Durban-Segnini Gallery: Cesar Paternosto

Durban-Segnini Gallery in Coral Gables (Miami) is showing "Cesar Paternosto: Painting and Sculpture, 1970-2008", which opened in November. The gallery is located on a residential and commercial side street, next to a designer plumbing store.

The gallery's small lot was completely full; I figured they must be busy with show preparations or experiencing a sudden spurt of business. Soon after entering, I was greeted by a friendly gallery employee, who politely left me to look around alone for a few minutes. I noticed a small group of people in the open office, lounging and chatting. (This would probably explain the crowded parking lot.)

I found only three paintings and two sculptures by Paternosto, although I'd like to think there were more at the opening. The paintings must be viewed at multiple angles, for the artist utilized three planes of the canvas: front and two sides. Paternosto's unconventional use of gesso and bare canvas as part of the work itself challenges notions that a painting is finished when the entire surface is covered in paint. The paintings acknowledge their objecthood, obtaining a physicality and pushing the limits of the pictorial space. Paternosto, like American artists of his generation, went beyond the confines of painting and sculpture, arriving near the ultimate limit of form.

Later another employee made a polite attempt to assist me but there was a language barrier: she spoke almost no English, and I speak very little Spanish. She called over the first employee to take over again and ask if I was looking for anything special. I said I was an artist and writer interested in Paternosto's work. Realizing I wasn't there to purchase, she gave me a catalog, smiled and briskly walked away while I was in mid sentence, to rejoin the group. Well, it's not a museum after all.

As a result, the information I've gathered on Paternosto is from my visual interpretation, the catalog, and the internet.

Ricardo Martin-Crosa on Paternosto's work, "Las formas del silencio", Confirmado Magazine; Buenos Aires: Agosto, 1978:
"Silence can be the strongest word. Utter void can mean utter fullness. Extreme concentration can attract the highest revelation. An overwhelming charge of references can be erasing and eliminating the discrimination of the signs which express it, reducing it to a perfect, undifferentiated unit which is both container and contents at once. Nobody counts the waves in the sea." [If we are] "waiting for its meanings" [there is another approach which was] "not to ask for its contents. To let ourselves be drawn in, as by a mandala, a point of reference to empty us out inside. After all, who knows whether here silence does not signify itself."

I've added the gallery's link (click on post title), although to date, some of the contents are not current.


Lady Xoc said...

I was preparing some program notes for an upcoming concert of Spanish vocal & instrumental music and came across the following words by the Catalan composer Federico Mompou about his Musica callada (Silent music):

"this music has no air or light. It is a weak heart beat, you cannot ask it to reach more than a few inches into space, but it's mission is to reach the profound depths of our soul and the secret regions of our spirit's spirit. This music is quiet (callada) because one listens to it within. Contained and reserved. It's emotion is secret and only becomes sound from resonance under the cold cape of our society. It is my desire that this music, should bring us closer to the warmth of life, and the expression of the human heart, that is always the same and constantly changing."

Stephanie said...

Mompou's words are moving. One can imagine how deeply moving his Musica Callada must be.
I am not familiar with this composer but you have sparked an interest here.
Thank you for sharing.