J G Quiroz - artist
home gallery biography contact links
 

home  > Biography

 

The drawings, prints and paintings created by Juan Gomez Quiroz over the last twenty-five years are widely regarded as revolutionary. They integrate the mechanics of four-dimensional space and two-and-three dimensional representation, while embodying a complete epistemological break with the Euclidean-Cartesian view of space and their modes of representation. More importantly, however, is the liberated concept of his works, particularly the "freedoms" associated with distortion and other deviations from naive realism and the artist's caprice. Gomez-Quiroz's work affirms the radically intellectual--or more precisely, the mathematical--basis for pure consciousness of which Hussar termed "eidetic" awareness.

Gomez-Quiroz was born in Chile in 1939. During the sixties, after to moving to New York, he earned himself a considerable reputation and acclaim as the wunderkind of three-dimensional art. Major critics and museums including the Smithsonian, the Brooklyn Museum, M.I.T., the Metropolitan Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, the Salomon Guggenheim quickly embraced him, See bibliography Gabor Peterdi Printmaking, and Clives Gray Art International Magazine.

By the mid 1960s, Gomez-Quiroz realized his approach to his artwork was quickly reaching a plateau and, therefore, set out to regrind himself in a new concept of art. One that focused primarily on the autonomy of objects in the world, in this paradox and in its resolution. To understand the impact of Gomez-Quiroz’s work, it is necessary to scrutinize how it stands in relation to the distinctively modern adventure in art, which is considered to be a reconciliation of a three-dimensional reality with the two-dimensional canvas.

As we know from its origins attributed to Cézanne, and its eventual birth during Cubism, the modern adventure (which has ardently fueled experiments in artistic representation since its creation), in the eyes of Gomez-Quiroz, was threatening to evaporate into the proverbial mist. He observed the obsession for order had been replaced with one for the aleatory, with the very concept of an art object considered little more than an unfortunate cage, a spent sign for freedoms whose “real” manifestation lies in the wrapping of building, in the tribal masturbation, in a happening and/or in performances and installations of today. Thus, Gomez-Quiroz sought to reaffirm the power of representation by reconciling the fluidity and integrity of the painted image. In order to do this, he needed to find a new concept of the creative process, a new explanation for the convergence of thought and its target of noesis and noema; essentially, Gomez-Quiroz set himself the task of re-inventing the language of art. The grammar of this new language would be Eisteinian physics; the lexicon would be the images of our everyday world, which are, in fact, the most hackneyed images of art itself, especially, the nude, portrait and still life.

The first aspect of the creative process that Gomez-Quiroz bracketed was the will. A language is a language only and so far as it possess specific, definable rules whose application in term of expressive content are infinite. No language can be based on the will, on the unilateral assignment of value to individual gesture--the volitive can only, at its best, provide the basis for a zymology, which is what Gomez-Quiroz aspired to get beyond. Furthermore, he understood his devotion to Matta and Duchamp, exemplary entities of the symbology of the ephemeral, would not suffice. He proceeded to extract the essence of the volitive act by utilizing distortion, an active alteration of appearances. Gomez-Quiroz endeavored to find a new ground fore this activity, not to make it predictable, but to make it “transcendental”*. In other words, he sought to find a new home for the infinities which the will promises, moving them from the confines of the heart and unconsciousness into the light of theorem, numbers, and facts. This task had a dual imperative, making order phenomenal or, to use one of Gomez-Quiroz’s favorite Beaudelairean terms, “voluptuous.” The second aspect of the creative process was traditional renditions of space in art--Cubism, steeped in the Euclidean masonries of linear space, had been unsuccessful at truly integrating Einstein’s theory into the movement; at best, the works were visual analogies of the spirit of the times in which relative theory became the scientific foundation.

