Praxis is pleased to present Continuous Transformation of Abstract Space , a solo exhibition by Alejandra Barreda (b. 1958 Buenos Aires, Argentina).
The exhibition will be open to the public from January 7th, until March 6th, 2021.
Our opening hours are: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 6pm at 501 W 20th Street, New York, NY, 10011.
Alejandra Barreda: Geometry of Sensations
In the series into which Alejandra Barreda has structured her works in recent years, the articulation of shapes and colors is suggestive of the physical properties of bodies—that despite the use of strictly two-dimensional combinations. Nonetheless, the effects of the eccentric—in the literal sense of the displaced—and the weight of what hangs from or rises out of two bracing points become, in Descentrar [Skew] and Suspender [Suspend], so powerful that they go beyond pictorial fiction to become lived presence.
This peculiar geometry may incite what it does because of how it generates these recurring forms: in the case of Suspender, by means of threads that stretch out from the edges of the canvas to draw empirical curves reminiscent of catenary architecture. In Descentrar, meanwhile, those same threads act as compass needles, combing the canvas stretchers in search of rotational points such that the pans make up fragments of crowns of circles that converge, part, and intercept in energetic associations.
A pragmatic methodology of this sort determines other particularities: the size of lines and stripes is sometimes defined by the masking tape used as drawing instrument. That methodology is also at play in the distribution of colors, which is planned in sketches that test out combinations of dyes. The dyes are then numbered and varied so that the same sequence never repeats. This project system draws on the Rio de La Plata concrete art tradition that dates back to the nineteen-forties. It makes each work predictable enough to free Barreda to concentrate on the details and pleasures of making as she renders the final version.
All that matters at that phase is how to place each tone on the sector assigned it in order to produce dynamic compositions yielded in part by the nature of the curved surfaces—whether hyperbolae or circles—their fragmented presence, the variability of different areas, and, thus, the reversibility of their perception (figure or background), as well as different positions of the colors and their multiple interactions. No less important are the pigments that encompass a wide spectrum of hues, from the intensely opaque blacks that sink into the sectors they cover, to bright and contrastingly glossy shades, by way of iridescent golds, silvers, and reds that create reverberating zones that mutate as the viewer walks by.
Equally versatile are earlier series like Variable and Contrapunto [Counterpoint], their straight-line designs rhythmically strained by striking diagonals. In the sectors those diagonals delimit, vertical planes offset clusters of thin lines that bend slightly at one end. In Contrapunto 2 [Counterpoint 2], the intervals between each panel of the triptych are brought into the composition as another section, no less important than where the work itself is. This concern with the paintings’ place in the architecture is tied to how the artist imagines each work expanding beyond its limits, interacting with one another and with the setting where it is installed.
Barreda creates clever arrangements based on simple motifs and essential principles. She investigates and manifests an art of combination, projecting luminous variations and imaginative alternatives that, like expansive waves, propagate endlessly in each of her geometries of sensation.