This year the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico [Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC)] commemorates its 25th anniversary. The year-long celebration begins with an exhibition of Arnaldo Roche Rabell’s recent work, entitled Azul [Blue). The exhibition opened this past weekend on October 24, 2009, and will be on view through December 20, 2009. The MAC is located at the corner of Ponce de León and Roberto H. Todd Avenues (Parada 18, San Juan, Puerto Rico).
The MAC describes the exhibition below:
Roche Rabell is a distinguished Puerto Rican artist, renowned both locally and internationally for his striking and challenging work. His paintings are characterized by their exploration of the limits of figuration and the representation of the human body, their expansion of the use of color, and their employment of a narrative art that ranges from an emblematic and direct political questioning to construction of a subjectivity centered on Roche’s personal myths. The public and private have often coincided in this work, which is known for its brilliant palette, its formal daring, and its focus on the human body and an inventory of ordinary objects.
Azul [Blue] was curated by Lilliana Ramos-Collado, Ivette Fred-Rivera, and Marianne Ramírez-Aponte, MAC’s Executive Director. Educational programming for this exhibition includes activities for children and adults led by MAC’s Education staff and guest lecturers from the University of Puerto Rico and the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.
“Blue” represents a substantial shift in Roche’s characteristic practices. By using, almost exclusively, a monochromatic blue palette and a pure white line, an almost sculptural “carving” of the paint on the paper or canvas, and an extremely large format, Roche has redefined his ideas about figure, ground, and story, as well as the ways he attacks and works the pictorial surface. The iconography characteristic of Roche is still here in these new images, but austerely reconfigured, to charge them anew with meaning. The new sobriety displayed by Roche in his paintings, distancing itself from the explosion of texture and color in his earlier works, may be unexpected by the many viewers familiar with his work, but this new style was latent in paintings done as early as the 1970s and 1980s. To illustrate this development, along with the recent works “Blue” will contain some of the earlier paintings that foreshadowed this new direction.
For more information, see http://www.museocontemporaneopr.org/calendario.htm
Roche Rabell’s “Untitled” (2000) from http://www.obragaleria.com/gallery_artists/puertorican-art-collection.html