ADRIANA ZAPISEK, IN SEARCH OF THE SUBLIME

ADRIANA ZAPISEK, IN SEARCH OF THE SUBLIME

Text published in the catalogue
ADRIANA ZAPISEK, BUSCANDO LO SUBLIME
Madrid, 2020: Casa de Vacas, Ayuntamiento de Madrid.

 

ADRIANA ZAPISEK, IN SEARCH OF THE SUBLIME

Alfonso de la Torre

 

(…) A plastic and aesthetic form that elevates us. Makes the imagination fly (…)1.
Adriana Zapisek, 1985

The visible appeals to the invisible2.
Adriana Zapisek, 2011

Search for perfection (…) the persecution of that pure visual language3.
Eduardo Mac Entyre, 1985

 

TRADUCCIÓN: TransCreat Language Solutions

 

Always after a conceptual accentuation where creative tension plays an essential role, the original work of Adriana Zapisek (Buenos Aires, 1949), with its orderly appearance, appears before us with a perplexity and vertigo that distils the apparently simple. An artist who continuously explores space, a creator seized by a geometric derivative that incites the new points of view that resemble her work. On occasions, this becomes genuine intoxication through frequent, tenacious analysis of shapes to extenuation, continuous work, often created in series. Zapisek started exhibiting more than 30 years ago4 in a fertile ground for abstraction. Argentina, her country of origin, a land known to be extraordinarily fond of abstract art, particularly of the geometric and normative ilk. There was something symbolic in the MADÍ utopia that predated her activity5 and led some critics to underline its “American magnitudes”6. At this point, it is significant to note that her family on her mother’s side is of Italian extraction, from close to the homeland of “Abstraction-Création”7, the extraterritorial Juan Del Prete8.

Therefore, it is no surprise, that right from the start and throughout her career, that the terms “geometry” and “generation” (of forms) have often been used to analyse Zapisek’s work9. The former does not apply to her in the broadest sense without further specification since, as we will see, her geometry carries a world of its own, or perhaps we should say that her work is the result of a measured concept of composition and pictorial form, which requires careful specification. In fact, as a teaser, it is fair to say that when observing more than three decades of Zapisek’s work, what clearly stands out is that she has had an extremely coherent career, performing a task that rather than promoting vain assertions has been marked by questions. Perhaps a good example is that she called one of her paintings from the eighties “Tensiones” (1984) and that her main works pose questions about creation and the autonomy of images. Therefore, her work should be considered in cycles that coincide with moments in life and thoughts. “Feelings” is the title of a series she created in the mid-eighties, with a persistent approach – sometimes with variations – to the idea behind the series. These different cycles always feature sensitive geometry and are sometimes more deeply rooted in an analysis triggered by the mysterious transmuted nature of shapes rather than a formalistic revision of rigorous geometric possibilities, presenting stronger, more autonomous images to the tremor of the world. The titles of series like the auroral “Eos” (1992-1993); “Gemas” (1991) and “Luces del Mediterraneo” (2010), return her painting to the mysterious echoes of nature evoked by Klee, his musical geometries, while the beautiful book by Novalis illustrated by the painter from Berne, “The Novices of Sais”10, praises crystal as a living geometry and, according to the artist’s explanation, “Gemas” are closed structures that spin on their own axis in space”11.
This investigation into space leads Zapisek to deconstruct the real world by subjecting it to intensely different visions of her visual poetry, communicating a strong sensual imprint12 that governs the emerging images, ways of understanding her cycles based on suggestions evoked by: “El Cantar de los Cantares” (2000); “Óperas” (2001- 2002) and “Cuentos y leyendas polacas-Polska” (2007-2008). Evoking these tales, Zapisek joins other female artists whose creations are based on the stories they have heard, sometimes through the air, as narratives whispered in their ears, stories hidden in a twist in the world – I am thinking now of Siri Dekert and Farideh Lasai – listening to stories of those who told me the stories. The stories that caressed our ears, evoking the work of Fatima Mernissi, “Dreams of Trespass – Tales of a Harem Girlhood (1994)”, her link with “One Thousand and One Nights”. Like Farideh, Zapisek returns stories to the world, and like she who would write, “Here I am, I have everything stored inside me”13. Another series, which we might classify as metavisual, guides us toward pure images that reveal her true extraction as a painter and govern the extraordinary sense of reflection in her construction. This is the key to understanding “Núcleos Ikonos” (2014) and “Ensamble” (2016) which, the artist explains, are “the fruit of my deep research into form, composition, harmony, colour and movement of the pictorial. These works are the matrices of my subsequent ‘Vertientes’” series”14.

