Press Articles

MULTIFARIOUS ABSTRACTION

MULTIFARIOUS ABSTRACTION

Group Exhibition featuring
1. Magdalena Atria
2. Antonio Muñiz
3. Ricardo Rendón
4. Mariángeles Soto-Díaz
5. Rubén Ortiz Torres

Curated by Cecilia Fajardo-Hill

June 20 – July 25, 2015
Opening Reception :: Saturday June 20th 6-9pm

Fabien Castanier Gallery

2919 La Cienega Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
t.310.876.3529
contact@castaniergallery.com
www.castaniergallery.com
Tues-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat, 11am-6pm

 

Los Angeles, May 28, 2015 – Fabien Castanier Gallery is proud to present Multifarious Abstraction, a group exhibition featuring the work of five Latin American artists, Magdalena Atria (Chile, 1966), Antonio Muñiz (Mexico, 1969), Ricardo Rendón (Mexico, 1970), Mariángeles Soto-Díaz (Venezuela, 1970), and Rubén Ortiz-Torres (Mexico, 1964). This exhibition is guest curated by Cecilia FajardoHill, a British/Venezuelan art historian and curator. Multifarious Abstraction brings together these five artists to explore diverse themes related to art and experience through individual practices of conceptual abstraction.

Multifarious Abstraction is an exhibition that questions traditional understanding of the nature of abstraction as a modern field separate from reality. The five artists participating in Multifarious Abstraction present conceptually challenging, loaded and sometimes political explorations of abstract vocabularies in art, which point to unique ways to experience and think on contemporary culture. The five artists are from Latin America, where the division between high and low culture is not as central or as marked as in The United States and Europe. The abstraction proposed here moves away from modernist utopian ideals and pure aesthetics, to dialogue with industrial and popular culture, daily life, inner struggle, politics and gender.

Magdalena Atria is exhibiting free abstract compositions entirely made with plasticine. The artist, who has developed an extensive oeuvre with this material, addresses painting through a material which is malleable, fragile, common and familiar, to produce slowly complicated surfaces that embody “tension between the rational and the emotional, between the personal and the collective, between the existential and the banal, the formal and the symbolic.” Atria attempts to connect the ideal, manifested through abstraction, with the daily and existential dimensions of concrete reality.

Antonio Muñiz is an artist who explores by an intuitive method ways to free the mind and perception from predetermined responses. He employs fumage, a technique for producing organic forms with a burning candle at varying angles and distance from the canvas, thus creating an uncontrolled compositional structure. Muñiz pursues the “gray area”, a multidimensional space that is both symbolic and psychological and deconstructs conditioning dualities such as black/white, outsider/insider, and right/wrong. The artist states: “The gray area is a non-judgmental, non-linear space where we allow ourselves to interact with our environment, breaking free of duality and of conditioned responses.”

Magdalena Atria

Ricardo Rendón’s work is informed by his interest in traditional trades and materials, which are for the artist places of “creative learning”. He states: “My work is presented as a system of questioning of the creative practice, of the execution, productive realization and notion of work.” His mediums range from industrial materials, to sand paper, felt and leather; and his techniques from perforating, cutting, nailing, grinding, sanding, gluing, to welding. For Multifarious Abstraction, the artist exhibits work from the two series: Work Area and Lighting Circuits, with materials such as copper and industrial felt. He transforms a plumber’s purposeful and precise procedure for joining copper tubes into the method for creating free standing sculptures which reflect both on traditional knowledge and on contemporary art’s expansive possibilities.

Mariángeles Soto-Díaz uses the language of abstraction as a way to materialize and connect ideas. Her work explores critically the legacies of modernism, echoing the particular modern historical traditions of Venezuela in dialogue with modernity and abstraction in contemporary culture. For this exhibition she will be showing the sitespecific installation The Pink Elephant in the Room, to insert into the White Cube the discussion of gender and racial inequality in the art world. As the artist explains: “The Pink Elephant in the Room addresses the ‘invisibility’ of these issues through indulging in the color pink as a feminist statement while also re-signifying upon the language of abstract painting.”

