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The Chromatic Structures of Fanny Sanin, 1974-2007
Fanny Sanin, Acrylic No. 5, 2006; Acrylic on canvas, 26” x 30”.


ROME.- Instituto Italo-Latino Americano presents The Chromatic Structures of Fanny Sanin, 1974-2007, on view December 4, 2007 until January 11, 2008. “For the city of Rome, accustomed to great artists, it will be a privilege to receive the Colombian master painter Fanny Sanin at the Gallery of the Instituto Italo-Latino Americano. After a few minutes of attentively examining the paintings, trying to decipher the equation of its narrative, I decide to let myself be taken in by the rhythm of its multicolor geometry. Then, Fanny’s ouvre begins to transform itself as a catalyst between the critical thought and the meditative experience of the abstract language, which allows and looks for the interior relaxation that without violence cleanses the mental murmur and reactive thought, and permits us to reach our inner silence. Is as if the mind ceased its “judicious” action letting it be rocked in its entirety in the world of the senses where colors grow, intensify and surround us. It is a game of the mind which needs to be freed from the nervous attachment to control and the common linguistic codification. Only then, the geometry of the work appears accessible and sweet. All that is needed is to let yourself be taken in.” Patricia Rivadeneira, Cultural Secretary, Instituto Italo-Latino Americano, Exhibition catalogue, Introduction.

“Fanny Sanín is probably the most understated international painter of stature that Colombia has produced in the last thirty years. The three decades represented in this exhibition attest to her evolution within the realm of geometric abstraction, which she has approached with the same coherence, the same systematic and persistent work, that a mathematician would demonstrate in trying to find the solution to the most complicated of equations. And as happens in such a process, the elusive nature of multiple expressions appears to provoke the reformulation of its validity over and over again.” Félix Ángel, Exhibition Curator, Catalogue essay: The Chromatic Structures of Fanny Sanin, 1974-2007.

“Fanny Sanín’s deeply visceral relationship to color experimentation began in the earliest phases of her development and continues today. While there appears to be an unending variety of shapes that she is able to manipulate in her canvases, watercolors and prints, there seems to be an even deeper well of color combinations from which she draws. At times the color harmonies are muted, understated and tame. At others, there is a violently jarring dissonance to the tones. In Sanín’s work the most unexpected colors coexist in a state of harmony that would be unimaginable in the art of a more conventional personality. It is interesting to note that the influential critic Marta Traba signaled the sense of “organic life“ in her work. This is certainly true of the vigorous use of color that has persisted throughout the painter’s career, but it is also still a major element in the suggestions of pulsating vibrancy that she creates in her juxtapositions of space, mass and void…It is the uniqueness of the inexplicable artistic impulse that creates the images that are so characteristic of the work of this painter.” Edward J. Sullivan, Catalogue essay, Concrete Realities: The Art of Carmen Herrera, Fanny Sanín and Mira Schendel, Latin Collector, New York, 2004.

“This crisp, handsome show picks up a thread of geometric abstraction in 20th-century Latin American art, and follows it in the work of three women who have made significant contributions to the history of the art…The paintings of the Colombian-born artist Fanny Sanin are made up of smoothly intersecting and overlapping planes of warm colors –red, yellow, terra cotta – that bring to mind monumental architecture…The precision-tooled work of Ms. Sanin offer yet another reason, in this case a very subtle one, to consider geometric abstraction one of the great experimental inventions of modern art.” Holland Cotter, On the Latin Collector exhibition, Concrete Realities: The Art of Carmen Herrera, Fanny Sanín and Mira Schendel, The New York Times, May 14, 2004.

“It is the color that binds with the compositional elements of each work and gives depth and substance to the static geometry, which forms the structure of each picture. Her remarkable talent to control both of these elements—color and composition—has allowed Sanín to create, over the last thirty-three years, a body of work that remains very true to her intellectual convictions, but does not allow for repetition. Her studies, compositions and acrylics depend upon a diversity of line, form, composition, and color that make each unique, but identifiable as an individual part of a larger oeuvre.…In her finished pieces, perhaps more sublimely in the acrylics, there is often an engaging sense of meditation or contemplation. There is a compulsion to “enter” these works, to try to grasp the subtleties of the concrete, formal relationships and the essence of the whole. This is, of course, at the heart of the consideration of abstraction. This quality of introspection or experiencing a painting as a discrete creation, without the representation of an object is one of the driving forces here.” Clayton Kirking. Catalogue essay, The Sublime Neogeometry of Fanny Sanín, Gomez Gallery, Baltimore, 2003.

“Sanín’s works posses a transcendental character that invites contemplation, a visual and emotional depth achieved through color that, in a sense, contradicts the hard-edge flatness of her pictorial proposition. Faithful to a compositional line that has remained constant for more than three decades, most of Sanín’s pieces are structures around a focal element – a square or a band of contrasting color – that marks the horizontal axis and balances the composition. A new element, for a repertoire that has consisted almost exclusively of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal bands, appears in her more recent works: the formal interplay between curves with different radiu, some of which carry forward the pieces’ vertical lines and give the composition a subtly sensual dynamic. Another new element is Sanín’s pencil lines brought in as active parts of the composition, traversing color fields and altering them with the diagonal tensions they create.” José Roca, Review on Fanny Sanín’s exhibition at the Gomez Gallery, Baltimore, Art Nexus, p. 128, No. 52, Vol. 3, 2004.

“For many years Sanín has specialized in a particularly rich form of geometric abstraction (i.e., nonrepresentational pictures made up of hard-edged forms such as rectangles and triangles). She is constantly experimenting with different colors, shapes, proportions, and arrangements. Sanín typically makes a number of small studies in acrylic on paper before painting her final canvases. Although each study has obvious ties to all the rest, every painting also displays its own distinctive “personality”… Spatial games are an important part of Sanín’s work; she deliberately keeps the relationships among her forms ambiguous, so that each viewer can interpret them in her own way.” Nancy G. Heller, Why a Painting is Like a Pizza – A Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Modern Art, Princeton University Press, p. 39, 2002.

“The number of variations in Sanín’s painting is admirable. Perhaps the predominant element in her recent work is the increment in the number of elements of composition and their contrast – mainly between the large and the smaller ones. There is also more tension, opposition and contrast between apparent projections and recessions. Undoubtedly, there is an increasing complexity, where it appears that the composition is on the brink of disintegration; however, all the elements are controlled simultaneously, organized to the smallest detail





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