Radical Geometry = geometric abstraction + radical politics at the Royal Academy


Carlos Cruz-Diez, Physichromie No. 500

What does ‘Radical Geometry’ stand for? This is the title the Royal Academy chose for its exhibition of South American Modern Art of from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection. Director of the Colleción Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gabriel Perez-Barreiro introduced the exhibition as a “group of artists who fused geometric abstraction with radical politics”. The Royal Academy’s small and delightful exhibition is organised by countries (Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina & Uruguay) and includes sculptures and paintings.

From the title, I was looking for sharp angles and strong political views.

I was not too far off: the exhibition shows irregular shapes and frames from Argentinean Juan Mele and sharp angles from Brazilian Lygia Clark. Most of the Buenos Aires-based artists were Marxists, providing the radical politics.

Less well known is Gertrude Goldschmidt, or Gego, from Venezuela, but the Royal Academy gives her plenty of space. Her wire sculptures titled were a brilliant interplay between the physical works themselves and the shadows they created.

Well-known Op artists Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto are also shown at the Royal Academy, including their respective works Physichromie No. 500 and Nylon Cube 1990. I wondered why optic art flourished in Latin America, remembering many impressive examples at the Malba museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The exhibition runs until 28 September.

20140822-083917.jpg Jesús Rafael Soto, Nylon Cube 1990

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s