Zapisek carefully makes paintings on canvas with oil or acrylic, sometimes using an airbrush and, in our times, opting for complex mixed techniques or moving towards disturbing digital prints. At the same time, mysterious monotypes, with titles that remind of us of the itinerant nature of the outside world, must be evoked, such as “Paisaje” and “Mar”, “Viaje Interior”, “Profundo”. Seemingly transfixed, like other artists, by a vision imbued with nature – I am thinking of some silent creators whom she admires – Mondrian and Ben Nicholson15, for example, whether with acrylic or with the airbrush technique mentioned, since both these possibilities work. Diéguez Videla established a formal mode of organicist air and diffuse limits, “floating masses “16, which do not prevent her from creating emphatic images with a sometimes impalpable air, that forces us to remember their concomitances with some areas of the painting of colour fields in abstract classicism, with the painting called “Hard-Edge”. She is a rigorous, restless artist, gazing at the mysteries of sight, investigating the nature of the image, its construction or existence, and the displacement that the phenomena of the creation of these images towards those who contemplate them 17. While we should mention that the different pictorial moments that have occurred over these three decades are well understood, they are inevitably related to her current work, despite temporal distances. At this point, it is worth remembering what we sometimes say about style. That is, that a single way of understanding art need not result in a single way of making it18, a fact once explained by Fernando Zóbel19 in an unparalleled text. Avoiding new reiterations, we conclude that Zapisek’s doing is a consequence of her style of thinking20, which in her words, “seems to me not only to have style, but a lot of style”. What happens is that people often confuse a particular technique – a certain way of using materials – with style (…) it is not a style of doing, rather a style of thinking. Her “doing” is a consequence of her style of thinking, and to do it, she uses a wide variety of techniques, from the most traditional to the most original and surprising.

I would go so far as to say (although I may be exaggerating slightly) that, every time the need to make a work arises, she invents a technique. Her concepts change, and with them her techniques. What does not change is the mental process (a mental process expressed in visual terms, of course). The mental process is the style (…) it is a clear, subtle, sharp, elliptical, daring, sensual and extraordinarily intelligent style. Once recognised, it is unmistakable.” It is like “looking around and then thinking about what you see and communicating the result. The doubts and concerns that all this entails (…) lie in a single way of understanding art, which need not materialise in a single form of making it”21.

 

GENERATION OF FORMS: THE AGITATION OF LIFE

Having observed her particular approach to geometry22, considering the generation of forms that, once created and often curved, develop, transform or mutate, still applied with relevance, as does the fact that the research happens in good logic through the referred successive cycles which are sometimes also generative cycles within. That is to say, one group of works leads to a new sequence, as we see in her “Núcleos Ikonos” (2014) series23 which, in the artist’s words, is the “matrix” of its successor, “Vertientes”.

In the Spanish context, “generation of forms” invites consideration of Pablo Palazuelo’s works because, as him, Zapisek exerts a perpetual search for the generation of shapes that seem to want to rest, generated by the turbulence of space. Space is a refuge and, as he wrote, “thus, deprived of rest, the idea of space seems to seek the infinite of the august presence (refuge) incessantly, moving in the infinite interior of human powerlessness obsessed by a vision, sometimes agitated and other times weak, always disconsolately directed, in vain, towards the unlimited”24. In its agitation, art also suggests oblivion and hopes for a new beginning: it is “the new life” about which the artist would write, mentioning the mythological river that leads to oblivion: Life is a dream. In somnus est morte / In somnus est vita nova / Lethe-olvido”25. Dreams, dreams…, dream the kleeianas lines, Zapisek’s paintings dream through the lethargic and energetic titles in her series26, now evoking paintings presented in her early exhibitions in which I see some dream of flight27. as William G. Russell said28 , Zapisek used the titles “Fuga”, “Vuelo”, “Alas”, “Energía”, “Acento Luminoso” and “Sensaciones en el infinito” to express the symbolic nature of dreams and visions, their existence, and their meaning. The generation of forms refers to another basic concept, “lineaje” (a combination of the words line + lineage). Rather than being discovered, shapes reveal agitated life, their “lineaje”, the continuous generation of shapes in others, so that the resulting image conserves the “lineaje” of the original form in its pictorial blood, now transmuted yet still holding the memory of its predecessor.

