Genoveva Fernández and Martín Calcagno

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by María Carolina Baulo

Elsi del Río Contemporary Art – Buenos Aires, Argentina. Curated by Fernando Entin

The Argentine artists Genoveva Fernández and Martín Calcagno presented two different but complementary series at the gallery Elsi del Río Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires. The curatorial proposal related the interaction of opposites and stimulated the spectators to read the art works thoroughly.

Genoveva Fernández works with paint; she is an artist with a prominent career, who has participated in exhibitions, biennials and international fairs. The series Illusions focused on the importance and independence that objects and ornaments usually associated with women have gained within society. Ornaments become the main attraction of her paintings: using the color black as a trigger, she structures and organizes narrative like a geometric dance, where the point, the line and the plane combine as formal elements. What captures our attention in a certain ornament also defines us; the elections we make speak for us, even when we are not conscious of it.

Martín Calcagno´s sculptures completed the exhibition with works highlighting the influence of Japanese art on his production. Although it is his initial showing at Elsi del Río Contemporary Art, his career includes shows in the most important cultural centers of Buenos Aires, including several galleries. The installation The Delicate Fragrance of Love in Cañuelas Woods consisted of trees and trunks used as blank pages on which to engrave the deepest and most private feelings, even when they are completely exposed. The sculptures paid homage to experience by leaving a registry–a record of the times we live and the emotions invading us–as a legacy for the future. It is a legacy in permanent motion, as the eternal turn of the wheel: “Who hasn´t seen or written a love, hate or indifferent message, engraved in trees?…And how not to go back and cross them out after an infidelity? This means, the words carved in trees get updated accordingly as time goes by, a constant change,” noted Calcagno.

The two series invited the viewer to discover a message leading beyond any superficial or obvious readings: “People need an explanation, in order to know what the art work is about. That challenges me to help the visitor in order to transform comfort into curiosity. My premise is not to invade but to guide, not to impose but to make it easier by providing a context,” commented Fernando Entin, owner of the gallery and curator of the exhibition.

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Martín Calcagno, The Delicate Fragrance of Love in Cañuelas Woods, (detail).
2009, mixed media, tree trunks, variable dimensions.

Genoveva Fernández´s artworks inspired the spectator to assume a critical point of view regarding consumeristic society, the role objects play within it and the logical affects on people´s lives, as seen from an incisive, feminine perspective. Martín Calcagno´s sculptures, standing far from rationality, relate to passions, nostalgia and romanticism; a masculine point of view, elegant, according to a gentleman. The apparent deconstruction in Genoveva´s paintings found balance in solid concepts; the evident rigidness of the sculptures enclosed the vulnerability inherent in the messages. The proposal seduced us and made us fall in love and, at the same time, made us question the choices we make, the emotions we feel and the place we occupy.

(November 2 – December 30, 2009)

María Carolina Baulo is an arts writer based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a Master’s degree in History of Art, with studies in Cinematography, Photography and Theatre. macabaulo@hotmail.com

Art pulse Magazine, Vol. 1 No. 4 Summer 2010, http://artpulsemagazine.com



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