the instruments of a painter, in order to generate images that record fleeting natural actions, exposing not only the beauty of nature but also the violent and destructive reality of our fluctuating environment. Prats represented Chile at the 54th Venice Biennale and was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Scholarship in 2006, among other achievements. Prats is the latest addition to Puerta Roja’s robust stable of artists, his first solo-exhibition titled Nature Paintings in Hong Kong was held from November 2018 to February 2019.

After the incredible success of Laurent Martin ‘Lo’s first solo-exhibition in Hong Kong, Zhu Qi [竹氣], held by Puerta Roja in 2018, the artist returns with new works. His sculptures rely on perfect gravitational balance to rotate gracefully, drawing curves of harmony like the gracious strokes of Chinese calligraphy to immerse the viewer in the physical and sensorial virtues of the organic material. The artist’s practice has developed around Eastern philosophical and spiritual beliefs he has encountered during his travels across Asia.

Three younger artists explore the movement of the hand in relation to patterns in nature: Javier León Pérez’s discourse creates oscillating abstract landscapes through the process of detailed repetition, invoking the philosophical idea of Li (理), referring to the underlying geometry in the natural world. María García-Ibáñez also explores organic geometry through drawing, which lies at the core of her very experimental practice. Most recently, her painstakingly detailed drawings are then laser cut to generate movement through the play of shadows. In a span of a few years, both artists’ work has become part of collections in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Korea. Mariano Ferrante creates mathematical structures with rules, only to break them in the smallest corners of his multichromatic canvases and installations. Under the beautifully constructed optical surfaces, underlies a current of irregularities, controlled accidents that make the composition alive, personal, human.

Whether the artists use the movement of the viewer, the illusion of movement, the movement of light, the movement in nature or the movement of the artwork itself, they all conjure a fluid and hypnotising sensation that only exists through the observers’ experience.

Visions in Motion will run concurrently to Hong Kong Art Week where Puerta Roja will extend the curation of the exhibition to the gallery’s booth, C01, at Art Central from 26 – 31 March.