Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Emilio Pettoruti, Harlequin Portrait, oil on canvas.
Emilio Pettoriti is one of my favorite Argentinian artists. I first came in contact with his work at a friend's house who had started collecting some of his paintings. The painting I set my eyes on was one of his famous "Harlequins", it was very small, yet captivating. I came across another "Harlequin" at an auction house a few years back, and again, I was astounded.
What makes Pettoruti's work so unique? You should see for yourself. The Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA) is holding an exhibition of his work dating from 1914 to 1949. The curatorial work done by Patricia M. Artundo is excellent, she keeps you wondering and also answers questions regarding his work.
As it happens with some great artists, what has made Pettoruti stand out was his ability to research and experiment the technique of the Italian masters from an active point of view, extracting what he considered valuable and applying it to his work in his own way instead of being a passive student.
The curator says, and I agree, that Pettoruti's work is of such great level because he used compostion, light, color, intensity, shade, tone and definition of tonal keys to respond to different problems or subject matters while introducing other variables that created ambiguitity, something he loved to play with. He saw ambiguity in surface vs. deph, movement vs. static; stability vs. instability.
If you're around, don't miss the exhibition! and tell us if you liked it!
Note: I've always been curious about art. I studied art with Cristina Santander, toured a lot of art galleries and exhibitions with her and Marta Belmes and I've been lucky to meet a lot of local artisits and gallerists and continue to learn abour art, something I love!