THE IMPROPER SQUARE

the Days at the Museum series

The boldest attempts have multiplied since Barnet Newman decided to redefine the act of the painting’s spectator. Roger Toledo is betting on a painting not only to be seen but to be lived and contemplated with and beyond the square. Thereby, the centenary practice of copying paintings at the museum turns into an apprenticeship of the creation, and in creation from the apprenticeship. However, these paintings created from paintings of the Cubancollection at the Fine Arts Museum shouldn’t be considered independent abstractions of the chosen piece, which valid but impoverishes its meaning. Its greater quality lies on the act of dialoguing with the painting hanging on the wall, that we might recall, or maybe have never seen. In every creative process, there is a personal experience present in the piece of art and another one that stays part of the artist’s patrimony, non-transferable. The narcissism of the contemporary artist is often evidenced in this submerged area, not bright often, detached from the communication act. But the true artist is always devoted even if he doesn’t want to, although keeping the best for himself and draws our attention to that impenetrable exclusivity. A discernible profit comes true in these squares: it captures the use of color in the original paintings, including the brushstroke. While going beyond the reconstruction of the original tonal atmosphere, the colors of the paintings, mostly figurative and even traditional, are deconstructed, amplified and varied in a square made up by twenty five little squares of twenty five centimeters each. We are before a rare cognitive scene. The square inside the square, the odd number inside the even, the square setting the space and the figure throwing it to the infinity. This young artist has been dealing for years with the properties of the space translated into mathematics, aware of the fact that this structural science allows us to see what needs to be seen, that magnificence of the obvious the art has always shown and acknowledged, capable of honoring the discipline and order from the freedom and justice. This fixation in an always changing way, never rigid, even blurred or precarious, bestows on the piece the undulating and lively unit of a theme with variations: the light inhabiting the space by the color. The result is far from the alleged coldness of science. Ludic warmth goes over the series, a fresh joy of respectfully and lovingly taking over what belongs to it, heir of the physical and intellectual light of the universal homeland, from the authority of the square as evidence of justice.

EL CUADRADO IMPROPIO the Days at the Museum series

Rafael Almanza, January 2012.