Nudity without voluptuousness

/ 13 May, 2015

The Artis 718 Gallery, one of the new exhibition spaces that the Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets has opened in the city, has surprised us with a personal exhibition of a painter from the legendary 1980’s generation: Moisés Finalé.

I say painter, because of the young artists who staged renewal of Cuban art of that decade, Finalé is one of the few who remained faithful to traditional supports, accumulating since then and to date a pictorial and graphic work that enjoys great international recognition, and which places him into the national scene as one of our most important contemporary painters.

Therefore, we are talking about that kind of exhibition event which is always welcome, because it gives us the chance to enjoy live all the atmosphere that is generated in an art space, the latest production of an artist of the highest level; who was absent from the Cuban exhibition circuit throughout the nineties, and has gradually been returning since that major exhibition in 2003 –Herido de sombras–, held at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

I do not doubt then that for the newest generations to discover Finalé in the Gallery of 7th and 18th, in Playa municipality, can be a revelation. Although in ownership, the new work, recently out from the oven as they say, an artist with a solid, mature poetic can always be a revelation.

This has happened to me with this new series. Given the visual world of Moses Finalé we were alone with his aesthetic invention, our cultural knowledge, and the imaginative faculty that is given to us.

Without the merger of these three fields-our imagination being catapulted by our cultural competence to connect with complete ease with these strange plastic realities- to occur, it would be very difficult to fully enjoy the proposal of this artist. Because it is a difficult painting, with complex compositions, full of cultural references transfigured by the creator’s imagination, where all the nuances of visual language acquire great aesthetic role; a painting that reveals and hides at the same time what it shows; that is rich in graphic detail in symbolic subtleties, that you have to look it almost with magnifying glass, touring the surfaces fragment by fragment, but also requires a distance, so that all the pleas to emerge before the sight to be monumentality expressed. Because it is a monumental painting.

Los silencios no existen, the series on display, has the peculiarity of being made almost entirely of paintings in black and white, a rarity in Finale, who has been characterized by a much wider and vigorous color palette. This black and white, of a faded black, because the painter subjected canvases to a bath of rain, thus lowering the absolute of the color absence to a rich range of impairments, made me perceiving perhaps what color mediation somewhat attenuated : Finale’s expertise to structure a type of paint absolutely planimetric, in which there is no hint of a volume, but at the same time a large number and variety of plastic motifs get overlapped. How is it possible that such overlapping of pictorial areas not to generate volume, spatial, depth? That is one of the secret of Finale, one of the most important hallmarks of his painting, and I do not think it’s free.

Hieratic and lateral stances of Egyptian reference, the schematic directness of African masks, mythological animals, nymphs, and goddesses abound in the cultural fabric of his pictorial surfaces. Even though there is not nudity, nothing connotes sensuality; the volume is banished from his painting. It would be risky to issue the following thesis, but in a kind of visual composition that feeds both from codes of representation of ancient, ancestral cultures, as well as iconographic symbols of religious connotations, rituals and all that amalgamated into a visual imagery that literally recasts them in the same plane, I can not stop feeling that a certain philosophy of culture is expressed.

Culture as accumulation, sedimentation, interweaving of tradition with another. Culture, after all, as a universal mosaic where it is not possible to prioritize some over others, exalt some and minimize others. So , I think, the cultural vitality that nourishes the prolific imagination of Moses Finalé is superimposed on the canvas briefly, forming a single, dense, saturated, intricate plane, but emerging all on equal terms; a surface that displays at the present and eternal time of the work the full depth of what happened.




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