Eugenio Espinoza


He had his first individual exhibit in 1972 at the Museum of Fine Art of Caracas, when he was only 22 years old, where he showed a group of 20 artworks in which he displayed his interest for the development of the grid and the surface.
During that same year he presents in the Salon of Ateneo in Caracas, The Impenetrable (El impenetrable), a parody to Soto, one of the great masters, possibly the first post-minimalist work done in the country (precisely due to the introduction of irony in the minimalist investigation of the limits of perception and introduces the conception of a psychological space: the senses).
Then follows a series of exhibitions where the grid is continually present, not as the recurring theme of abstract painting invented by Malevitch and Mondrian, but like he himself says: ┐as an anonymous object, as a ready-made, something that nobody invented, that has always existed, that does not have an owner.┐
Jesus Fuenmayor, 1990

Eugenio Espinoza belongs to a generation formed under the influx of minimalist and conceptual tendencies, so ever-present during the late sixties and early seventies. In Venezuela, he is one of the pioneers within this tendency: one only needs to recall the minimalist/conceptual works, like the square canvases submitted to different stretching techniques (Fine Art Museum, 1972) or the Impenetrable (Ateneo de Caracas), the postcards intervened by painted grids (Gallery Conkright, Caracas 1973). Works that, later on, he made part of a collection of experiences with the landscapes done by the artist along with Claudio Perna in different places within the interior of the country.
Mariana Figarella, 1988

Eugenio Espinoza.
For several decades, the investigation of Eugenio Espinoza has centered on the grid. His artworks during the 1960s show the insistence with which the author deconstructs this element until he makes it the protagonist of one of the most reactionary pieces of the decade: the Impenetrable, an installation that paraphrases with an elegant sense of humor the popular penetrable works of Jesus Soto and draws attention over the risks that implied the cynicism brought up to be used as passport of an official representation, and since it had an official nature, it mined, in a way, the road to those that did not militate among the lines of such movement. But the grid is much more than just that; Espinoza is above all a painter, and his challenge does not circumscribe to questioning the movements of the era. Instead, his search transports him to those moments in which humankind creates laws and structures that allow them to represent reality as faithfully as possible. Nevertheless, Espinoza doesn┐t require the grid in order to elaborate a realistic painting, he is above all an abstract, therefore, his use of the grid is only to be able to reinterpret it╔ to un-draw and make of that sequence of lines the place used for the paint, the impasto, the drippings and also for the silence and the interstice.

The 1980s reflect the first results of such experiences and those others conceptual in character, as is the case in the exhibits ┐Karakana┐, ┐Paramount Pictures┐, and ┐Auto abstraction┐.

During the 1990s, such spirit is radicalized in proposals such as ┐Orla┐. In what becomes a direction much less attached to the pictorial language, this series titled ┐White Line┐ (┐L┐nea blanca┐), where he explores the possibilities of high technology and prefabricated objects within a new-conceptual narrative. The works of Espinoza signify a bridge between the postulates of modernity and the languages of new generations.
Anita Tapies, 1999

Text taken from the book ┐Parallels┐ (┐Paralelos┐), Cisneros Collection

Eugenio Espinoza building the work Impenetrable in 1972, an obvious reference to Soto┐s Penetrable was not a direct opposite; it was a canvas without a chassis, on which a grid with vertical and horizontal lines in black and white had been printed. The canvas was then placed in different locations, from museum galleries to different architectural works (often historical monuments) or landscapes, so it could adapt to specific spaces in an experience impossible to reproduce anywhere else without being considerably modified, particularly in terms of its range of possible meanings.
Ariel Jimenez - November 16, 2001

╔they were impenetrable, modest canvas reticulated in black that were being inexorably deconstructed inexorably, multiplied, folded, rolled like unedited paper wall and that Perna, with a gesture of genius interpretation of Espinoza┐s work, took to the desert of Coro and threw it there, with that absolute background of untouched sand dunes, with that emblematic background of ┐a landscape of what is ours┐, the weightless air of all of us; they were elemental forms that spectators manipulated however they wished to in order to surprise themselves with unsurprising verifications; they were agonizing series of photographs in which the figure of Avila found his repetitive destiny, pierced by the time of death or the loss of an image; there were faceless corpses covered by webs of ropes that to the anticipatory image of the PARANGOLES of Oiticica invaded unexpectedly the common places of our daily city lives; they were grotesque traversed figures; they were body fragments that could only be seen as wretched; it was she dressed in toilet paper in the salons of the Museum and it was also Maria Leoneza covered by black grids in a dreamed and impossible postcard.

Eugenio Espinoza┐s work is, without a doubt, one of the most significant proposals within the panorama of Venezuela┐s visual arts pf the last decades, for it behaves as a visual manifest that allows to see between takes the absolute conscience of the artist concerning the crisis that involves the fields of artistic representation. In this sense, Espinoza makes reiterated allusions to the symptoms that allow to see parts of this crisis and to the visual signs in which it manifests itself. In Sudario, the great vertical planes of geometric filiations that hang constructing a perceptive first plane of the work, acting as a veil to hide behind┐or which interstices allow to see┐a great black plane over which there have been stamped, using a roller, a series of arabesques, alluding to the way in which the interior walls of popular houses used to be decorated years back. The artist makes us participants of a reflection of taste and of ┐bad taste┐, and the multiple hybrids that take place within the scene of contemporary visuals and which notoriously obscure the critical approach to such notions.
Katherine Chacon