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César Paternosto - Painting as Object: the Lateral Expansion. New Works. 2012 Autumn



César Paternosto - Painting as Object: the Lateral Expansion. New Works.

In the late 1960s, César Paternosto moved the emphasis in his paintings to the outer side edges of the canvas leaving the front blank. By shifting attention to the sides he was questioning the old custom of viewing paintings from the front only. As he expand­ed the range of the pictorial field to the sides, the three dimensionality of the painting turned it into an object.

Painting as Object: The Lateral Expansion, concentrates on the evolution and continuity of César’s idea from his early lateral vision canvases through his most recent works.

Edward J. Sullivan’s catalogue introduction and his thought provoking exchange with the artist in their e-mail dialogue bring significant insights to the innovative concept of painting as object.

Paternosto’s thoughts are succinctly put in his essay Painting as Object: Geometric Forms and Lateral Expansions; and his extensive updated chronology make this cata­logue a substantial document of record.

After living in New York for almost four decades, Paternosto moved to Spain in 2004 where his work received great appreciation following his retrospective exhibition at the Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art in Segovia. He continues to work and live in Segovia.

An exhibition catalogue with essay by Edward J. Sullivan is available.



César Paternosto

b. 1931 La Plata, Argentina – lives in Segovia, Spain

After beginning his career working in an informalist mode, followed by a brief period of lyrical figuration, Paternosto first created artworks based on Geometric Abstraction in the early 1960s.  By the end of this decade, his formal and theoretical explorations led the artist to push beyond the very boundaries of the medium of painting.  Leaving the surface of the canvas blank, Paternosto shifted the emphasis of his artworks to their outer edges, converting his paintings into objects, and rebelling against the inherited tradition of only viewing paintings frontally.  Since this breakthrough, he has remained on the vanguard of abstraction in both New York, where he lived for over four decades, and Latin America. 

In addition to his career as a painter, Paternosto has studied Pre-Columbian art with academic rigor.  This expertise has  not only influenced his artistic practices, but has also led him to assume scholarly and curatorial roles, including the international exhibition, Abstraction: The Amerindian Paradigm. In 2005, the artist moved to Segovia, Spain, where, just a year prior, a major retrospective of his work had been on view at the Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art.  Paintings by Paternosto are found in various prestigious collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland; and the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany, amongst others.  


Please click for CV and Chronology