Rubén Ortiz-Torres is a multidisciplinary artist who goes back to the late 1980s. His work, whether it be photographs, paintings, movies or sculptures, is informed by a hybrid and original combination of popular and mass culture. One of the key references in his work is the low rider and car industry cultures. In his recent work, he experiments with the auto industry’s most recent advances in car paint. For example, his piece Womb Envy (2014), is made with urethane and thermochromic paint and high-density foam. This orange piece in the shape of a pregnant tummy, when touched with your fingers, becomes marked temporarily in yellow on the work’s surface. His black Mexican and American flags made with urethane and chromo-luminescent paint, exhibited in the show, refer on the one hand to modern issues of anarchist ideology, and on the other, to how these national symbols, especially in the context of recent events in Mexico and the USA (The Baltimore riots), may allow the political minority standpoints in contemporary society to be embodied.

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill is a British/Venezuelan art historian and curator. Fajardo-Hill specializes in modern and contemporary art with a focus in Latin American art. She has a PhD in Art History from the University of Essex, England, and an MA in 20th Century Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, England. From 2005- 2008, Fajardo-Hill served as Director and Chief Curator for CIFO and the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection, and from 2009-2012 served as Chief Curator at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, CA. Presently, Fajardo-Hill is guest curator at the Hammer Museum, the Chief Curator of the Sayago & Pardon Collection and Abstraction in Action, and a visiting scholar at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. She is currently based in Los Angeles, CA.

A catalog of work will be available. Please contact the gallery for any press inquiries.

 

Lauren Whisnant, PR manager

lauren@castaniergallery.com


Tierra de posibilidades infinitas

La exposición Fuera de este mundo llega de la mano y la mente del pintor MEXICANO Antonio Muñiz, quien mediante la técnica fumage presenta una serie de obras que prometen llevar al espectador hacia diversos mundos y DIMENSIONES, en donde las barreras desaparecen

Este mexicano nacido en Chihuahua, dejó su trayecto como arquitecto para adentrarse al mundo de las artes plásticas. Su nombre es Antonio Muñiz, quien nos habla en exclusiva sobre la inspiración para crear sus obras, proceso creativo y hacia dónde va su carrera; lo anterior, como antesala a su próxima exposición (abierta a partir del 17 de abril) en la Galería Oscar Román.

Tus obras tienen una clara influencia surrealista. ¿Quién crees que más ha influenciado tu arte? Uno de los artistas que más admiro es el chileno Roberto Matta, al ver sus mundos sentí una conexión muy profunda, inspirándome realmente a adentrarme en la pintura.

¿Nos podrías hablar del proceso creativo que sigues con cada una tus piezas? Comienzo tirando humo, un proceso orgánico que nunca sé a dónde me va llevar y, simplemente, me dejo guiar por el color. Lo más difícil de crear cada composición es que la obra evoluciona y siempre vas a descubrir algo nuevo.

¿Cuál crees que es el objetivo de crear obras tan abiertas a la interpretación? Quiero romper el pensamiento lineal y abrir al espectador a algo multidimensional. Me encanta cuando la gente juega con la obra y escuchar las historias que crean, eso me motiva mucho.

¿Nos podrías compartir y hablar sobre la inspi- ración detrás de “Fuera de este mundo”? Recuerdo que desde chico siempre me encantaba escaparme a estos espacios fuera de nuestra realidad, ahora, quiero compartirlos con los espectadores. En esta propuesta, diferentes mundos coexisten dentro de un mismo espacio y, a pesar de ser irregulares, conviven en armonía y respeto. Por eso le puse este nombre a la exposición: Fuera de este mundo.

¿Cuál es la pieza que consideras que tenga la mayor relevancia dentro de esta serie? La obra que se llama Free Spirited, un reflejo de mi personalidad y los cambios que he tenido que pasar. Desde mi pasado en la arquitectura, en donde el proceso era muy rígido, fue un reto romper este pensamiento y liberar mi creatividad.

Tu obra ahora está enfocada en pinturas, ¿pien- sas que eventualmente harás el salto a la escultura? Sí, me gustaría. Tengo algunas ideas de cómo iniciar, pero aún no he encontrado el material o técnica exacta para usar el humo. El reto que tengo ahorita es cómo traer algo tan espacial y etéreo a una escultura, ya que son dos mundos que chocan entre sí.


Antonio Muñiz presentará 'Fuera de este mundo'

Muestra de Antonio Muñiz, fuera de este mundo

  • Con la premisa de desaparecer los límites entre colores, el artista mexicano creó una serie de obras que exploran las formas del humo y sus cambios.
  • ‘Fuera de este mundo’ será inaugurada este martes 17 de abril en la galería Oscar Román de la Ciudad de México.