From Brunelleschi’s discovery grew the doctrine of spatial linearity and continuity. This doctrine, similar to Newtonian Space, was flat and universally consistent, qualities, which reveal themselves to sight. That is, there was symmetry between epistemology and ontology in regards to space. Like the two sides of Rorschach inkblot, the abstractness of space known and the space existing coincide, and so reflected the centrality of the human being in dimensionality. Much later, Einstein’s theory sentenced this naïveté to death; so, without abandoning Cézanne’s hope for a reconciliation between the world and the painting’s rectangle, Gomez-Quiroz sought to expand those aspects of the world in need of reconciliation to include the mechanics of space revealed by the quantum and relative theories. These theories pose that space is curved, not flat, that it is variable and even redundant--space can intersect itself and, thus, enter a fourth dimension.

But how could art deal with this? How could it integrate “infinity” as boundlessness rather than as a point on a Cartesian grid? And most importantly, how could it generate a two-dimensional representation that would reflect this awareness of space, color and time within the aims of art, i.e. how could one make art based on theses theories and not produce mere illustrations of textbook models of them. The answers to these questions necessitate a profound coalescing of technology and aesthetics.

Gomez-Quiroz utilized a conformal mapping system on a shaped canvas to transform drawing and photograph from a Cartesian plane into four-dimensional episodes of visual thinking, which was capable of fulfilling his desired program of topological transformation. The imagery that resulted is at once beautiful, new and enigmatic. The singularity of a woman’s arm disappears into infinity and re-enters the picture; a portrait’s head shatters into arcs and lines where by the very texture of the familiar vaults and contracts into absolute symmetry with the laws that govern stellar and sub-atomic realities; those realities, by their very nature, stay out of reach of quotidian awareness, of those “real,” shared everyday moments which Husserl termed the life-world (Lebenswelt).

Choosing from a vast number of drawings and photographs, Gomez-Quiroz selected those which would make the best and the most audacious paintings. Color is only applied with a sense of the voluptuous; however, the word “color” is cautiously cast outside the vocabulary of this new language of the physical. Even the three-dimensional shaped canvas satisfies the requirements of conformal mapping and the new technology.

Gomez-Quiroz builds his own structures, making their contours reflect the dictation of different mathematical functions, but still preserves the reality of the image. In the curves of the canvas, Gomez-Quiroz anchors his topological nudes, portraits and other statements in art; which is to say, the curves of the canvas give us different points of view while preserving its representational character. Through these representational curves, Gomez-Quiroz is redefining the nature of the art object as one capable of embodying its own system of unique rules and forces while unearthing a universal, and previously unintended, facet of the world and the way we perceive it. To understand how Gomez-Quiroz has altered the objective status of a painting, one must analyze his resolve for creating a new language of visual thinking--one that relies on mathematics to provide the syntax of matter and brings life to Gomez-Quiroz’s language of art.

In the ancillary dimension, contiguity is expressed by the asymmetry of Gomez-Quiroz’s canvases in that symmetry implies stasis while asymmetry implies temporal directionality. Put in another way, (in order not to re-introduce the theme of will through the back door) symmetry and the integrity of the naively-representational images are signs of stasis, while asymmetry and rule-governed distortion are signs of an absence of the aforementioned stasis. A different kind of contiguity is also evident in Gomez-Quiroz’s utilization of images from art throughout history.

By painting such hackneyed conventions as the nude and the portrait are, as well as utilizing specific intents of artists such as Matisse and Ingres, Gomez-Quiroz is giving presence to a temporal dimension whose nature is historical and whose mode of revelation is meta-art. Through the making of met-art, Gomez-Quiroz is also stressing the bonds which generate alternatives for spatial representation while posing a new, successful investigation; which, is unlike so many that characterize the art of classicism, romanticism, the two archetypal attitudes regarding creativity, and finally, the two sides of the dialectical ladder of Western culture. In this sense, Gomez-Quiroz imitation of past masters parallels to his imitation of life-world. The nude, the portrait, the references to Picasso, Ingres and Matisse, the focus on explicit linearity, texture and brushstrokes are “signs” which refer to art, its devices and its history. There are semi units which contribute to the second paradigm form which Gomez-Quiroz selects words for his four-dimensional utterance.

