The route through the exhibition Convergences/Divergences – Primitive Sources The Modern (Convergencias/Divergencias – Fuentes primitivas de lo moderno) begins with a figurative language. In his work Constructif avec Poisson Ocre (1932), the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres-García painted a cross, a boat, a fish… Each object is a symbol that recalls a story: the fish and the cross are icons of Christianity, the ship recalls the arrival of the European Conquistadores. The figures of the Ye’kwana baskets have the same effect. The monkeys with stars in Mono Tití en cesta dividida represent Yarakuru, the monkey that opened the bag of the messenger the god Wanadi and stole the night and darkened the day.
In the second part, the dialogue is abstract and revolves around the different conceptions of the universe. Modern science invented physico-mathematical calculations to explain natural phenomena. In the work 10 trames 0, 8, 16, 32, 64… (1971), the French artist François Morellet duplicates the previous result to know at what angle to paint the next white line that crosses the black canvas. Ye’kwana artists also restrict their creative process. Their baskets must respect a pattern of shapes and colors that, as if they were mandalas, open the world of these Amazonian indigenous Venezuelans and Brazilians.
In the last room of the exhibition we see how Ye’kwana art and western art are also similar in the use of certain materials. Several modern European and American artists criticized the industrialization of society by creating an art that seeks to approach nature, the essentials. In Shape and Relief (1948), the Uruguayan artist Gonzalo Fonseca used wooden sticks to create figures that he then painted in gray and white. His source of inspiration were tribes like the Ye’kwana.
The exhibition Convergences/Divergences – Primitive Sources The Modern (Convergencias/Divergencias – Fuentes primitivas de lo moderno goes until January 19, 2019.
Juan Carlos Maldonado Art Collection (JCMAC)
Buick Building 3841 NE 2nd Ave. Suite 201
Miami, FL, 33137
Tuesday and Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Photos and text by Cristina Esguerra, Colombian cultural journalist.