Cecilia De Torres Ltd - Kinetic Masters & Their Legacy


Kinetic Masters & Their Legacy 2019-2020 Autumn-Spring

October 3, 2019 - January 31, 2020

Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. presents Kinetic Masters & Their Legacy, an exhibition that takes place in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art’s upcoming show, Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift

Kinetic Masters & Their Legacy is comprised of a selection of works created by South American artists ranging from the 1950s to the present day. In showing contemporary pieces alongside mid-century modern work, our exhibition provides an account of the trajectory of varied techniques, theoretical approaches, and materials that have evolved across the field of Kinetic Art.

The inspiration for our exhibition was sparked by the moment when, nine years ago in Paris, the three Kinetic masters—Carlos Cruz-Diez, Julio Le Parc, and Luis Tomasello—first saw the innovative sculptures of Elias Crespin. They were in awe of the computer-controlled, motor-driven, floating geometric shapes that the young Venezuelan had created by activating his artworks through technology into yet another dimension of movement.

Our exhibition traces the lineage of Kineticism, paying homage to the mid-century modern masters and their aesthetic legacy upon today’s contemporary kinetic artists. These include: Antonio Asis, Marta Chilindron, Elias Crespin, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Manuel Espinosa, Gyula Kosice, Julio Le Parc, Eduardo Mac Entyre, Jesús Rafael Soto, Luis Tomasello, Gregorio Vardanega, and Victor Vasarely—all artists concerned with the aesthetics of perception, optics, viewer-interaction, and above all, movement.

A digital exhibition catalogue is available with text by Cecilia de Torres and Victoria L. Fedrigotti; Artist's biographies; 18 color plates, 74 pages fully illustrated.

Kinetic Masters & Their Legacy (exhibition catalogue)

Marta Chilindron

b. 1951, La Plata, Argentina – lives in New York City since 1969

From her early veristic paintings to her contemporary sculptural installations, Marta Chilindron creates art that explores perspectival, temporal, and spatial relationships. In the 1990s, Chilindron began experimenting with furniture forms, altering their shapes to reflect her point of view in relation to physical space. In 1998, the artist began making collapsible, geometric sculptures in transparent colored acrylics, using hinges to allow movement. These pieces invite the viewer to participate, manipulate, and alter their shapes.

In 2010, Chilindron was invited to create a public installation as part of the Fokus Lodz Biennale in Poland, and her sculptures were featured as a special project at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, California in 2013. The artist had a retrospective exhibition at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts in 2014, and at Point of Contact Gallery at Syracuse University in 2018. She was also invited by El Museo del Barrio to be part of their "Diálogos" section at New York’s 2019 Frieze Art Fair. Chilindron has recently completed a large-scale sculpture titled Houston Mobius commissioned by the University of Houston for the inauguration of their Temporary Public Art Program.

Chilindron's artworks are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; the Phoenix Art Museum, AZ; El Museo del Barrio, NYC; the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL; the State University of New York (SUNY), Old Westbury, NY; the Fonds d’art contemporain de la Ville de Genève (FMAC), Switzerland; the IBEU Cultural Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as numerous renowned private collections.

Please click for Chronology and CV

Elias Crespin

b. 1965, Caracas, Venezuela – lives in Paris, France since 2008

The child of mathematicians, Elias Crespin frequently visited the studio of his grandmother, the artist Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), and her partner, the artist and designer Gerd Leufert. During this time, the young Crespin was encouraged to experiment with different materials. His technical inclinations led him to study Computer Science at Venezuela's Universidad Central in Caracas, where he delved into the fields of mathematics and topographical formulas. After working for various software companies, he decided to dedicate his skills to art making. 

Crespin constantly applies new technological methods towards his artistic production, bridging the gap between technology and art. His installations consist of arrangements of hand-made elements in various geometric forms, which are suspended in midair by nearly invisible nylon threads. Through computer programs of custom software-controlled motors designed by the artist himself, his pieces constantly shift and mutate, producing highly nuanced choreographic effects, which make them appear to dance in the air as they adopt and morph into new forms and patterns. Crespin’s work questions the concepts of form, space, movement, and time, and is often associated with the study of color, light, shadow, and the experimentation of different materials and textures.

Since 2004, the artist’s pieces have been exhibited in many international institutions and venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris; Grand Palais, Paris; Galerie Denise René, Paris; Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris; Boghossian Foundation, Brussels; Das Kleine Museum, Weissenstadt, Germany; Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich; Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas; and Fundación Sala Mendoza, Caracas, amongst others.

Crespin's artworks are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH); Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection (CIFO), Miami; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Das Kleine Museum, Weissenstadt, Germany, as well as numerous other prestigious private collections.

Please click for CV