EXCERPTS FROM A TEXT BY BARBARA TÖPPER FENNEL – BARSIKOW GALLERY BERLIN 1998. The series “Images of Memory” digs deep into the very personal memories of a Latin American artist living in Europe; but, at the same time, it grasps the collective memories of painting, memories of the cultural history of humanity, of the times that preceded civilization, of archetypes and primitive rites. The images are memories of places and are in themselves places of memory. (….)
These works are fully consciously based on linear tradition that’s often forgotten in modern art by the constant pressures of innovation and euphoria of progress of vanguard movements within modernity itself, established exemplarily by Picasso in relation to African art: The working memory is performed, not as means to repeat the past but to take ownership of it, within the context of the past.
Thus, the seemingly naive and joyful images by this artist in this exhibition bing to the fore a key question that has preoccupied humantiy from the very beginning, an essential question posed to every specific culture, “where we come from and where are we going”.
These paintings beam freedom – with all the density of the fundamental subjects — at nevertheless show incredible lightness; they exude happiness and the possibilities of playfully evoking what’s tragic in life. And, conversely, they earn their freedom by virtue of the graphic elements in them.
TEXT BY PIERRE COURCELLES, ART CRITIC, PARIS 1998: What do painters think about? What do they see? What do they make us see? That the appearances they present to us and their painting are fragments of what they think, see or say — pieces of forgotten and painful realities that come from deepest depths of culture and history.
Before being object of curiosity and trade, the painting is a document that serves the intelligence of humanity and the world. It is living matter torn from its history and one of the few ways to claim immortality. Painting, therefore, stands in front of us, watching intensively, untill we recognize ourselves in it as we are — as we will never be.