Praxis is pleased to present Abstract Rationale, the solo exhibition by renowned artist Cecilia Biagini (b. 1967, Buenos Aires, Argentina). A reception to celebrate the opening will be held at 541 West 25th Street, on Thursday February 26th, 2015, from 6 to 8 pm.
In order to question the reason behind stylistic transformations, one must necessarily be granted a retrospective outlook. Without the luxury of such historic distance, in the present experience of modern vertigo and urban life, one can only trust that authentic development will be unpredictable. This time-window gap is brief, but suffice to expose the fracture in Cecilia Biagini’s latest paintings, where far from the more explicitly structural drawing, a new constructive subtlety emerges.
Abstract painting will always be motivated by its own formal impulsion. Just like the Russian constructivists saw their utopic and heroic projects interrupted by post-revolutionary circumstances, Cecilia’s constructive spirit is paused here. The reticular plane is now de-composed, its constructivist roots appear slashed. Brief cuts on the surface air that bring to mind the original stab with which Lucio Fontana slashed the surface, enabling the exploration of space. Lines on flight, in an uncontainable rush, reveal the porosity of space, the skeletal background of things.
As in topology, the branch in mathematical sciences that studies the properties of space that are preserved in a geometric shape undergoing continuous deformations, Cecilia’s painting has undergone transformation, but retains its quality of space. Style has certainly shifted, but the physicality of her work remains untouched, such as that of a topological space. Insistent upon the creative process, she is geared by a schematic impulsion ever so articulate. But regardless of her incessantly varying painterly ways, beyond her impulsions, there lies a subjacent diagrammatic order. The pictorial novelty doesn’t erase the footprint of previous painting, but rather exposes the trace of the primitive grid, which remains visible, as in a palimpsest, subtext of the wounded constructivism.
This restless, probing, unrestrained draftsmanship crystallizes in the series of painted woods, sculptures constructed based on color fields. Color builds the plane and also the line; color is figure and background, form and content, building imagined architectures, freed from the tyranny of utilitarianism. Articulated fields of color make for these mechanical, transformable sculptures in the way of Gyula Kosice’s Röyi, Torres-García’s toys, Lygia Clark’s critters, and eventually, Gego’s reticulareas. Proto-kinetic works that contain the legacy of a genealogy of Latin American geometric abstraction, and at the same time germinate infinite possibilities in the movement of its pieces.
Parallel to the incessant variation of her painterly ways, Cecilia achieves permanence in her sculptural work. The multiple possibilities of their own re-structuring are contained within the sculptures, accounting for the immanence of this practice.
It might be a cry of victory for constructive rationalism; truth is Cecilia’s work inhabits a space in between abstraction and construction, two different ways of distancing away from mimetic representation. Abstract is the synopsis at the beginning of a scientific paper, a summary that overarches and contains a larger narrative. Rationale is the basis for a course of action, the logical grounds that dictate successive occurrences. Iconic as devotional objects, Cecilia’s work is both ideal and imperatively present.