A Colombian artist claims in Uruguay the beauty of science

The lines move on the white background, collide, disperse and rebuild. The periodicity of time and space in a light projection. The video installation is titled Composition and the artist, Andres Ramirez Gaviria, walks among groups of young people from Montevideo. Originally the work is 11 and a half meters long, the equivalent of 15 transatlantic paintings by Piet Mondrian, to which he returned with a contemporary look. This weekend he settled into a small room in the Subway Exhibition Center.

“They were called ‘The Transatlantic Paintings’ – he didn’t title them that way – because he started them in Europe and finished them in the United States. And they are characterized by the fact that they are more dynamic than the works that he had done up to that moment, and this is partly due to the fact that when he was in New York he became interested in jazz and the dynamics of the city”, explains the artist.

Ramírez Gaviria took the lines of Mondrian’s paintings and fed them into a program that selects a certain number of lines, in an unpredictable and unrepeatable way, and returns them to the exhibition space. When they collide with the corners of the projection or between them, they change direction, increase in speed, until they disappear along the sides of the projections and begin a new compositional cycle. A new visual and sound composition because it combines it with fragments of jazz. A periodic and unpredictable change.

Composition, Andres Ramirez Gaviria

It is, in fact, an early piece in his work but at the same time it marked some of the persistent concerns in his career. “During modernity, artists were very focused on this notion of finding a pure form: “the form”. The move from modernism to what could be said as “informationalism” which is more about the flow of information and less about a static notion”, explains the Colombian artist who currently lives and works in Vienna on his first visit to Uruguay.

The curator María Iovino suggested that he bring this particular work to Montevideo. “I consider that it is a very complex work in which you can get to know Andrés. We did not have a large exhibition here, so we had to think of works that would allow us to enter deeply into the artist, showing what his multiple interests are, what his multiple nutrients that the work has”, he comments.

“Artists always anticipate science”

The curator and art historian maintains that science and spirituality are closely related despite the apparent opposition that has been imposed on them. “Artists, any artist, work with physical issues: they understand the physicality of the world from the works they do. They understand light, they understand the behavior of matter, they understand the behavior of time. Artists always anticipate science. When you understand the work of a master you understand a time long before the time in which that master lived. And when you understand matter you also understand spirit. There’s no way to disassociate it,” he said in an interview with The Observer. Art and science as an exercise of the spirit.

Ramírez Gaviria’s work is complex and reveals its depth in layers. The artist draws on many sources: science, art history, music, photography, cinema, design, painting, contemporary arts. “There is a deep reflection in the work and think from another perspective and from other places the great heritage in which we feed ourselves to continue working in the world of art. In the world of ideas we depend on the heritage of ideas, it is with that heritage that we work and take it to another place. We are always working with inheritances and Andrés’s work in that sense is very responsible”, considers the curator.

Composition at the SUBTE Exhibition Center

The artist explains that his work process is inexorably born from research. “I have different interests that I am always exploring. From time to time they come together and through that exploration sometimes it leads to a work. Other times not. It’s a constant search that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Always looking like a little towards histories of art, technology, science, mathematics; which are a little what interests me”.

He also points out that many times in his projects he collaborates with scientists or mathematicians. The exploration that spirituality, humor, double meaning, are things that they cannot explore in their field. This is very empirical, so it is also an opportunity for those who work in science to explore those interests”. Ramírez Gaviria opens a door to an aesthetic expression of scientific knowledge, a new reading.


Andres Ramirez Gaviria

It is ultimately about the beauty of science. Iovino considers that there is currently “an enormous interest in understanding science again as a beautiful exercise”.

When we talk about spirituality we are not talking about simple issues, we are talking about being in essence. What is being explored in science is life itself. When exploring life itself, there is no way to separate what guides us to live, what makes us live, or what sustains life,” he adds.

As well as the crossing of its lines, or those of Mondrian, and the rhythmic perception of time in the work, the itinerary of the artistic duo began in São Paulo and landed in Montevideo, but after exhibiting at Art Basel in Miami, the tour will continue. next year by Peru, Argentina, Mexico and Chile.


Composition, Andres Ramirez Gaviria

“We are starting with places of interest in Latin America”, indicates Iovino and explains that in this framework it seemed “obvious” to include Uruguay in that Latin American dialogue. “I have always been certain that this is a rich country no matter how small: it is a country that has an enormous tradition in literature and art. If one only mentions Torres García, he mentions a revolutionary who connected ideas first in the south of America and then for all of America; that he powerfully thought, not so much about the identity of Latin America, but about being American”.

It is a Latin American dialogue marked by abstraction. “His work is abstract and you have to relate it to abstract legacies. He lives in Austria and is entering Latin America in a different way, in a new way. He is entering not as a visitor, but as a creator who converses with the tradition of the continent to which he belongs.”.

Composition It can be visited until this Saturday, November 12, between 12:00 and 7:00 p.m. at the Subway Exhibition Center.

A Colombian artist claims in Uruguay the beauty of science