10 years without Rogelio Polesello, the artist who challenged vision

10 years without Rogelio Polesello, the artist who challenged vision
10 years without Rogelio Polesello, the artist who challenged vision

Rogelio Polesello on the terrace of his studio, 1964 (Photo: Facebook Malba)

Born in Buenos Aires in 1939 and died on July 7, 2014, exactly 10 years ago, Rogelio Polesello He is an emblematic figure of modern and contemporary art in Argentina, and beyond its borders. Graduated from the Prilidiano Pueyrredón National School of Fine Arts In 1958, he began a career that tirelessly explored the possibilities of geometric and optical abstraction through various techniques such as engraving, painting and acrylic objects.

From his first forays into the Peuser Gallery in 1959, where he debuted with geometric compositions linked to constructivism, Polesello marked his path towards optical art. His ability to play with light and colour in space transcended the boundaries of the canvas, invading the environment and challenging traditional perceptions of art. In addition to his plastic work, he ventured into advertising design, architecture, environmental design and body painting.

One of the milestones in his career was the project Eclipse (2001-2002) for the Ezeiza International Airport, where he demonstrated his ability to integrate art into public spaces in a monumental and symbolic way. Also the memorial to the Heroes of the Battle of Vuelta de Obligado, inaugurated in November 2010, in San Pedro, on the banks of the Paraná and near San Pedro: large iron chains inspired by those used in 1845 to stop the Anglo-French advance.

Photo of the exhibition hall of “Polesello joven: 1958-1974” at the Malba, curated by Mercedes Casanegra, 2014

The first retrospective after his death was held in 2015. Under the title Young Post-stamp 1958-1974the Malba exhibited his first works, reaffirming his lasting influence on the Argentine and global artistic panorama.

“Young Polesello inserted himself into the development of Argentine geometric and optical abstraction in an autonomous and original way, with free extensions of those categories,” said the curator of the exhibition. Mercedes Casanegra.

“His work was distinguished by its search for movement in the static, by the challenges to perception through the oscillations between figure and background, by the combinations of order and randomness and by the boldness in the use of color, a mark of constant originality throughout his entire production,” he added.

Photo of the “Vórtex” exhibition hall at Del Infinito, curated by Elena Oliveras, 2018

In 2018, the Buenos Aires gallery Del Infinito (directed by Julian Mizrahi y Estela Gismero; a large part of his work can be found there) exhibited “a very brief but powerful anthology of Polesello’s works that spans a time span of forty-two years, and which nevertheless reveals a remarkable synchronicity,” wrote the critic Fabian Lebenglik. Vórtex was the title of the exhibition.

In the curatorial text of Vórtex, Elena Oliveras He speaks of “a unique neo-baroque aesthetic that will put the ‘madness of seeing’ at the centre.”

And he adds: “A double play of order and randomness that reveals the complexity of a thought. So much so that, in addition to the visual appeal of Polesello’s works, there is a strong conceptual base that is not always sufficiently recognized. The concept of deconstruction, among others, is key in his poetics.”

“Zero” (1969) by Rogelio Polesello (Photo: arteBA 2017)

In the 2017 edition of arteBA, Tamara Kapitula highlighted in a note from Infobae Culture the work Zero: “The most iconic lenticular work of the Argentine painter and sculptor Rogelio Polesello and, at the same time, the least shown.”

At the time, Mizrahi said that “he only left Rogelio’s workshop twice for specific exhibitions, and this is the first time he has put it on the market. We wanted to show an iconic piece of his work with a very atypical and unclassifiable work.”

Nana GallardoPolesello’s muse and the woman who accompanied him for 20 years, said with emotion: “He is the master, the only one, the great. His work is my present and it is great to be able to rediscover his work, which has a very modern, very contemporary imprint.”

Studio by Rogelio Polesello, year 2013 (Photo: Flavia Masetto)

In a 2013 chronicle published on the blog #Fine Arts of Infobae, Flavia Masetto He said: “Polesello lives in a spectacular modernist house designed in the 1970s by the architect Eduardo Fidelli. Light sources penetrate through the windows and the ceiling, the style is bright and hedonistic, full of colour and optical illusions. Polesello, as well as being an artist, is a collector: in every corner of the house there is a mini collection.”

“He collects inspiration for his works from art and art books to masks or small plates from medicine pill containers. Polesello shows off his home/studio with the enthusiasm of someone who is amazed by a world of wonders for the first time, and his creative potential and genius are such that every time he focuses on one of his sources of inspiration, he discovers a whole new universe of ideas to exploit.”

“Untitled” (1961) by Polesello (“A look from the 60s” in Roldan Moderno)

Opening on July 10th at Roldan Moderno (Juncal 743, CABA) A look from the 60s where a work by Polesello is exhibited alongside those of artists such as Luis Fernando Benedit, Ernesto Deira, Jorge de la Vega, Nicolas Garcia Uriburu and Antonio Segui.

A tour through the decade of the prolific emergence of movements and the implementation of new materials. A good example is the acrylic on canvas that Polesello made in 1961. It ends on August 30.

Pieces are also on display at Del Infinito. They are part of the collective exhibition Indefinite which can be visited at this moment. There are three: An acrylic on canvas from 1997, another from 2007 entitled Zoomand a third work, a carved acrylic from 1974.

Two pieces by Rogelio Polesello in “Indefinit”, Del Infinito Gallery

Throughout his life, Polesello was recognized with multiple awards (in 2003 he received the Grand Prize of Honor from the National Endowment for the Arts, for example) and participated in prominent exhibitions in Latin America, Europe and the United States. His legacy continues strong.

He experimented with the multiple relationships between the visual arts, architecture, design, cinema and fashion, using acrylic as the axis of his work. All of this established him as an artist who challenged vision.

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