Antonio Muñiz presentará 'Fuera de este mundo'

Antonio Muñiz se interesa en explorar y enlazar los pasajes entre ellos mismos en diferentes dimensiones por medio del arte, y Fuera de este mundo es el nombre de su más reciente exposición que inaugurará este martes 17 de abril en la galería Oscar Román.

A Muñiz siempre le generó curiosidad el concepto de las dimensiones múltiples, y mientras estudiaba el trabajo de varios surrealistas, descubre una técnica llamada Fumage, con la cual ha podido explorar el humo y sus constantes cambios de forma en un espacio determinado y de maneras indefinidas.

Por ello, la obra del artista nacido en Chihuahua hace a un lado visiones lineales y formas preconcebidas, para llegar a un punto donde la rigidez y realidad de la línea entre lo blanco y lo negro: La Zona Gris.

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De acuerdo con el artista, “La Zona Gris es un espacio sin prejuicios ni lineamientos en donde nos permitimos interactuar con nuestro medio ambiente librándonos de la dualidad de las respuestas condicionales. Despertando un descontrol de uno mismo lo cual nos pudiera dejar vulnerables y también nos pudiera abrir la puerta de las vibraciones de nuevas perspectivas.

En mi obra yo hago a un lado los lineamientos y formas preconcebidas. Busco crear conceptos nuevos y abrirme a nuevos cuestionamientos. Busco proveerle al espectador la oportunidad de tomar un paso atrás del comportamiento condicional y a darle la bienvenida a un viaje sin restricciones al descubrimiento interno para poder llegar más allá de la rigidez y realidad de la línea entre lo blanco y negro”.

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Con cada cuadro, Antonio Muñiz resalta que enfatiza la fluidez del campo perceptor que guía al espectador a ver un objeto como parte de y aparte del paisaje a la vez; así éste se convierte en observador y partícipe.

Otras dualidades , enfatizó, también desaparecen, como la del blanco/negro, extraño/no extraño, centro/margen.

“Finalmente, esta nueva orientación dinámica invita al espectador a entrar en un reflejo multidimensional mientras está presente en el momento y mientras despierta al conocimiento de lo que importante que es ese Gris”.

Fuera de este mundo de Antonio Muñiz será inaugurada este martes 17 de abril en la galería Oscar Román, ubicada en Julio Verne #14, Polanco.


Antonio Muniz: "Metamorphosis" at Couturier Gallery

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By Eve Wood
Nov 2012

“Chance, spontaneity and ambiguity are all phenomena that can be difficult to manifest in visual terms, creating the “experience” of color, movement and line rather than simply repeating stale and predictable forms. Antonio Muniz’s first solo exhibition at Couturier Gallery utilizes these qualities to mesmerizing effect. Working in the ancient technique called “fumage,” which involves creating images with smoke, and inspired by the works of Wolfgang Paalen, Muniz was initially drawn to the technique for its mysterious, sensual quality, and its constant changeability, allowing for moments of chance, multi-dimensionality and surprise within the controlled space of the picture plane. Works like In the Mist of the Playground (2012) are suffused with playful whimsy, yet betray elements of deeper elegance and mystical awakening as the paint undulates and recedes simultaneously in a strange perceptual dance. Muniz’ working methodology involves a layering process, first using a Tiki light which emits the smoke along the canvas, then applying areas of oil paint and lastly going back in with the smoke to drawn the imagery together. This lengthy process exemplifies not only Muniz’ commitment to form, but to the ineffable moment of chance that infuses each of these luminous paintings.”

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ANTONIO MUNIZ on ArtScene, by Bill Lasarow.

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By Bill Lasarow
October 2012

“Fumage was among the arsenal of techniques used in classic Surrealism to help get the juices of the sub-conscious mind going. The random imprint of smoke from a combustible object such as a candle would be applied to a painting surface so the artist could let their imagination roam. Like Jean Arp’s dropped strings, Max Ernst’s frottage, or the automatism of André Masson, fumage offers a random but distinct starting point. Historically these techniques are firmly rooted in Dada and Surrealism; aesthetically they enabled artists to focus on the process of the interplay between painting and imagination free from the pre-planned image. As earlier formal innovations gave artists permission to bring painting back to the two-dimensional surface, these innovations represented the decisive overturning of a pictorial hierarchy that the Impressionists and Symbolists had only begun.”

