Cesar Paternosto: Abstraction as Meaning
June 16 - July 24, 1993
Curated by Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo
This exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Cˇsar Paternosto presented an important series of work made during the 1980s which has not been seriously examined. Paternosto, an Argentinean born artist living in New York since 1967, has maintained a commitment to abstract painting for over 30 years. Initially the abstraction in Paternosto's work was inspired by the early European Modernist movements, especially Russian Constructivism. In 1977, Paternosto travelled to Peru, a journey which profoundly changed his work. In Peru, Paternosto found a meaning for the use of abstraction based on the tradition of pre-Columbian art from the Incas. The forms found in Incan stone carvings and weaving were abstract and geometrical.
This basis provided a cultural identification for Paternosto's abstraction which legitimized his continued production of abstract paintings. The palate of the paintings reflects the South American landscape using pigments from the earth which links Paternosto's work to nature. Paternosto's abstracted forms provided a new point of view for his art, an inspiration that abstraction could go beyond formalist concerns to include a broader cultural tradition. For Paternosto, the Peruvian influence was also important in expanding a gendered issue of male art. Because he was exploring weaving, traditionally a "female" art form, Paternosto referred to an ancient cultural tradition that actually included entire communities.
Exhibit Archive | 92-93 Calender