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Tony Barreiro

Black Square Folded

January March. 2019

Black Square Folded

This exhibition focuses on mostly unpublished work, despite the fact that some significant works from recent years are included to show the common thread of the new project.

We can locate the genesis of the latest series in the investigations of the historical avant-garde. Not only were the ruptures of the spatial in the plane of pictorial representation, but also the overflow in the space itself, drifting towards the study of the objectivity of painting, but not "in" painting. Hence, the Proun space of El Lisitsky was of vital importance to understand that order of positions that David Barro mentions in the presentation text, which painting could acquire or at least interpret.

And of course, all the hybridizations of the 1920-30 decades go back to Malevich, also the inspirer or instigator of the new Flexia series, in addition to the well-known formal essays by other artists, calledsculpturepaintings O chicksculptures, corner reliefs, etc., which normally arose as ephemeral constructions and which provoked not only strange neologisms, but also "strange objects". For me this proposed the advancement of painting from the methodological and objectual aspect, rather than from the aspect of the image or subjective representation. Hence the objectivity that Malevich proposed with its reductions of color and shape in its squares and simple forms, were the beginning of the direct relationship of painting with materiality and objecthood. Since the plane was the "zero degree of painting", as it was known until then, it was only necessary to put the counter back on and start speculating with it, just as it was done in its day with the projection and representation of forms and the world of ideas.

But these extreme initial conditions, this almost metaphysical reductionism, does not become limiting, quite the contrary; the restrictive starting conditions are an incentive to explore a territory apparently without an afterlife, inert, inhospitable and exclusive.

In this panorama, the black, red or white plane suggests a new path for exploration: fold it, fold it, fold it, compress it. And it is this operating principle that gives rise to the series of flexed, articulated, retractable planes. And without a doubt the Black square on a white background that appeared in Malevich's historic 0.10 exhibition was the most iconic, archetypal and representative work of that reduction. Hence the title “Folded Black Square”.

The new series called FLEXIA presents a continuity regarding the use of the plane, the color and the line that has been a constant in the previous series, but with a particularity that makes these new works a point and apart. The concept that inspires FLEXIA is the folding of the planes and the change of substrates and procedures. The works that will be exhibited are the result of a long investigation into new methodologies and technical processes applied to the artistic field.

Also, the way in which my series advances in this investigation of forms, geometry and the plane, there is much of the rhizomatic growth that Barro observes, since everything has a conscious phylogenetic sense, since the strangeness of the new creations must be understood as a resurgence from a common body, which after maturation, gives new ways of growth to maintain the same DNA through the successive formal changes.

The works in the recent FLEXIA series are the fruit of that exploration and claim for themselves that appearance of icon or singularity that every object or experience has that is beyond comprehension. They are created as creatures of a new world, still subject to the amazement of recognition, unable to find patterns that make them familiar objects.

And in the end, it is the impact, the punctum, in relation to that latency that Roland Barthes mentioned, which makes the works pay attention and from there they enter the world of ideas, to be recognized, interpreted. , compared or discussed.

But let's not forget that, as happens in the endless thread of history, everything is myth and collective narrative being updated.

Toño Barreiro. Valencia, January 2019