Quin’s Abstract Geometry
Before his departure, Arden Quin summarized the bases of the MADI movement in the following way: “The previous base of MADI, both in figurative and non figurative art, is a surface of four straight angles that can be seen in squares and rectangles.” From that moment on the base was seen in all painting, even in geometric ones.
The movement aims at arriving to the final stage of the representation crisis. The idea is to break with the orthogonal frame, liberating the works at the back in order to highlight the core that appears in a plane form in a space surrounded by the vast proliferation of the angles.
Arden Quin broke with all metaphysic vision in abstract geometry, placing it as a simple visual object. The plastic body materializes something: the presentation of what is offered to the spectator’s eyes.
His works show his journey through the rigor of geometry and its ludic side. He always knew that in this game we risk the most acute consequences, those things that make taking the space of what has been not said possible; those changing images that are visible in his works.
Throughout all Quin’s work his life dedicated to art can be seen. It shows us that painting does not mean to put reality into a canvas, but making what is on the canvas real.
MADI: a Quest for New Forms
In 2014, an important retrospective that included 60 paintings within the 1938-2009 period took place. It explored the artistic concept of the movement that Quin created and boosted as well as the abstract aspect of his work. The artists who joined this movement added to the proposal the resolution of the lack of universality of concrete art, thus inventing objects with an absolute and eternal value via highlighting simplicity.
In his manifesto, Arden Quin declares the following: “we introduced the diagonal and we made possible painting in obtuse and acute angles that transform the plane radically.”
MADI carried on the legacy of the geometric ancestors by incorporating hollowness in their works: that round hole that takes our vision behind the canvas by integrating into the artistic composition all the space that is not seen.
The sculptures bear an interaction with the spectator, who would appreciate the work’s alteration with the movement that surrounds it. This is based on the premise that the eye is the most important organ we have. MADI saw the eye in this way but also this movement conceived the artists as a builder of esthetic toys that entertain the eye and the mind, understanding that a universe is created when we contemplate the universal order that was only found through the prism of geometry.
Carmelo Arden Quin and Pure Geometry
Born in the Uruguayan borderline with Brazil, in the Uruguayan Rivera. He then met his mentor Joaquín Torres-García in Montevideo. He had a great influence in the transformation and articulation of his sculptures.
In 1946, Quin wrote and read the MADI manifesto, a text that founded a movement that bears the same name. There, he started experimenting with concave, convex, and irregular forms.
Within the outstanding catalogue of his work, many wood-made simplistic geometrical forms in moving paintings and sculptures can be appreciated. He also introduced in his experimental works the H form and then he started curving his works in two directions.
In 1990 the work of Arden Quin was included in MOMA in the exhibition “Latin American artists of the 21st century.” He was then recognized as one of the top 50 artists of our time in a critical revision presented during de Seoul and Barcelona Olympic games.