When evoking her first exhibition in 1985, Zapisek needed to approach geometry, always imbuing it with sensitivity. Art makes us feel things that we could otherwise not perceive (…) everything around us is pure geometry. The only thing we must do is move it to a plane and make a plastic and aesthetic form that elevates us, to make the imagination fly (…)”29. It was no surprise, therefore, that her teacher, the active, activist and energetic Eduardo Mac Entyre30 , referred to a spatial search in that same publication, where “forms and dynamism are conjugated in the search for perfection (…) the pursuit of that pure visual language31”. Of course, Mac Entyre had been an essential artist in the development of the post-war arts in Argentina. He would also become a key figure in artistic growth and a proponent of Zapisek’s work, a student of Concrete Art, Bauhaus, Max Bill and Vantongerloo. He made what was known as generative art, whose manifesto32 was an aesthetic current that flowed in Buenos Aires in the nineteen-sixties and was inherited so enthusiastically by Zapisek33. At this point, it is important to stress that throughout her career our artist would be accompanied by the critical reflections of core intellectuals from Argentinean plastic modernity. I would add Rafael Squirru and Albino Diéguez Videla, two more frequent followers who would colour her work with success, as we will see, to Mac Entyre.
“Generative”, Mac Entyre and Diéguez would write of the strength and energy of shapes since that term is “that which has the virtue of engendering”, that is to say: “to procreate, to propagate one’s species, to cause, to occasion, to form”, a line or image capable of originating, with dynamism, a new form, a life, in their words “projective”, capable of producing “the sensation of entering and leaving, they break with the basic plane again, they do not stay adhered to a flat surface only. They swell and contract; they GENERATE progressively, they spin and vibrate, they rotate in their own way and vibrate when they collide.
They produce contrast and chiaroscuro, take on a new type of life, a unique identity in space”34. In Pirovano’s words distilled from Vantongerloo, the seed of that manifesto, ‘to engender new forms, to reflect the generative process, the phenomena that provoke it and these same phenomena in movement, evolving in continuous transformation” 35.

The issue of the extension of generative prompts us to mention, in our context, the experience of the Calculus Center of the University of Madrid (CCUM), whose central Seminar in 1968, referred to the Automatic Generation of Plastic Forms36. Reliable evidence of this would be the “adoption” of Mac Entyre in the “Encounters” of Pamplona (1972)37, where she participated in one of the relevant exhibitions on the subject: “Automatic generation of plastic and sound forms”38. There was Mac Entyre with the most advanced culture of his time in the world, and the key figures were the assistant John Cage, and David Tudor.
The generative art proposed in Mac Entyre’s manifesto included another matter of significance: the meeting of aesthetics and ethics, as a way of being39. This would continue to occupy Zapisek’s career, thinking of the title of one of her exhibitions in 201140.

Of course, at this juncture, it is important to point out that some of MADÍ’s values, a group officially created in Buenos Aires in 1946 which made a significant contribution from Uruguayan artistic ideology, have survived, and it is fair to say that Zapisek is contextualised by geometric ancestors captured by the poetry of forms41. Therefore, the manual aspect of her achievements42, the playful relationship with space43; the defence of meditated invention evoking the impulse and, also, the separation from other representative movements of the twentieth century such as realism and symbolism, would finally leave the image “free”, as the MADI would write. Furthermore, the rejection of expressionism and automatism (and in many of her writings there are Ludus alongside certain irrational air), also show a distancing from surrealism, which might be described as hindering44 and ancient45. It was a creative and cerebral process, they would say, frequently playing with terminological amphibology46 during its development, its habitual elevating character of contradiction, pleasure in the presentation of opposites. They were highly suggestive in their uninhibited journey through history, rejecting rules while permanently exhaling models to be built, claiming extreme invention while alluding to past figures such as Gropius, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Pevsner47. Learning of the imminent arrival of MADÍ in Paris, one understands the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV), and with it the internationalisation of shaped canvas and its American vindication. In MADÍ, it was also common to create a multidimensional space using the perspective and dynamism adopted by Zapisek, since hers is also a kinetic telos that questions the plane or composition through a dynamic encounter, advocating for painting and superimposition as an essential creative form48.

 

REAL POETRY AND CONSCIENCE

Another essential figure who critically followed Zapisek’s work throughout her career was Rafael Squirru49, who also wrote one of the first texts about the artist where, from the defence of a poetic intuition, he asserted the essential importance of the spirit in Zapisek’s forms. “The artist succeeds in making colour vibrate with extraordinary power and a crystal-clear clarity that is seldom diminished. It is this purity of tones and ranges that surprises (…) these are interiorised colours (…)” 50.