It becomes clear then, that Gomez-Quiroz is combining two geometries (those of the Euclidean life-world with the Riemann ones, or the non-Euclidean geometries) into the complex variable of the fourth dimension as it is used in cosmology. He also utilizes the behavior of light in a topological environment as a study of color in space in order to create a new mode of representation. A painting, thus, becomes charged with pure tension between contending fundamentals of consciousness, and is left only to resolve itself as an alternative, a radically different alternative, to the way art has been conceived until now. In a painting such as *____, the woman preserves her life-world identifiably while the distortion of her face allows her to enter infinity itself. The existing tensions between the two scenarios of the real (the life-world and the fourth dimension) reverberate with other tensions as well: one that exists between transcended individual “expressivity” and the individual’s insight into the working of art; another between consciousness and mathematics; yet another that divides the phenomenal world and the episode of its order manifested in the painting; and finally, one that lies between our realizations that our reality is governed by both Euclidean and quantum theorems, and the realization that this knowledge is conveyed to us through fiction--the imagined scenario of a four-dimensional painting wherein the narrative of space and form are being played out.

In transcending the will, Gomez-Quiroz has also transcended any hope that any facet of realism can ever come to mean something clear and definable to us. He directly created conceptions of space, which have not, been or imagined or dreamt of those far, but do consist of the calculated and verifiable behavior or matter once outside the narrow realm of human awareness and existence--the geometry of Euclid, Descartes and Newton is, after all, still the geometry of everyday life, with relativity governing the rest. In fashioning a visual language exists a poetry embodying both these conceptions of order. Gomez-Quiroz has uncovered something fundamental about human consciousness: the revelatory power of artistic fiction. By forging a dramaturgical scenario (that of the painting) that has space conceived as a contingency of matter (as postulated by Aristotle) co-existing with matter conceived as contingency of space (in the manner of Einstein) Gomez-Quiroz has invented a whole new range of possibilities for the creation of artistic fiction, which is to say, representation for years to come.

And so, the avenue toward a new ontology of artistic expression opens itself. What’s come into being through the art object? The art object as an object must, like a language, be capable of fictions grounded in laws, infinite in their precisions, and must be dependent on ambiguities and tensions to be meaning-filled. There really is no other option for art but to absorb, and to perfect on its own, the visions of how matter and the universe work, visions which are the fundamentals of modern science. But this must be done with the careful awareness--the ineluctable challenge of which belongs to the artist who truly knows where to place everything, every idea; he whom is at the service of destroying the kind of creative process he has inherited and is intent on rebuilding a new art and a new creative process in its place. This is so not because the artist is an absurd hero, but because he is a maker of languages, and because only through the making of languages can the poetry of the knowledge of the world be obtained.

Gomez-Quiroz’s works deal with the flux of vision in the fixed imagery of representation. The forms are captured at the precise point they lose both and retain their palpability, which is what grounds these paintings in serious, formal artistic investigation, and saves them from being illustrations of the theories they emulate (scientific, or otherwise). The application of non-Euclidean geometry in art will continue to proliferate in many directions.

Education

  • 1956-57 Taller de Gregorio de la Fuente, Casa de la Cultura de Nuñoa, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1958-61 Instituto Chileno Norteamericano Santiago, Chile
  • 1957-68 Escuela de Bellas Artes Universidad de Chile
  • 1962-63 Rhode Island School of Design
  • 1963-64 Yale University School of Art and Architechture
  • 1964-65 Pratt Graphic Center
  • 1989-90 Intensive workshop with Claudio Giaconi, writer, author, poet.

