Gustavo Abascal’s “Pathetic Fallacy,” now on display at the Arredondo/Arozarena gallery, presents nature in sober, minimal detail and explores the way we record, interpret and remember natural space. The gallery, which opened in 2010, promotes contemporary art and contemporary and cultural dialogues. In this show, which runs until January 21, works by Abascal question isolation and human interaction with nature, asking how human relationships with the natural world are mediated and how the natural world directs the artist’s process.
Abascal’s works are made up of a combination of sketches, ink drawings and paintings in charcoal grey and black on white canvases. The hanging of the show mirrors the simplicity of Abascal’s work; blank walls are quietly punctuated by smallish frames with simple, abstract depictions of nature. The works — sometimes mimicking rubbings, other times containing harsh lines with blocking — maintain the idea that human interaction with nature will always be mediated by modern life. While nature influences the artist’s procedure, it is the human’s subjective experience which defines nature, centering the human experience in the exhibit. The human does their own work on the visual field, setting limits on the limitless through an experiential and visual perspective, cutting off details and ideas from a landscape to define the space and thus their recollection of it.
The subordination of human action and creation to the natural landscape is something that Abascal attempts to address, however, using Thoreau and Zizek’s ideas on nature only seems to center the human experience of nature in his pieces. Nonetheless, the exhibit is a refreshing take on the way humans record and remember the spaces they inhabit.
The exhibit runs until January 21. Arredondo/Arozarena is located on Praga 27 in Juárez. It is open from Tue.-Fri. from 10-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. and Sat. from 11-3 p.m. Entrance is free.