Thus, her painting, with that strong poetic imprint that often emerges from catharsis – in her words – from stimulation of the artist’s imagination51 by reading poetry or texts with deep lyrical meaning. She has sometimes quoted Wislawa Szymborska52, from Poland. She has also been inspired by the culture of humanity, biblical passages like those in “The Song of Songs” after which she named one of her heartfelt, exciting series, coinciding with other paintings to which Paul Klee would dedicate this work53 created after distilled pain in “La Mirada de Dios”, or inspired by musical evocations, such as the case mentioned above of “Feelings” and, ultimately, rooted in the timeless memory of her ancestral Polish childhood54.

 

Delicate sky and iridescent plaything of true poetry, the conscience as a series of sprinkled sparkles, this artist seems to explore the possibilities of an optical alphabet imbued with the fragility of the appearances that she constructs, deconstructs and proposes to reconstruct in a new-another reality where colour, constructive colour55, is a capital element, a colour wielded with an extraordinary show of force. Poetry and conscience, a world of the representation in question, questions posed by Zapisek on the dimensions of space, a true reality which, once transformed, draws a poetic perspective, a radiance, a state of thought. Space changed when images emerge and are disrupted, causing a commotion, which is transferred to the observer. Zapisek’s work becomes a true perceptive experience, often appreciated in her creation because of the dialogue between the work and the essential sense of its discourse, using geometrical forms endowed with an extraordinarily complex tension56: questions about creation itself, structure, the position of forms in the world, the poetic power of repetition, variations, meetings of opposites, questions about time, structuring of optical surfaces and continuous transformation. Thus, it is evident that Adriana Zapisek sets out to question through her own eyes, through ideas inherited from the images, even when proof of reality sends her back to a space populated with images that convert the place into a universe flooded by an invisible light found with the energetic shadow57. Meanwhile, the energy produced remains erect, that extraordinary power talked about by Squirru58, or “an instinctive inner force, an element rarely found in geometrics” now, according to Diéguez59, Zapisek reverses traditional visual processes by transfiguring space, to signify a “beyond” that appeals less to the eye than to the spirit, hence the artist’s insistence on sensitive factors. Questioning the idea of painting, escaping from the limits crossed by the history of the art of our time, her task has been to articulate a strategy of secret signs, a space that burns in the sense of tense calm, a place which, like a cut through the visible, elevates the artist’s time, and also other times.

 

Maternal memory, in the series “Óperas”, in her words: “is my small, humble homage to my dear Mother, who was born in Italy and emigrated to Argentina with my Polish father after the Second World War. Flora, my mother, adored the opera and had a beautiful mezzo-soprano singing voice. She had an enormous repertoire which she knew by heart, and I would listen and hum along to accompany her. I was brought up (an only child) listening to Beniamino Gigli, Maria Callas, Tito Schipa and the Oberek, polkas and studies of Chopin by my Polish father” 60. Now the right question: “Is what we see the way we see it, or is it as Adriana Zapisek insinuates it is?”61. And if the image burns – as happens for example in Zapidek’s series above, it is true, Rilke would write, and Didi-Huberman would recall, quoting Benjamin: “The truth […] does not appear in the revelation, rather in a process that we might analogically designate as the burning of the veil […], a fire of the work, where it reaches its greatest level of light”62. At this point, it does not seem strange that Squirru would also refer to the orientalised air of the painter’s work, stressing that she belongs to a category of artists that understand and practice this important illumination. Albino Diéguez Vileda also refers to this when he talks about “the illuminated mind of Zapisek”, whose works “do not hide a very strict staging, sustained by the clear background-form relationship”63, which is what Squirru called “her clinching strength”64. This critic, one of the most avid followers of Zapisek’s work, also mentions the metaphysical and mystical nature of her painting65, as Diéguez would also do66.

The history of art gives secular representation to pain and death. Why refuse to enter the house of pain?”, said Dante. “Why deny pain entrance to the house of art?” Because pain can also be cathartic memory. According to our artist, when talking about her “La Mirada de Dios” cycle (1995): “It was the most heartfelt and painful series I have made in my life because I had been through three years of devastating losses, among them the passing of my dear father. So, I read the Bible again after many years, to summon my strength and overcome those sad times and used catharsis in this series. I worked with the sole three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Catholicism and Islam, as well as some philosophies – Hinduism and Buddhism, for example,”67. Beauty is no more than the start of the terrible, Rilke sang, and Zapisek would transmute this in her “Vuelos” series (2004-2018).