Individual Exhibitions

  • 2006 Museo de la Nacion Lima, Peru
  • 1988 Sutton Galery, NYC
  • 1986 Todd Capp Gallery, NYC Euclidian and non-Euclidian Nudes, Sutton Gallery, NYC
  • 1984 Omar Rayo Museum, Rodalnillo, Colombia
  • 1983 Sutton Gallery, NYC
  • 1982 Held-Koupernikoff Gallery, Boston, MA
  • 1980 Sutton Gallery, NYC San Sebastían Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1979 Museo del Grabado Latinoamericano, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1977 Shubert Gallery, Marbella, Spain
  • 1976 Galerie Balcons des Images, Montreal, Canada Galeria Pecanins, Mexico City
  • 1975 Galeria Ars-Concentra, Lima, Perú
  • 1972 Alonzo Gallery, NYC Summit Art Center, New Jersey
  • 1971 Ten Downtown, NYC
  • 1970 Alonzo Gallery, NYC
  • 1968 Alonzo Gallery, NYC
  • 1964 Ledesma Gallery, NYC Kie Kor Gallery, New Haven, CT
  • 1961 Sala Decor Facultad de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile

Grants and Awards

  • 1985 Named to the Hall of Hispanic Achievers, Feria Mundial Hispana, NYC
  • 1982 Premio Adquisición, Segunda Bienal del Grabado de América Museo Municipal de Artes Graficas, Maracaibo, Venezuela
  • 1979 Gran Premio VI Bienal Latinoamericana, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1977 C E T A Cultural Council Foundation, NYC
  • 1975 Senior Fulbright Grant - Interchange of Scholars between Perú and the United States
  • 1974 National Endowment for the Arts Grant
  • 1965 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in Painting
  • 1964 Pan American Union Fellow
  • 1962 Fulbright Fellowship, USA
  • 1960 First Prize Painting Salón de Alumnos, Escuela de Bellas Artes, University of Chile Prize, Painting Salon Oficial de Chile, Museo de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile
  • 1958 Mención de Honor, Salón de Alumnos de la Escuela de Bellas Artes

Permanent Collections

  • Solomon Guggenheim Museum, NYC
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
  • Museum of Modern Art, NYC
  • De Menil Collection, Houston, TX
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • Brooklyn Museum, NYC
  • Bronx Museum of Art, NYC
  • Cincinnati Art Museum, OH
  • Center for Inter-American Relations, NYC
  • The Chase Manhattan Bank
  • Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
  • Museo de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile
  • Massachussets Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, Chile
  • New York Public Library, NYC
  • New York University Art Collection, NYC
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA
  • Cornell University, NY
  • Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, Puerto Rico
  • Instituto de Cultura, Lima, Perú.

