Cesar Paternosto

Cesar Paternosto

  • Datos biográficos

    Nació en 1931 en La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Reside en Segovia, España

  • Cesar Paternosto, born in 1931 in the city of La Plata, Argentina, is one of the most relevant Argentinian artists. Paternosta is a prominent name among the practitioners of Latin American geometric abstraction, which is one of the most idiosyncratic contributions made by that part of the world to contemporary art. Over the past five decades, he has developed a highly personal and enthralling synthesis of European abstract and constructivist traditions with pre-Hispanic Amerindian forms. The latest stage of that development can be appreciated at “Painting as Object. Paternosto became internationally well- known in the 1960s with a series of paintings in which he left the front of the canvas empty and placed color on its side edges. “With this gesture, Paternosto restates the meaning of the pictorial work; in a sense, he stops painting,” wrote Argentine critic Ricardo Martín-Crosa in a companion essay to the 1981 artist’s retrospective at Americas Society. By emphasizing the three-dimensional character of the painting, Paternosto forces the viewer to inspect it as if it were a sculpture, in a mode once defined by the artist as “oblique vision.” This “close reading” of the work of art and the dislodgement of the viewer from her conventional placement in front of it constitute a visual and intellectual ascesis, a kind of meditation in movement. In the pivotal year of 1968, Paternosto moved to New York City, where he would remain for almost four decades (in 2003 he moved to Segovia, Spain where he currently lives). In the late 1970s and early ’80s, he embarked on a journey of creative self-discovery through the Andean region of northern Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru, researching the monuments and art objects of the Inca and pre-Inca civilizations. Following the lead of Joaquín Torres García, who in the 1930s started advocating the blending of European and Amerindian geometric forms. In his most recent paintings, color is applied on the sides more sparsely than in the former ones—strong, austere statements of red, blue, yellow, or black against a marbled grey background that covers the whole length of the edges.


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