The spliced landscapes of Alejandro Argüelles Posted on 01 Jun 07:59 , 0 comments
I knew there was a reason why I liked Alejandro Argüelles’ paintings at an exhibition at Wussmann last November; but, it wasn’t until I looked at them again during one of our Art Walks and asked Paula, the events coordinator for the gallery, that I began to wonder how these paintings had been created.
I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that these works begin with a photographic process, but what happens after that is pure painting.
“OK, I see that now, but… there’s something…off about them,” I began.
Paula said, “He takes landscapes from different locations…in the world… and combines them.”
Integrates and synthesizes is more accurate. For instance, a large painting takes a winter scene from Holland at the top, a slice from a public park in Buenos Aires featuring a long metallic-looking bench in the middle, and at the bottom, a landscape from Patagonia in southern Argentina. Argüelles maintains perspective and seamlessly merges three disparate geographical moods, not just locales.
Argüelles’ paintings resemble daguerreotypes in their blacks and greys, but not in their whites, which are stark and pure. They are masterful fusings of medium and content, re-contexualized by both.