Rogelio Polesello · 06.09.2018 - 20.12.2018


curatorial text

Elena Oliveras



A vortex of pure sensitivity where everything solid becomes fluid. This is what surprises in the work of  Rogelio Polesello, resolved in always open trajectories that appeal to an eye “that responds”. That responsive eye (according to the title of the exhibition curated by Wiliam Seitz at the MOMA in 1965) is also a “responsible eye” as an inescapable correlate of works based on relationships that only exist in the act of vision. It happens that, when we look at an optical kinetic work, a difference immediately operates between the physical fact and the perceptible effect, between what existed before perception (a static work) and what happens to exist in the perceptual act (a work moving). Joseph Albers spoke of a disagreement between physic facts and psychic effects.


Admirer of Victor Vasarely’s work, Polesello begins his searches, like the Hungarian master, in the field of graphic design. Towards the end of the 1950s Vasarely’s admiration was manifested in paintings that dazzled by an impeccable technique that would later seal all his work. Since the mid-1960s, Polesello’s production includes three-dimensional objects that require not only an eye capable of activating movement, but also a body that, when moving, makes the essence of these works effective: their transformability.

Between the paintings and the – today emblematic – carved acrylic plates a round trip of motivations for new searches will be established. We can imagine the intimate connection between the light represented in the paintings by lines that seem “illuminated” and the light as immaterial matter that really crosses the transparent surface of the three-dimensional works. For the viewer, the simultaneous presence of two and three-dimensional works, in exhibitions such as this one, will stimulate a fascinating interweaving; Although truly separate, the two works virtually unite in turbulent flows.

The pulverization of the environment, visualized through the concave or convex shapes of the acrylic plates, diversifies strategies typical of optical paints – color instability, serial programming, the game of opposite and figure / background perspectives – to highlight expositions of topology, anamorphic distortion, foreshortening and the idea of ​​a labyrinth through the curve and the turn. In this way, a unique neo-baroque aesthetic is configured that will place the “madness of seeing” at the center.


Polesello is a tenacious investigator. The proof is in the infinity of sketches on paper where he studies perspectives, structures of shapes and colors to combine them again and again. They are small format drawings that reliably document the value of adventure beyond perfection. Polesello accepts the risk of “imperfection”; Hence, some of his paintings show, together with the perfect structure of straight and curved lines – highlighted in the chromatic minimalism of his works in black and white – the imprint of a subjective intonation. It is what we find in the “sweep” of some funds in which the mark of the unrepeatable gesture has remained.

Double game of order and randomness that reveal the complexity of a thought. So much that, to the visual appeal of Polesello’s works, a strong conceptual base is added that is not always sufficiently recognized. The concept of deconstruction, among others, is key in his poetics. We discovered it in the need to reveal the genesis of the work by inscribing the imprint of the creative steps. The mark of the production process will be reflected in paintings in which the basic sketch is reproduced, in a small format, in dialogue with the final work that amplifies it while fragmenting it. It is no longer necessary to disguise the creative matrix or everything that was previously “behind the scenes”.

And so, finally, the question arises: when does a work actually end? Perhaps in its beginnings.

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