Jaime Arango

 

Jaime Arango Correa

Colombia

When one comes into contact with an artist through his work, one often establishes a direct rapport with the object and forgets the man, and sometimes even the artist, to whom are reserved the concepts of “commonplaces” devoted to technique, critique, intellectual speculation, so distant from the intimate relationship among the creator, his work and the observer.

Jaime Arango Correa is a great maestro who was born and lives in Colombia but who participated in the cultural and artistic movements of the 60’s that Europe, and especially Spain, on fire. Anthony Tapies’ art autre, a universal reference point of informal art, introduced Arango to the Catalan culture from Joan Prats to Joan Brossa, and to the French surrealist milieu of Bataille and Caillois, which then led him to the surrealism of Miro and Klee. Anyone who faces maestro Arango’s work will enter a non-locus locus, nebulous yet tangible. His art permeates visible spaces with distant, vibrant, yet invisible elements.

Antoni Tàpies spoke of “matter as the only true reality”, a principle that Jaime Arango has amply explored in his paintings as the profound intuition of matter. It is this same matter that, in Picasso’s work, takes the name of “dark matter”. A work of art does not represent anything; it is a thing, a reality in and of itself. Matter is thus in a state of becoming (in the Aristotelian sense) and the artist facilitates this process with his actions.

In earthy colors, overlapping materials, delineated and broken graphics, there is a certain resistance to space, a sort of completeness that evokes “wall poetry”, an innovative phenomenon in Tapies that Arango further elevates. Matter is a long-distance dialogue that wriggles, breathes, urges, and smells. This artist’s real innovation is to give way to his work. One could make endless combinations with the suggestions that emanate from his paintings, from the element of overt and enveloping sexuality of his erotic figures, to the rigorous and sharp chairs of power, through the shameless shapes of women and men released to their absence. And the references to Arte Povera, Informal Art, Surrealism, and Dada multiply like the experiences ranging from Burri to Kline, through the Lacanian theories. As in Tapies, in Arango a painting is a page where the symbols tell the story of a body that is not slave to its story.

Jaime Arango’s book is an open book that will remain open, ready for a brushstroke. It’s a white book, distant and intimate.

Bianca Laura Petretto, Curator

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