Critics’ Picks

  • Luis Salazar, Contemporary art party mix, 2018–19, oil paint and acrylic on canvas, 84 x 60".

    Luis Salazar, Contemporary art party mix, 2018–19, oil paint and acrylic on canvas, 84 x 60".

    Caracas

    Luis Salazar

    Sala TAC/ Trasnocho Arte Contacto
    Miranda 1060
    July 8–October 30, 2021

    For his ambitious solo exhibition “Art in America,” Luis Salazar journeys through the symbolic representations of art over the past century. In the process, he confronts works, trends, artists, and theorists, appropriating their various visual idioms to respond in a critical, but also affective, language of his own. The gallery is filled with the artist’s recent hybridized riffs on Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the grid paintings of Venezuelan Eugenio Espinoza, andthe monochromes of Steven Parrino, among other subjects. The prevailing theme is the fatuity of art consumption and the historical constructs and derivatives that govern it: collecting, criticism, cultural institutions, art fairs, and, in a nod to the exhibition title, specialized magazines.

    For Salazar, pictorial styles have been reproduced ad nauseam, to the point of becoming almost calligraphic in nature. Icons of modernity have eroded their unique aura in exchange for unlimited popularity. The collapse of this Olympus, in Salazar’s telling, leaves behind the residue of a highly contagious nostalgia. This is not a sublimated critique. On the contrary, it pervades the large-scale diagram Contemporary Art Map Party Mix, 2018–19, as well as 4 kilos de Gego, 1 litro de Cruz-Diez, 6 cucharadas de Alejandro Otero (Four Kilograms of Gego, One Liter of Cruz Diez, Six Teaspoons of Alejandro Otero), 2018-2019, an acrylic on canvas that includes a shopping list of the ingredients necessary to “cook” a work. It would seem that, visually, nothing is off the table for this artist.

    Translated from Spanish by Michele Faguet.