Paysage géométrique

Waldo Balart
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Bendana | Pinel Art Contemporain is pleased to present “Paysage géométrique” the first solo exhibition of Waldo Balart at the gallery, more than fifty years after his introduction to the Parisian art scene by Galerie Iris Clert in 1967, a major post-war gallery.

Of Cuban origin, Waldo Balart frequented the New York artistic and cultural milieu in the 1960s. Impacted as much by the teachings of Peter Forakis as by the ideas of Hans Hoffman and Josef Albers, Balart is imbued with the aesthetics of abstract art, which shaped the direction of his career.

The works, which the artist calls "propositions", offer an original and unique plastic solution, in which linear rhythms, currents of chromatic energy and forms compose geometric landscapes that have meaning only by themselves. It is the absence of interpretive references outside the reality of the work, which, executed by means of mathematical rules of Balart’s own invention, that link his work to concrete art.

Through a systematic development in series, Balart first expressed himself instinctively through color. As in the series Conjuntos no Vacios, the artist balanced the weight transmitted by the geometric volumes with the emotional weight of color - placing the cold colors on top and the warm colors on the bottom, also considering the law of gravity. His reflection then led him to systematize his work around a language of his own created from the structure of light. Balart numerically codifies the seven colors of the light spectrum from 1 to 8, adding magenta, generating the Codigo de la Estructura de la Luz (CEL) [Code of the Structure of Light]. Their organization in an Orden Axiomatico [Axiomatic Order] gave rise to El Desarrollo cromatico del CEL [Chromatic Development of the CEL], a mathematical seriality from which the artist can extract combinations of colors forming his "propositions". Like the musical notes of a score producing rhythms and melodies according to their composition, Balart mentally visualizes the colors from his Axiomatic Order to define the forces that will form his image. This mental organization became the intellectual core of his entire work, bringing him closer to the reflections of conceptualists such as Sol LeWitt, whose training he followed at MoMa in New York.

In principle, this method of creation may seem very rational and limited. However, Balart has been able to reinvent it with flexibility. The systematization of his work gives him the freedom to search for infinite variations of his creativity, which he develops in different series such as Imagen Fragmentada Integrada de Ángulo Variable, Imagen Ortogonal Fragmentada Integrada, or Nudos which are part of this exhibition.

Interested in the sensory effect produced by colors and their sensitive action on the human being, Balart tries to arouse reactions in the viewer that open the way to personal investigation and a need for introspection. In this sense, Balart shares a reflection on the possibility of art to induce a certain spirituality through contemplation with the avant-gardes of the 1920s, such as Vassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, or Kasimir Malevich. Through this research and the expression of a chromatic sensation, the rational and the rule give way to a more emotional approach. Like a Sunday stroll through the gardens of the Château de Versailles, where one would appreciate the symmetrical design and the combination of colors, Waldo Balart's geometric landscapes invite the viewer to take an intimate walk.

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