Group Exhibitions

  • 2004 Primer Festival del Grabado. Museo de la Nación, Lima, Perú.
  • 1996 Paula Rieloff Gallery, NYC
  • 1995 Printmaking Workshop Traveling Show to Latin America
  • 1994 Printmaking Workshop Traveling Show to Africa
  • 1991 Efectos de Viaje, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile
  • 1989 IX Bienal Internacional de Arte, Valparaíso, Chile
  • The Dead Blimpie Show II, 109 Hudson St., NYC
  • ST. LIFER Art Exchange, NJ
  • 1988 The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United States 1920-1970,
  • The Bronx Museum of the Arts, NYC
  • Bienal de Grabado Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, NYC
  • Alena Adlung Gallery, 31 Greene St., NYC
  • New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Exhibition 88, Summit, NJ
  • 1986 VIII Bienal de San Juan del Grabado Latinoamericano y del Caribe, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • The Contemporary Master Printmakers from Latin America, Hostos
  • Community College Art Gallery, NYC
  • Art Consult Internation Gallery, Boston, MA
  • Subject: Women, Todd Capp Gallery, NYC
  • Sacred Secrets, Todd Capp Gallery, NYC
  • 1985 Art Consult Gallery, Boston, MA
  • Attitude Gallery, Tribeca, NYC
  • 1984 Opening show of the Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, NYC
  • International show at the Kenkeleba House, NYC
  • 1983 Latin American Masters, De Armas Gallery, Miami, FL
  • Images of Other Americas Vodra Hall Gallery, Jersey City State College, NJ
  • International Collection 1983, Associated American Artists Gallery, NYC
  • 1982 Recent Editions, Center for Inter-American Relations, NYC
  • Segunda Bienal del Grabado, Cayman Gallery, NYC
  • Images of Other Americas, Jersey City State College, NJ
  • Selections form the collection of The Printmaking Workshop
  • INTAR Latin American Gallery, NYC
  • 1981 Works on Paper, Sutton Gallery, NYC
  • 1980De Armas Gallery, Miami, FL
  • Prints, Museo del Barrio, NYC
  • The Print: Oneness of Opposites, Terrain Gallery, NYC
  • VII Bienal del Grabado, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1978 Pleaides Gallery, SoHo, NYC
  • 1977 Ten Downtown, Anniversary Show, P.S. 1, NYC
  • Bienal Ljublana, Yugoslavia
  • Bienal Hispano Americana, Madrid, Spain
  • Solidarity Show, Cayman Gallery, NYC
  • 1976 Salón de Noir et Blanc de la Gravure, Montreal, Canada
  • Galerie Balcon des Images, Montreal, Canada
  • Prints and Techniques, Grey Art Gallery, New York University, NYC
  • III Bienal American de Artes Graficas, Cali, Colombia
  • Looking Inside: Latin American Presence in New York, Latin American Museum of Art, NYC
  • 1970 Printmaking Workshop of New York, Museo de Arte Italiano, Lima, Perú
  • 1974 Latin American Prints from the Museum of Modern Art, traveling exhibition, NYC
  • Bienal of Drawings, Rijka, Yugoslavia
  • New York Printmakers, ICPNA, Lima, Peru
  • Levitan Gallery, NYC
  • Chile Emergency Exhibition, O.K. Harris Gallery, NYC
  • 1973 Prints from the Collection of New York University, Hudson River Museum, NY
  • 1972 Large Prints, Loeb Student Center, New York University, NYC
  • III Bienal Latin American Print Exhibition, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1971 International Print Exhibition, Montreal Musuem of Fine Arts, Canada
  • First National Print Exhibition, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 17th National Print Show, Brooklyn Museum, NYC
  • Duncan Collection of Latin American Paintings and Drawings, Center for Inter-American Relations, NYC
  • IV Bienal del Grabado, Santiago, Chile
  • La Primera Bienal de San Juan del Grabado, Santiago, Chile
  • 1969 9th Annual Print Exhibition, Potsdam, NY
  • IX Festival de Arte, Cali, Colombia
  • 1968 Britton Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • Munson Gallery, New Haven, CT
  • 1967 Faculty Show, University Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Gallery Couturier, Stamford, CT
  • 1966 200 Years of Latin American Art, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
  • New Acquisitions, New York Public Library, NYC
  • Hartford Art Foundation, Hartford, CT
  • New York State Printmakers, Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
  • 15th National Print Show, Brooklyn Museum, NYC
  • 1965 Amel Gallery, NYC
  • Second Annual Exhibition of Lithography, University of Florida, FL
  • 1964 Modern Painters as Printmakers, Museum of Modern Art, NYC
  • Magnet New York, Bonino Gallery, NYC
  • 14th National Print Show, Brooklyn Museum, NYC
  • Amel Gallery, NYC
  • 1963 Wehye Gallery, NYC
  • Fifth National Printmakers Exhibition, Oklahoma City University, OK
  • 1962 100 Prints of the Year, Associated American Artists Gallery, NYC