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State of The Art: LA

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By Eva Recinos

“If you’re a Surrealist art fan, you’re bound to like the sometimes frightening, beautifully frenetic work of Chihuahua-born, Los Angeles native Antonio Muñiz. On his website, he asks that viewers open their minds and look at his work with “child-like imagination”. Head to the opening reception on September 15th at 6:00 p.m. and lose yourself in the awesome strangeness of Surrealism.”

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Antonio Muniz: Metamorphosis

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“While studying the painter and theorist Wolfgang Paalen (1905, Vienna – 1959, Mexico) Antonio Muñiz became intrigued with fumage , a technique that Paalen created in 1936 and shared with his peers (including Salvador Dali). Muñiz related to the concept of smoke as a medium with ever transforming and enigmatic qualities which were a sharp contrast to his rigid and stilted life in Chihuahua, Mexico. The Los Angeles based artist, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in architecture, found corporate life equally restrictive and began pursuing his creative freedom through painting inspired by Latin American surrealists such as Roberto Matta and others.”

Click here for full article


Couturier Gallery Press Release "Metamorphosis"

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By Couturier Gallery
Press Release
Couturier Gallery is pleased to present “Antonio Muñiz: Metamorphosis,” the first solo exhibition for the Mexican born artist with the gallery. These fumage paintings, works on canvas and paper, are created from the evocative residue of smoke subsequently painted with a jewel-tone palette of subtly blended oils transforming the surfaces into rich and multi-dimensional planes of morphing shapes and figures. “Antonio Muñiz: Metamorphosis” will run from September 15 through October 20, 2012. The artist’s opening reception is Saturday, September 15, 6-8pm.

While studying the painter and theorist Wolfgang Paalen (1905, Vienna – 1959, Mexico) Antonio Muñiz became intrigued with fumage , a technique that Paalen created in 1936 and shared with his peers (including Salvador Dali). Muñiz related to the concept of smoke as a medium with ever transforming and enigmatic qualities which were a sharp contrast to his rigid and stilted life in Chihuahua, Mexico. The Los Angeles based artist, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in architecture, found corporate life equally restrictive and began pursuing his creative freedom through painting inspired by Latin American surrealists such as Roberto Matta and others.

For Muñiz, the creative process has no beginning or end. As with all aspects of life, he believes that energy reverberates through the physical and sensory worlds and ties all experiences in time and space together without end. He explains how being receptive to these portals allows for the creative process to be ongoing:

“I take the essence or vibration of the smoke and deconstruct the elements to give it form and capture its multi-dimensionality. During the journey, I encounter entities or beings that move between these worlds and find their way onto the canvas that provide new and deeper meanings to my art and constantly reveal new clues to further discoveries.”

This form of transcendental art is at the root of many art movements and provides artists like Muñiz the ability to tap into underlying visual truths which speak to a broad audience. That, coupled with his remarkably subdued brushstrokes and inherent appreciation for form and beauty, provide a lush tableau of melded imagery. Within each work there are layer upon layer of morphic figures that seem to emerge and recede from view. This visual bantering with the painting is what Muñiz wants- for the viewer to revert to the purity of their child-like imaginations and see the possibilities and interactions that co-exist there, to extract from the abstract imagery a figurative narrative that may (or may not) be there. The play of spatial relationships between the visually disparate planes on the surface of the canvas and the metamorphosis of negative and positive space create visual illusions of imagery that shift continually. It makes it difficult to return to an area of a painting and see the same thing twice.

Antonio Muñiz is a self-taught painter. His training as an architect at the New School of Architecture in San Diego as well as mentoring by the renowned Mexican painter Rodrigo Pimentel informed his talents. Muñiz has exhibited in his native Mexico as well as California.

For further information and/or press photos, please contact the gallery www.couturiergallery.com or telephone 323-933-5557.


(c) By Antonio Muñiz

Breaking With Tradition: This Artweek.LA (September 10, 2012)

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By Bill Bush
September 11, 2012

“These fumage paintings, works on canvas and paper, are created from the evocative residue of smoke subsequently painted with a jewel-tone palette of subtly blended oils transforming the surfaces into rich and multi-dimensional planes of morphing shapes and figures.”

Click here for full article