Dirty Geometry +, Osvaldo Romberg

Pentimenti Gallery

Apr. 18, 2023 - May. 30, 2015

145 N 2nd st
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 17602


APRIL 18 – MAY 30, 2015

Dirty Geometry+
Paintings, Works on Paper & Sculpture

Opening Reception with Guest Speaker Jean-Michel Rabaté
Saturday, April 18, 5 – 7 pm (Discussion begins at 5:30 PM)

Guest Speaker: Jean-Michel Rabaté, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania since 1992, is a curator of Slought Foundation, an editor of the Journal of Modern Literature and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has authored or edited more than thirty books on modernism, psychoanalysis and philosophy. Recent books include “Crimes of the Future, An Introduction to Literature and Psychoanalysis”, and “1922: Literature, Culture, Politics”.

Pentimenti Gallery is pleased to announce Dirty Geometry+, Osvaldo Romberg’s first solo show in Philadelphia. The exhibition will feature twenty artworks which both expand on Romberg’s much-acclaimed past work and explores new aesthetic territory. The show will be on display from April 18 through May 30, 2015 with an opening reception on Saturday, April 18 from 5 – 7 pm.

On display will be three large paintings, several smaller paintings, ten works on paper and a sculpture. The paintings are acrylic on canvas and sometimes include obtrusions from their surface made of wood. All works feature bright, clashing primary colors. Interestingly, the works on paper introduce a new process for Romberg. After being painted, the paper is folded and crushed, then re-stretched, to reveal the original painting with new random geometry imprinted on its surface.

All of Romberg’s works defy categorization. At first one might think they resemble mazes of computer technology and info-graphics; a glimpse within the mind of a computer engineer. Yet, the materials don’t align with a such a straight forward interpretation. The works on paper are purposely damaged and the paintings aren’t perfect, certainly not the crisp lines and defined areas that one typically sees in the work of many contemporary abstract artists. In fact, Romberg seems to be working against exactly that trend. His large works resemble the scribble of an epiphany on a napkin, communicating the rough structure without the weight of obsessive rules, definitions, and clarifications that contemporary abstraction is categorized by. The sculpture, which shares the painting’s attitude and language of geometry, appears purposely precarious, as if Romberg is defiantly making sure nothing aligns.

Rebellion and resistance are at the heart of the Romberg’s new works. The artist states, “Dirty Geometry” is therefore a rebellious attempt to break from all theoretical frameworks and thus invent a geometry that would be free from theory”. That tension, clearly evident in the smaller paintings and works on paper, has it’s roots in his Latin-American background, where Romberg finds major art trends twisted and reconfigured to fit within the strong local culture. In a similar fashion, Romberg has taken geometrical abstraction and subverted it into his own personal framework, mixing his keen awareness of a century’s worth of American, Russian and European abstract art with his own cultural heritage. The works subtly hint to high modernists masters such Mondrian and Malevich, utilizing their language of the grid, primary colors, and geometry. But during a each works’ development the rational approach is abandoned and Romberg allows gesture and excess to contaminate his process. The result is “dirty geometry”.

Osvaldo Romberg is an Argentine artist, curator, and professor who lives and works in Philadelphia, New York, Tel Aviv and Ilha Grande, Brazil. He attended the National College of Buenos Aires and the University of Buenos Aires. His work is included in numerous museum collections including: Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; MUHKA-Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Museo de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Dueren; The Haifa Museum of Modern Art, Haifa; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; California State University, University Library, Long Beach; Jewish Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum, Philadelphia; The Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; Brooklyn Museum, New York. He has had exhibitions at institutions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2011); Z.K.M., Karlsruhe (2009); Centro Cultural Recoleta (2008); the Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires (2007); Kunst Museum, Bonn, (2007); Museum of Modern Art, Saint Etienne (2005), and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (1999). Romberg is currently Senior Curator at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia.

GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday – Friday: 11 AM – 5 PM, Saturday: noon – 5 PM.

Pentimenti Gallery features content driven contemporary art which challenges traditional materials and aesthetics by a line of internationally established artists alongside young talent. For more information contact the gallery at +1(215) 625-9990, [email protected], or visit www.pentimenti.com
christine pfister

145 north second street | philadelphia, pa 19106
T +1 215 625 9990 W www.pentimenti.com

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