A lesson from the nearby abyss, incidentally, from the praise of violence sung by Kafka, since pain is also illuminating: “War, as well as burning and tearing the world apart, has also illuminated it”. Flower of evil, pain sensed by Baudelaire as a new beauty capable of bringing together heaven and abyss, splendour, and hell, sunset or sky. Zapisek creates images that emerge from the impressions left by the events of our time, which she underlines in the title with the date and place: New York, Baghdad, London, Barcelona or Madrid, are the places where the horror was on display, she would point out: “I reflect the bloody events that have taken place in our world since 2000 (…) I worked on the impact that these events had on me at the time “68.

Solitude and silence. An artist paints, creating a world, while another world, the real one, fades away. Recently, our artist has been contemplating the “Vertientes” cycle, a repertoire of extraordinary images that she often produces using digital printing. The result might be described as a mysterious intermediate realm, a remarkable ensemble where shapes seem to pulsate before the viewer’s eyes, the series predominated by an almost oriental air. I am thinking now of the moving image evoking ancient heraldry, thinking of her “Family tondo” (2015). Zapisek assumes that to paint is to establish an autonomous system of structural relations, elevating her paintings into what might be called the territory of energy through constant research and interrogation of the formal relationships built in space. Hers is an interiorised experience with a certain supernatural character, which causes her to speak of her intention to awaken “something sublime within (…) the visible appeals to the invisible”69, reminds us from a lineage where we see kleeiana, festivals of shapes, she would write in homage to the painter from Berne70—painting as intense formal exercises where Adriana reflects on the process that affects the formation of the aesthetic object and its formal problems, the desire to capture the fleeting71. This thought leads to a reflection on structural interstices, on how there is a space between the image created and the viewer. We know that the result of this decision is the artistic image, a form open to interpretation, inconclusive in the world. “We live in a world of enigmas”, space is mysterious: said Henri Michaux72, crestfallen, the meanderings of his imagination converted into little Kleeian squares. Many of Zapisek’s mysterious drawings, paintings and prints have this immemorial air, born of a powerful impression, evoking places, musical moments, legends of the Polish fatherland, sensations from a landscape that moved her, also evoking emerging shapes in the darkness, bearers of singular, luminescent energy arguing in the dark, interrogating each other through the extension of shapes, in the strange, invisible certain where numbers and energy glow. A journey from the mysterious, visible world on a Nabokovian flying carpet, palpitating signs, images of the natural world, seem to evoke Georgia O’Keefe carnescent plants and, as well as this evocation of plants, other shapes seem to fluctuate like water or the atmosphere, on a path between the compact and the fluid, reminiscent Klee’s statement who remarks on art’s capacity for mystery. “Certain things pass below our feet; some regions are subject to other laws, require new symbols (…) the intermediate kingdom of the atmosphere, where its more irritating brother, water, holds out his hand and intertwines so that will can reach the great cosmic space in an instant”73.
Among the repertoire of the visible, the flight of the imagination in search of the sublime, as Zapisek says74.

 

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N O T E S  TO  THE  T E X T

1 ZAPISEK, Adriana. Text (“El arte nos hace sentir cosas”). Buenos Aires: Fundación Banco Patricios, 1985.

2 ZAPISEK, Adriana. Pensamientos sobre mi obra. Madrid: Colegio Mayor Argentino Nuestra Señora de Luján, 2011

3 MAC ENTYRE, Eduardo. Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: Fundación Banco Patricios, 1985.

4 Fundación Banco Patricios, Adriana Zapisek. Pinturas, Buenos Aires, 3 October-18 October 1985. The first painting in the exhibition is dated 1984.

5 Vid. In this respect: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Universo (y universalismo) MADÍ (A la poética conquista del espacio). Caracas-Madrid: Galería Odalys, 2019.

6 POCIELLO, Teresa. Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: “Oil and marble. Periódico nacional e internacional de las artes plásticas”, Año 1, nº 1, V/1986.

7 Del Prete collaborated in no. 2 of the journal-workbook. Paris: Imprimerie de Montmartre, 1933, il. b/n p. 7

8 Juan del Prete (Vasto, Chieti, 1897-Buenos Aires, 1987). “If we then quote certain names from the literary avant-garde, extremely fertile, isolated experiences can also be added in Argentina such as those of Esteban Lisa, Juan del Prete, Xul Solar and Emilio Pettoruti,” we wrote in: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Universo (y universalismo) MADÍ (A la poética conquista del espacio). Op. cit. p. 15. Also quoted by: SQUIRRU, Rafael. La pintura geométrica de Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: “La Nación-Bellas Artes”, 10/I/1987. In this article, Squirru explores Zapisek’s admiration for the work of Picasso: “And from that time on she chose the road to modernity”. Ibid.

