Sofía Dourron

Sergio Avello: Joven profesional multipropósito

Sergio Avello: Joven profesional multipropósito

Septiembre 2017 – Febrero 2018
Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires

Sergio Avello (Mar del Plata, 1964 – Buenos Aires, 2010) saw art as a way of studying the world, finding beauty and pleasure in the everyday and connecting with other people. Sergio Avello: a young, multi-talented professional, explores Avello’s artistic career but also expands into his larger universe, showing that music, nightlife and friendships were inextricable aspects of his artistic practice, which took place at parties, exhibitions and gigs at venues and clubs such as Club Eros, Cement, Garage H and Rainbow, the terrace at Fundación PROA and even a train station.

In 1983, at the age of nineteen, Avello arrived in Buenos Aires and immediately became a committed nomad. His constant movement was a survival strategy and also a kind of job for which he made mobile artworks and decentralized chains of production. His first port of call in Buenos Aires was La Zona, an enormous but damp cellar/studio that Rafael Bueno shared with Alfredo Prior, Martín Reyna and José Garófalo, among others. Amid the overwhelmingly exuberant pictorial culture of the eighties, Avello produced a form of ‘aesthetic minimalism’. His practice drew on the minimalism of Prior in the seventies and also revealed the influence of the artist Pablo Menicucci. Avello concentrated on aesthetic, decorative art while everyone around him was brimming over with pictorial excess.

It was as though Avello came from another planet: he was young, neat and minimalist. In spite of their aesthetic differences he had no trouble making himself an integral part of the underground community. From the late eighties, Avello committed himself entirely to a frivolous style that he described as decorative. Ignoring the dominant intellectual theories about painting, he introduced a new sensibility that in the nineties would expand into a scene in its own right, although Avello distanced himself from the movement.

The power of Avello’s painting occurs on the surface; it is rife with chromatic hedonism and a fascination with the tactile world. He uses no more than the discipline’s tools and materials to reveal its infinite possibilities. Avello used colours the way verses are employed in poetry: they depend upon one another; the first preparing the ground for the next and so on, in a cadence that was just as likely to be soothing as it was strident. Each artwork stimulates the senses, creating an easy-going atmosphere that should not be confused with innocence or frivolity. Avello said that “a work of art could easily be looking up to the sky while smoking.” In essence, his paintings are acts of perception.

The economic crisis that struck the country in 2001 was experienced by many artists as a call to arms. From that moment on, Avello’s playful abstraction was transformed into abstract takes on national Argentine symbols. Typically, Avello chose tangential approaches in which the Argentine flag made repeated appearances; in leather, sheepskin, enamel and fluorescent lights, like a song Avello couldn’t get out of his head. Ostensibly frivolous and hardly subtle, the gesture is acerbically powerful. The flags embody the artist’s irony although his political opinions were always hard to pin down. Avello never campaigned for a cause or in favour of a specific political narrative, but in his way he successfully managed to reflect the country’s political climate.

Avello reacted to his environment, enhancing every stimulus with expansive gestures that combined disciplines, people and places. Like a club DJ, Avello created temporary, fleeting communities.

Public program: Avelove, a play by Analía Couceyro.

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