Related Experience

  • 1995-00 Director, Writers Space ("Espacio de Escritores"), creative literature workshop teaching poetry and fiction (in Spanish) Hostos Community Collage. Design and Typesetting, "Poetic Justice" by Jesus J. Peña. Latino Press
  • 1995-99 LibroFest Latino Book Fest, Hostos Community College
  • 1971 Libro Escultura con poemas de Pablo Neruda corregido y aprobado por el poeta
  • 2002 Sociedad de Escritores de Chile. Miembro.
  • 1995 Co- editor. Revista Brujula/Compass. The Latin American Writers Institute.
  • 1996 "SoHo Summer," acrylic on canvass selected as book cover art for "Not Black and White: Inside Words from the Bronx Writers Corps," Plain View Press, Austin, TX
  • 1994 National Fulbright Program - Jury of Selection, Institute of International Education, NYC
  • 1993 Artist Talk on Art - Board Member
  • 1990 Museum of Contemporary Spanish Art - Curator and Administrative Assistant, NYC
  • 1986-88 H.H. Silverman Publishing Co. - President
  • 1988 F.I.T. Printmaker Workshop, Teaching. NYC
  • 1987 New Jersey Center for Visual Art, NJ
  • 1986 "Art Olympics" - Jury Member, NAACP, NYC
  • 1985 Printmaker Workshops for Board of Education, NYC C.E.T.A. Artist Program, NYC
  • 1975 Escuela de Bellas Artes, Lima, Peru - Fulbright Professor
  • 1969-1976 New York University Art Department, NYC - Adjunct Professor
  • 1967 University of California, Santa Barbara, CA - Lecturer

Bibliography

  • "Medico Interamericano," vol 17 N/April 1998, "La Pintura Multidimensional de Gomez-Quiroz," Javier Martinez de Pinson, p. 202, 5 color reproductions including cover, 1998 IBM Nachrichten, p. 12-20, Germany, June 1989 "The Latin American Spirit: Art and Artists in the United Status 1920-1970," The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Abrams, NY, 1988 ArtSpeak, "The Flexibility of Sculpture," Joseph Merkel, November 16, 1986 "Los Espacios de Juan Gomez Quiroz," Linden Lane Magazine, Dominique Lafourcade, Princeton, NJ, July-September 1986 "Who's Who in America," 43rd Edition, 1984-present Art Speak Magazine, Claude LeSur, February 17, 1983 Revista Vanidades, Interview, Concha Alzola, Miami, FL, 1982 "Who's Who in American Art," 1980-present El Mundo, Exponen Obras, Puerto Rico, April 16, 1980 American Prints and Printmakers, Una E. Johnson, Doubleday Co. 1980 Exelsior, p. 20, June 25, 1976 El Comercio, Lima, Peru, December 1975 El Comercio, "Sunday Art Review," Lima, Peru, July 1975 SoHo Weekly News, February 1974 Gapor Peterdi, Printmaking, MacMillan Co, 1971, Revised Edition, p. 249 Cleve Gray, "Experiment Grows in Brooklyn," 1971 "Reviews and Previews," ART NEWS, May 1971, p. 15 ARTS Magazine: Gordon Brown, "Reviews," April 1971, p. 94 Mary Stewart, "Reviews," March 1969, p. 65 Mary Stewart, "Reviews," June 1968 Art in America, No. 5, 1966 New York Sunday Times, David Shirley, NYC "Efectos de Viaje," Trece Artistas Chilenos Residentes en Nueva York Catalogo Publicaciones Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile

Publications

  • "Crónicas de Literatura Hablada," Novela. Latino Press "Espacio de Escritores," Anthology
  • "Not Black and White: Inside Words from the Bronx Writers Corps," Anthology,
  • Plain View Press, Austin, TX
  • Brujula/Compass 25, Literary Magazine, Latin American Writers Institute.
  • "Hybrido," Arte y Literatura Año II Numero 2 1998, p. 24, short story
  • La Palabra, Revista de Literatura, Ed. I NY 1998, p. 22

Works in Progress

  • "El Cortapluma El Hueveo y Otros Cuentos," Short Stories
  • "The Desolation Files," Novel

Public Readings {partial list}

  • The Associated Writing Programs, Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA 1996
  • Nuyorrican Poets' Café, Rainy Day Café, La Guardia Community College
  • "Literature on the Run" - Grand Central Station NYC
  • "A Literary Evening with the Bronx Writers Corps," The Inner-Space Theater NYC
  • Barnes and Noble, Chelsea NYC
  • Feria del Libro, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Sociedad de Escritores de Chile 2002, 2004

Currently living and working in New York City.

 

© 1968-2006  Juan Gomez Quiroz