9 Galería Estudio de Arte, Proyección del arte generativo, Buenos Aires, 1984. And, regarding geometry: Espacio de Arte-Galería Trench, Arte geométrico, Buenos Aires, 1984; Acervo Art studio, Pintores geométricos, 1984; Banco Patricios, Arte geométrico, Buenos Aires, 1985.

10 NOVALIS. The Novices of Sais. New York: Curt Valentin Ed., 1949 (Preface by Stephen Spender. Translated from German by Ralph Manheim. Illustrated with sixty drawings by Paul Klee. Frontispiece by André Masson. The relationship between Zapisek’s compositions with crystal was remembered by FACCARO, Rosa. Adriana Zapisek. Meridianos. Buenos Aires: “Clarín”, 28/VII/1990. Also by SQUIRRU, Rafael. Lucidez y fuerza creativa en la obra de Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: “La Nación”, 24/II/1990.

11 Conversation between the artist and this author (24/I/2020).
12 Also in SQUIRRU, Rafael. Lucidez y fuerza creativa en la obra de Adriana Zapisek. Op. cit.

13 MARTÍNEZ DE AGUILAR, Ana. Farideh Lashai: he custodiado cada cosa dentro de mí. Madrid: Museo del Prado, 2018.

14 Conversation between the artist and this author (24/I/2020).

15 The subject of fascination with nature and contemporary art is dealt with by: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Nicholson y Rueda. Frente al Mar [Ben Nicholson-Gerardo Rueda. Confluencias]. Madrid: Galería Leandro Navarro, 2013.

16 “The floating masses – in their abstract geometry – seen to overcome the surface and evoke primitive images taken from a world on the brink of being forgotten (…)”. DIÉGUEZ VIDELA, Albino. La irrebatible fuerza de la verdad. Buenos Aires: Galería Van Riel, 1989. Printed in: Warsaw: Galeria Zapiecek, 1994.

17 This subject is referenced in: SQUIRRU, Rafael. Lucidez y fuerza creativa en la obra de Adriana Zapisek. Op. cit.: “(…) leading our gaze beyond the limits of the picture; means this invades the surrounding space (…)”.

18 En Gustavo Torner. Escritos y conversaciones. Valencia: Pretextos, 1996, page 119.

19 ZÓBEL, Fernando. Pensando en Gustavo Torner. En: Torner. Madrid: Ediciones Rayuela, Colección Poliedro, 1978, pages. 3-6.
20 Ibid.

21 In Gustavo Torner. Escritos y conversaciones. Op. cit. page 119.

22 “The great fields of colour follow the pace of compositions, where curves and straight lines play with a precision that we are bold enough to classify as mathematical”. SQUIRRU, Rafael. Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: Galería Federico Ursomarzo, 1986.

23 “It is the fruit of my deep investigation into the shape, composition, harmony, colour and movement of my pictorial images. These works are the matrices of my subsequent ‘Vertientes’” series, in that the last Works I have done are about the “deconstruction” of my “Nuclei” and their new construction with digital techniques, reusing fragments but from another optic and point of view. Therefore, the path to the reconstruction of new, digitalised Works is infinite”. Conversation between the artist and this author (24/I/2020).

24 Pablo Palazuelo, “Cuaderno de Paris”, 1953. Unpublished. Courtesy of the Fundación Pablo Palazuelo.

25 Pablo Palazuelo, “Cuaderno marrón”, c. 1961-1963. Unpublished. Courtesy of the Fundación Pablo Palazuelo. This subject, as we saw, “forgotten” was quoted by DIÉGUEZ VIDELA, Albino. La irrebatible fuerza de la verdad. Op. cit.26

These are some of her serial cycles in chronological order: Feelings: Gemas: Eos; The Song of Songs; Óperas; Cuentos y leyendas polacas-Polska; Luces del Mediterráneo: Núcleos Ikonos and Ensamble.

27 “STRENGTH, because in truth they do it because they want to produce the sensation of taking off and want to penetrate the basic plane and ENERGY because they are produced in their displacements and vibrations”, was written in “Manifiesto Arte Generativo” (1959), To which we refer. Chierico would also write: “(…) protagonism of the straight line that (…) calls the metaphor of flight”. CHIERICO, Osiris. Adriana Zapisek (“Siempre se me ocurre pensar”). Buenos Aires: Galería Pozzi, 1988.

28 “Nous inférons cela du fait que le rêve et la vision assument parfois un caractère symbolique et une signification qui nous est personnelle. Ils nous disent nettement : “Pour toi seul nous existons”, et nous ne saurions concevoir ce qui est vu comme étant le reflet de quelque chose qui vivrait dans une autre sphère”. RUSSELL, George William. L’architecture du rêve. Paris: “Derrière le miroir”, nº 104, Maeght Éditeur, 1958.

