César Paternosto - Paintings, Sculpture & Works on Paper
"Amidst today's visual noise, I search for silence. A moment of unity." - César Paternosto
"...Paternosto's most recent shaped canvases, incorporating their structures supports... are Constructivist in every sense and have themselves become iconic objects that pay homage to the spirit of Torres-García and to the ancient Peruvian symbolic forms."
- Barbara Braun, Pre-Columbian Art & the Post-Columbian World, 1993 Abrams
"The experience of standing in front of Paternosto's paintings lies somewhere between a confrontation of something that has virtually disappeared and of an infinite stillness, of a balance of forces between different planes, as if in reference to the landscape of the altiplano and sensation of continuity between earth and sky."
- Charles Merewether, Imaging Utopia, 1993
This exhibition at the Cecilia de Torres gallery was balanced at the artistic level and mature in personal terms... For a number of decades, Paternosto has been working the hard edge, hierarchizing the object-painting... He has placed symbolic Andean forms in his canvases, meditated on them and through form returned to his very marked contours... like the well preserved vestiges of the pre-Columbian architecture of some unknown civilization. The paintings of the portico series, in acrylic emulsion on canvas - sometimes including ground marble- and the small format sculptures and installations in pigmented cement which made up this show, were given museographical treatment in this very New York and Latin American gallery - with its open brickwork, impeccable walls, and very effective lighting.
(excerpted from the Art Nexus review by Graciela Kartofel, July, 1995).
b. 1931 La Plata, Argentina – lives in Segovia, Spain
Around 1957, César Paternosto started creating artworks based on Geometric Abstraction. After attending a serial music concert, he was enthralled by Anton Webern's pregnant silences, which influenced the next development in his art. By the end of the 1960s, Paternosto moved the emphasis of depicted matter in his paintings to the outer-sides of the canvas, leaving the front blank. By shifting the attention to the sides, he was questioning the traditional viewing of paintings frontally, and as the range of the pictorial field was expanded to the sides, the three dimensionality of the painting turned it into an object. His 2012 essay, “Painting as Object: Geometric Forms and Lateral Expansions,” explained the evolution and continuity of his idea, from the early lateral vision canvases, to his most recent work.
In 1977, Paternosto began to travel to Bolivia and Peru to study the archaeological sites Tiwanaku, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu. These trips marked an important turning point in his work sparking new formal explorations in form, composition, and color. By rooting his art in American autochthonous traditions rather than in the modern European model, Paternosto created a new and original type of abstraction based on the centuries-old woven textiles and sculptural stones of the Inca.
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.
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