RoFa projects, Potomac
RoFa Projects is a platform to advance the social and cultural awareness of Latin American contemporary art, with emphasis on South and Central America. We work with emerging Latin-American artists who seek to reflect a more experimental concept of the work of art. Our mission is the linking of the artists of Latin America with the international scope.
RoFa projects is presenting five artists: Daniel Batalla, Gustavo Serra, Marcelo Larrosa, Alejandro Pintado, and Santiago Villanueva — sharing content based upon the construction of the works and how this is what gives them their abstract value and conceptual subtlety.
Three of them, Batalla, Serra, and Larrosa, are artists committed closely to the tradition and teachings of constructive art that was developed by the teacher Joaquín Torres García in the early 1930s in Uruguay. To abstract from representation means to rescue the depth of art, which is "in the architecture or construction of the work" (Torres Garcia).
The Torres García Workshop was created as "The School of the South”. It was a workshop and also a collective teaching of art and painting based on Constructive Universalism. Due to the great prominence of its students and followers, the workshop became a Uruguayan artistic movement of reference.
His teachings were based on students discovering the organic structures of reality, applying the principles of pure abstraction proposed by Mondrian and the neoplasticists but without renouncing figuration, the local chromatic, or the iconographic tradition of their country, through the inclusion of schematic drawings, pictograms and easily recognizable symbols of popular culture. Through the implementation of its constructive universalism, he shows to his students the fine arts values that are considered universal: composition, order, structure and symbolic forms. That is why they say that constructive universalism united the avant-garde and tradition.
The quantity of universal symbolic elements immersed in the geometric structures of their canvases and solved with a few linear strokes very close to those drawn by children. Symbols that respond to specific objects (sun, house, clock, fish, sea, woman, etc.) or more complex ideas such as love, time, death, etc. His idea was to express with his art the communion of man with the cosmic order and the search for a universal language. He also had a clear stance of universalism, of no borders, of criticism of the system of coexistence in the United States. Therefore his famous phrase "our north is the south”.
These artists have developed their own style, some of them investigating the urban "graffiti" and providing a semiotic update, but maintaining a careful handling of the line and color, which is based on refined knowledge of the tradition of the Torres-García workshop. Or exploring the boundaries between painting and writing, in favor of the creation of universal signs and symbols. Symbols that bring together, that make flexible and give us an infinite number of possible messages in its constructive universalism.
Batalla gestates works crafted of symbolic languages where each illustrated object and play structures are transformed into ideograms that invite the viewer to completely conceptual interpretations.
Serra reflects, in action painting, large surfaces, almost monochromatic, full of lines, ideas, symbols, geometric structures in motion and planes that invade the pictorial terrain.
In Larrosa the symbol generates structure and vice versa. The artist twists the limits in art and considers letters as forms and texts as images. Letters with their configurations are a visual resource of great rhythm that mixes figure and background, producing an impeccable gestalt.
This plastic making and abstraction referred to ideas rather than things is shared by Alejandro Pintado, Mexican painter and Santiago Villanueva, Spanish sculptor.
Villanueva works with sculptures, which are presented not as endpoints, but as borders. They are rather sinuous, friendly forms of approach and actions captured in the process of transformation, and suggest an inertia of development, will or encouragement. From the duality provided by the language of the senses and the language of matter, the work is defined and constructed. It also links with the intimate experience of the body and the search for an interior portrait with beauty as an essential interlocutor.
The pictorial work of Pintado uses formal and traditional elements in the history of art combined with current techniques, which, from a historical point of view, delve into the purity and elegance of his compositions. Much of his research on the impact of art history on societies and using geometry gives the mathematical explanation for what exists in our societies.
Five artists committed to art, historical times, and the idea of art as a way of life.