He waited exactly two years because of the coronavirus pandemic, but in the meantime, he added work — above all from Buenos Aires — and now he gets even: artist Pablo Temes will inaugurate, on Saturday the 14th, his exhibit Crónicas Urbanas (“Urban Chronicles”) at the Quinquela Martín Museum (Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1835, in La Boca), made up of 26 works that reveal his interpretation of two iconic cities: the Argentine capital and Manhattan.
The exhibit, which is free to enter, will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 6pm and will close on June 26.
“I am focusing on the urban landscape between Buenos Aires and Manhattan, which I have been painting since over 20 years ago. The urban thing interests me a lot, the citizen and the habitat in which one develops; the colours, architecture and light of those places, and in some way they are not images with a certain figuration and realism, they are interpretations. I restudy them through photos, memories, magazines, travels,” he says.
He chose New York not only because it is a place where his work sells well, but also because “it attracts me, I have been there five times, I walked it a lot,” adds the artist.
“At first, anyone would think that there are many differences,” he continues. “They are two port cities, one that is very developed and one that is more behind. But the light and the thing of the river that looks like the sea, the exit to the Atlantic in New York, and the original migratory flows — Italians, there and here — that influenced my choice very much. There are points of contact from the cultural and the anthropological, just as much there as here: the Jews, the Polish. That was the anchor of the exhibit.”
Yamila Valeiras, museum curator, states that “from the south of the continent, Temes plays with the duality between Buenos Aires and Manhattan, two port cities of intense movement and marked Italian immigration, submitted to an innately journalistic gaze that compiles scenes with iconic characters and sites, oscillating between everyday life and estrangement.”
That same coastal spirit attracts Temes and makes the museum where he will exhibit even more meaningful: “It is very bound to the work, various paintings refer to La Boca, to Riachuelo. Great Argentine painting draws a lot from La Boca,” he affirms.
For his colleague, visual artist Daniel Santoro, “the work of Pablo Temes is part of the tradition of great masters that elaborated on their imaginary by uniting the field of drawing with that of painting, we think of Spilimbergo, Centurión, Berni, Alonso, Gorriarena, all of them, as well as Pablo, elaborated a formal world of their own in which drawing is the unavoidable element that structures the coloured surfaces, in that sense it is where a form is born, a spatial representation that we can unequivocally perceive as the painter’s own, as Merleau Ponty says, it is his particular way of ‘ruminating the world,’” he says.
“Whether it be in Barracas, New York or La Boca, everything is appropriated and passes through Pablo’s formal diagram, whether it be trucks, human forms, walls with metaphysical climates, the artist imposes his will, his vision of the world. The architecture of planes of colour is the element with which he composes his paintings and generally, he starts from the bottom of the canvas and from there open vertiginous fugues that generate the close-ups of always tactile and sensual surfaces,” he defines.
With a great quantity of unpublished works, Temes proposes “to traverse locations that reach a metaphysical solitude, respectfully indebted to the American painter Edward Hopper. Spaces without atmosphere, as if of a frozen air,” adds the curator.