José Maria Sicilia

Artgrafic / Gallería Joan Prats

A glassy magma deposited over imaginary millennia covers the six canvases that comprise José Maria Sicilia’s most recent show. The cracked and rough appearance of these works suggests the prehistoric formation of the world. In these canvases the still amorphous material seems yet to coalesce into distinct forms and colors. For Sicilia the investigation of origins implies the dissociation of the material from its possible attributes, and yet neutrality of color, and the transformation of chalky grounds into earthier and damper tones paradoxically achieves a certain visual plenitude. At times linear elements insinuate themselves like a kind of geometric specter, lost in an oasis of silence and immovable masses.

This exclusive concentration on the material eruption parallels the artist’s own withdrawal from figuration. The restlessness that is transmitted by these canvases is accompanied by

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 1990 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.