Sicardi Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of work by the Uruguayan artist Carmelo Arden Quin (1913-2010). Known for his role as a co-founder of the Madí movement in Argentina, Arden Quin’s innovative art and writings articulated many of the aesthetic and political concerns of the post-war Argentine avant-garde. The show opens on Thursday, April 4, with a cocktail reception from 6 to 8 pm.
Active in artistic and literary circles in Buenos Aires during the early 1940s, Arden Quin was an editor of the single-issue magazine Arturo (1944), which served as an important catalyst for the emergence of non-representational art movements centered in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. His paintings are characterized by irregularly-shaped canvases and an often-playful relationship between line, form, and color. Many of his works feature articulated or mobile pieces, an influence from his mentor, Joaquín Torres-García. “By abandoning the four classic orthogonal angles—the square and rectangle—as a basis for composition,” writes Arden Quin, “we have increased the possibilities for invention of all kinds.”
Born in Rivera Uruguay, a town on the border between Uruguay and Brazil, Arden Quin first studied painting and art history with the Catalán painter Emilio Sans. At the age of twenty-one, he met Torres-García, who had just returned to Montevideo from Europe, and who introduced Arden Quin to the work of Vasily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, El Lissitzky, and artists in the School of Paris. Drawn to the cosmopolitan café culture and artistic opportunities in Buenos Aires, Arden Quin left Montevideo in 1943. He spent the next four years in Buenos Aires, developing Arturo and writing manifestoes that articulated the new concrete art movements emerging there. In 1947, he moved to Paris and launched Madí International, which remains active today. From 1948-1956, he participated in the annual Paris Salon des Réalités Nouvelles.
Arden Quin’s work is included in public and private collections, including Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Buenos Aires; Daros Latinamerica, Zürich; Harvard Art Museum, Boston; Collection Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Cholet, France; the Diane and Bruce Halle Collection, Scottsdale; the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, New York and Caracas; the Mark and Scarlett Lenherr Collection, London; and the Bill and Dorothy Masterson Collection, Dallas. Among many other exhibitions, his work was included in Vanguardias de la década del 40: Arte Concreto-Invención, Arte Madí, Perceptismo at the Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sívori (1980), Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1993), Heterotopías: Medio Siglo sin Lugar, 1918-1968 at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (2000), and Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2004).