Space as Form.
Between Inventionism and contemporaneity.
“The artist does not have a kingdom apart from the common reality. The new art comes from a desire to participate in the world. “
Edgar (Maldonado) Bayley.
The irruption of concrete art in post-war’s Argentina meant not only the beginning of the renovation of aesthetic discourses in that nation, endowing artistic thought with greater philosophical depth, but it also added to the social and political debate of the time as a reflection of the greatest ideological split of the moment around the world: the defenders of Capitalism, and the supporters of Marxism. Art, once again, was divided to choose a side in the political debate. Thus, the art movement that was born in Europe took definitive form in Rio de La Plata, under the shadow of the bitter social discussions left on the table by the end of the war.
The work of Carolina Sardi (La Plata, Argentina) is based on the influence of the concrete art movements that regenerated the artistic discourses not only in Argentina, but also around America, where cultural stagnation gave way to discussion and debate. The Concrete Art Invention, Madi and Perceptism movements form an indissoluble part of the aesthetic and conceptual body that shapes Sardis’s work. From them she takes, among other technical aspects, the infinite combination of forms and their autonomy, the logic, the suppression of the “frame”, the mental pre-conception of the work, the dialectical thought, and the visual objectivity, formal elements that place her, logically, within the spheres of design and architecture. This is the reason, alone and sufficient to me, why her work is so relatable to those other art currents, also so dependent upon the relationship between form and space. The main catalysts of this relationship were her teacher Enio Iommi, founder of the Concrete Art “Invention” group, as well as the influence she received in the same period from the Bauhaus movement.
With deep philosophical implications, Carolina’s work alludes directly to the origins of human composition and that of all things: to the role of the atom as a common element of which we are all made, and that unites us, in order to create a parallelism with the origin and the role of society, the individual human being, and universal history, all seen in constant movement and in a dialectical relationship. The “simplicity” of Sardi’s “forms” ensure their perceptibility by everyone, regardless of where we are from, of who we are, and arrive at a futurist discourse, flooding us with unquestionable optimism.
This exhibition brings together a group of works the artist elaborated over more than 20 years, giving us the opportunity to experience the technical elements, and the use of materials, which unite Sardi’s work with that of her teachers and with the processes of formation and consolidation of geometric art; and also with that intrinsic attitude of the founders of constant renovation of the aesthetic, social and philosophical discourses, an attitude that from today’s perspective can be seen as a looking to the past as a means to explain the present and the future.
Carolina has developed her work in an increasingly polarized world, where extremes are gaining more and more prominence. Art is a mental state that feeds on reality. In times of nationalist proliferation in post-war Argentina, coinciding with the appearance on the public scene of Juan Perón, the nascent artistic movements, groups and associations took sides in the social and political debate of the nation, creating an ideological confrontation between the defenders of Marxism, and the supporters of Capitalism that was just rising. The government, years later, gave its answer; “Neither Yankees nor Marxists… but Peronists!”. Carolina brings us back to this debate, as if we lived the present in an eternal déjà vu.
*Edgar (Maldonado) Bayley. Argentine essayist, dramatist and poet. Creator of Invencionismo.