Using a much more abstract and minimalist vocabulary than Navarro, Espinoza’s floor installation Negativa Moderna also explores the urban environment, employing the artist’s trademark black-and-white grid. Accompanying photographs document how it started out as neatly arranged strips of unprimed canvas with black stripes that are reminiscent of organized street plans. As visitors to CCE have walked over Espinoza’s installation, however, the canvas strips have become displaced and disordered — in much the same way that cities grow organically and diverge from the meticulously crafted street patterns favored by urban planners.
Michelena’s work contrasts two- and three-dimensional representations of space. A series of drawings entitled Countervision hanging on the wall echoes the forms of the geometric sculptures made from wooden beams that have been placed on the floor.
The works by Espinoza and Michelena on display at the Spanish cultural center are on loan from CIFO itself. Another mark of collaboration between local cultural organizations is a documentary film about two artists, co-produced with the Design District’s Arevalo Gallery, which is being screened in CCE’s projection room.
Separately, the two exhibitions at CIFO and CCE present different concepts of urban space. Navarro draws upon a Spanish sculptural tradition that expanded to encompass installation art, while Espinoza and Michelena draw on Venezuela’s history of geometric abstraction. Seen together—and they are only a few city blocks apart—they provoke a discussion about how art and architecture interact with daily life.