29 ZAPISEK, Adriana. Text (“El arte nos hace sentir cosas”). Op. cit.

30 Buenos Aires, 1929-2014. Regarding the influence of Mac Entyre, vid.: “a choice which, beyond what it meant as an affirmation of initial recognition of one’s reality, served to clarify ideas, open up possibilities, stimulate a personal vision of the problem, steer towards the discovery of a plastic grammar that would visually define one’s objectives and reléase it at exactly the right moment. CHIERICO, Osiris. Adriana Zapisek (“Siempre se me ocurre pensar”). Op. cit.

31 MAC ENTYRE, Eduardo. Adriana Zapisek. Op. cit..

32 Eduardo Mac Entyre and Miguel Ángel Vidal, “Manifiesto Arte Generativo” [1959] in: Arte Generativo, cat. exp. Buenos Aires, Galería Peuser, 1960, upper case in the original. They took the name from an essay by Ignacio Pirovano (1909-1980) on the work of Georges Vantongerloo, referred to later on. His influence derived toward new geometric, kinetic, and optical currents.

33 Specific reference to this influence is made in: SQUIRRU, Rafael. Adriana Zapisek, strength, and delicacy. Buenos Aires: American Women’s Club, 1990.

34 The quotes in this paragraph are taken from: Eduardo Mac Entyre and Miguel Ángel Vidal, “Manifiesto Arte Generativo” [1959]. Op. cit.

35 PIROVANO, Ignacio. Georges Vantongerloo (1886-1965) the great Belgian creator of our time. Buenos Aires: 1965. Continuing: “meditating on these proposals by Vantongerloo capable of generating beauty in itself instead of taking as the existing themes or motifs, shapes already generated, already formed, when I returned from Europe in 1950 I proposed calling upon “generative art” that should be created following these motivations, this virgin field which Vantongerloo is one of the first to venture to explore”.

36 The Calculus Centre of the University of Madrid (CCUM) was formally created on 13/I/1966 and officially inaugurated on 7/III/1969, although by 1968 it had organised its first “Seminar on Automatic Generation of Plastic Forms” (18/XII/1968). I think that, in a way, all this background must be connected with the Doctorate in Fine Arts of one of its members, José María Yturralde, who applied to the term “generation” to Adriana: “A proposal of a systematic generation of compositional structures” (1986).

37 They were organised by José Luis Alexanco and Luis de Pablo, with the same date as the exhibition quoted in the next note.

38 Pamplona Meetings (Hotel Tres Reyes), Generación automática de formas plásticas y sonoras, Pamplona, 26 June – 3 July 1972.

39 MAC ENTYRE, Eduardo. Proyección del arte generativo. Buenos Aires: Estudio de Arte, 1984: “Aesthetics and ethics are perfectly conjugated in a manifestation of totality, one perceives the unity”, Ibid.

40 Colegio Mayor Argentino Nuestra Señora de Luján, Adriana Zapisek-Arte generativo, Madrid, 4-18 Octubre 2011.

41 A good contextualisation is that of: FACCARO, Rosa. Pintura constructiva. Dos generaciones. Buenos Aires: “Clarín”, 28/IV/1990.

42 Zapisek does it even keeping the appearance of a drawing when she sometimes works with photographic media.

43 “True festivals of shapes and colours that seem to dance to the beat of music full of life and joy that springs from the depths”. SQUIRRU, Rafael. La pintura geométrica de Adriana Zapisek. Op. cit.

44 TORRES-GARCÍA. Joaquín. Con respecto a una futura creación literaria. Buenos Aires: “Arturo”, nº 1, Verano 1944, p. 36.

45 The latter appears in the second issue of the MADÍ magazine (X/1948).

46 In Ibid.

47 In Ibid., mention of Max Bill, Herbin, Kupka and Magnelli, also reproduced in the third issue (X/1949), among others, they would continue in other issues, seemingly a Parisian influence.

48 I am referring to the article by this author, “Un aspecto de la superposición”, in the second issue of MADI (X/1948).

49 1925-2016, was the creator of the Buenos Aires Modern Art Museum (Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires – MAMBA), 1956. He wrote numerous critiques and reflections on Zapisek between 1987 and 2004.

50 SQUIRRU, Rafael. Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: Galería Federico Ursomarzo. Op. cit.

51 “I continued re-reading the Bible, and I went to the King Salomon’s Psalms, which I found fascinating, and it opened my imagination again to read such beautiful poems dedicated to love and Sulamita’s beauty”. Conversation between the artist and this author (24/I/2020).

