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Concretismo lírico | El cordón umbilical retiniano

ESPAC, Ciudad de México, México
June 2, 2018 – June 7, 2018

The Retinal Umbilical Cord is a project from ESPAC’s Contemporary Painting Program, curated by Willy Kautz. Open to the public from June to November 2018, this proposal includes four successive exhibitions, as well as a public program of talks and workshops, that culminates in a critical publication.

The exhibitions, Lyric Concretism, Pictoconstructions, Pictorial Ontologies, and Footnotes. The beginnings of the ESPAC Collection, conceived as thematic essays, take into consideration 56 artists with more than 80 artworks. Throughout the project, different public activities will be taking place to expand and deepen the reflections on painting in Mexico after the nineties.

The first show, Lyric Concretism, opens the 2nd of June and brings together artworks that connect constructivist language and industrial materials with the genre of landscape and/or the lyrical use of color and light. The artists participating in this first display are Francis Alÿs, Omar Barquet, Ana Bidart, Joaquín Clausell, Pedro Coronel, Gabriel de la Mora, Sofía Echeverri, Francisco “Taka” Fernández, Francisco Goitia, Berta Kolteniuk, Santiago Merino, David Miranda, Néstor Quiñones, Sofía Táboas and Rafael Uriegas.

The title of the project, The Retinal Umbilical Cord, refers to the renowned essay by the theorist Clement Greenberg, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (1939), which pointed out a contradictory relationship between the artistic avant-garde and the class that subsidized it, sustained through an “umbilical cord of gold.” This condition presupposed that the link between the avant-garde movement and the finance that it received from the same class it distanced itself from, entailed a paradox.

Despite the fact that in the nineties post-conceptual movements moved away from the retinal, as well as from painting, it is notorious how day to day there are more artists who sympathize with pictorial procedures. The approach of Kautz goes into this problem from the perspective of the paradox of the “retinal umbilical cord”. This exercise explores how the pictorial impetus of recent years allows us to rethink the role that the retinal plays in relation to the visual dimension of contemporary art.


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