WORKS FROM THE 50s AND 60s - Omar Carreño

Omar Carreño:  Works from the 50’s and 60’s

Like many of his fellow artists from Venezuela, Omar Carreño moved to Europe in search of an ambience that was more receptive and conducive to artists who were trying to break away from tradition and express their ideas through abstract and geometric works.  Arriving in 1950, he stayed for five years, mainly in France, where he was associated with the “Disidentes”, a group of Venezuelan artists led by Alejandro Otero, who were determined to abandon conventional painting.  “Etude # 2”, from 1951, is considered by the artist to be one of his most important works from this period and is included in this exhibition. In 1952, Carreño exhibited in the Salon de Realities Nouvelles in Paris along with Carmen Herrera and “Madi” founder Carmelo Arden Quin.

Together with Yaacov Agam in the 1950’s, Carreño is considered one of the creators of Expansionism:  a movement in which the viewer no longer plays just a passive role in front of the  artwork but can actually modify and rearrange some of its elements, thus transforming and expanding the work . These ideas were introduced to Venezuela when the artist returned in 1966 and created the “Grupo Expansionista” and published the “First Expansionist Manifesto” in 1967. This exhibition includes four rare and exceptional works from this pivotal year, two “Transformables” and two “Expansiones”. The central part of these transformable works in this exhibition consist of cubes that are painted differently on each face and can be removed by the viewer from their individual niches and replaced allowing multiple permutations of the colored elements.