52 This is the case of the cycle with the same name as Szymborska’s poem, “Amor a primera vista” (2012), included in “Fin y principio” (1993). Conversation between the artist and this author (24/I/2020).
53 Around 1921 Klee made two pictures with writing, whose text came from a version that his father, Hans Klee, made of “The Song of Songs”: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you!”. Paintings “Nº 142.1ª Version” and “Nº 179-2º Version”

54 “Of course, I also made a humble tribute to my Polish father by capturing some Polish legends and stories that grandmothers told their grandchildren during those long Slavic winter afternoons and nights”. Conversation between the artist and this author (24/I/2020).

55 DIÉGUEZ VIDELA, Albino. El color constructivo de Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: “La Prensa-Suplemento dominical”, 27/IV/1986.

56 In this she would insist: MASTROMAURO, Osvaldo. Zapisek: ‘Traslaciones’. Junín: “La Verdad- Sección Artes & Oficios”, 16/VII/1995, p. 3: “Her textures, which alter possible visual itineraries, refer to greater tension in the pictorial matter”.

57 “In upward progress to angular colour as in photoemission of light or shadow”. POCIELLO, Teresa. Adriana Zapisek. Op. cit.

58 This matter is also explored in: SQUIRRU, Rafael. La gracia poderosa de Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: “La Nación”, 28/VII/1990, referring to “unites grace and power”. This would be repeated in: Ayer y hoy, potencia y calidad. Buenos Aires: “La Nación”, 17/VI/1995, remarking: “the word that comes to mind, evoking their images is ‘power”.

59 DIÉGUEZ VIDELA, Albino. El color constructivo de Adriana Zapisek. Op. cit.

60 Conversation between the artist and this author (24/I/2020).
61 DIÉGUEZ VIDELA, Albino. El arte generativo de Adriana Zapisek. Buenos Aires: “La Prensa- Suplemento Cultural”, 22/X/1989.

62 BENJAMIN, Walter. Origine du drame baroque allemand (1928). Paris: Flammarion, 1985, p. 28.
63 DIÉGUEZ VIDELA, Albino. La irrebatible fuerza de la verdad. Op. cit.

64 SQUIRRU, Rafael. Adriana Zapisek. Beijing: Galería Wang Fu- Embassy of the Republic of Argentina, 1995.

65 “Adriana Zapisek is a restless and at the same time kinetic spirit, which leads her to move not only in the physical space (…) but also in the metaphysical space (…) As she progresses within, Adriana introduces new elements, of mystical inspiration that she manages to integrate into the plane with great effort, which is the cable to earth that the painter must not abandon”. SQUIRRU, Rafael. Adriana Zapisek, una lucha que brinda la paz. Buenos Aires: Galería Arroyo, 1997.

66 DIÉGUEZ VIDELA, Albino. El color constructivo de Adriana Zapisek. Op. cit.

67 Conversation between the artist and this author (23/I/2020). “It was at that time, in 1995, when I took up reading the Bible again, unconsciously, like one who embraces a table of salvation, and that is how this series came to be so dear to me. I plunged in and studied the three monotheistic religions of the planet: Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim (in order of appearance) and also some philosophies such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Reading them helped me to rediscover the axis that I had lost in those years of suffering. This series was followed by the series “The Song of Songs”, also inspired by the Bible and the Shulamite style. Psalms of King Solomon. Beautiful erotic Psalms”. Conversation between the artist and this author (10/V//2020).

68 Conversation between the artist and this author (2/IV//2020).

69 ZAPISEK, Adriana. Pensamientos sobre mi obra. Op. cit.

70 SQUIRRU, Rafael. La pintura geométrica de Adriana Zapisek. Op. cit. Regarding her interest in dance, she refers to this in some words found in: AAVV. Warna kontras dari Adriana, Dandung dan Trip. Minggu: “Bisnis”, X/1995. On the musicality of paint, vid. also: GENÉ, Enrique. At Galería Forma. Buenos Aires: “Arte al Día”, year XI, nº 95, XII/2001.

71 ZAPISEK, Adriana. Pensamientos sobre mi obra. Op. cit.

72 MICHAUX, Henri. Paul Klee. Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1950.

73 KLEE, Paul. Cours du Bauhaus-Weimar 1921-1922. Contributions à la théorie de la forme picturale. Strasbourg-Paris Éditions des Musées de Strasbourg-Editions Hazan, 2004. “Cours V” 30/I/1922, note 64, in the edition mentioned, on page 96- The translation is our own.

74 ZAPISEK, Adriana. Pensamientos sobre mi obra. Op. cit.