Fernando Sinaga

Galería Oliva Arauna

“Take Brazil Easy” is the title Fernando Sinaga gave this exhibition. Like the title of a previous show, “El desayuno alemán” (The German breakfast, 1986), it is allusive, and tinged with irony. Brazil, the artist has written, “is now the living image of our conflicts, something that compels us to look elsewhere,” where there is nothing to worry about. In reality “Take Brazil Easy” attempts to explore the notion of an ultimate image. The grouping of works in two rooms of the gallery emphasizes the relationship of each individual piece to the others around it; the arrangements attempt to achieve a final image that incorporates not only the harmonies but also the discordant relations among the components. The result is comprised of fragments whose reading is neither linear nor simple. In spite of the “easy” title, Sinaga has opted for the riskiest path. Though the metal sculptures that make up the installation might function autonomously, they are involved in a dialogue in which the plurality of voices is what matters.

It has often been said that Minimalism provided the point of departure for Sinaga’s work, but this artist moves beyond Minimalist protocols, joining reason to instinct, distance with proximity, and regular volumes with irregular surfaces. There is room for chance and the unexpected. This is the origin of Sinaga’s complex formal language—a language associated with the search for knowledge.

The choice and treatment of materials are fundamental to Sinaga’s work. Frequently, more can be expressed through them than through purely formal investigations. An aluminum cone speaks with a different inflection when one part of its surface reveals the effects of oxidation. In some of the pieces, the oxidation produces patterns that approach the pictorial, as in the case of a bronze rectangle with a stain caused by the contractions that occurred at the foundry. Most of the free-standing or wall sculptures are made up of various metals and exploit their different qualities and finishes. Sinaga is interested in the simultaneous actions of diverse processes that allow him to tap concerns that exceed those of mere appearance.

The rational purity of geometric structures is contrasted with formal aspects that are organic, even baroque. The corrugated textures and small imperfections subvert the aluminum’s industrial identity. These works show that Sinaga is not afraid to unveil contradictions. His work exists between these two apparently oppositional gestalts.

Aurora García

Translated from the Spanish by Hanna Hannah.