Vicente Antonorsi e Isabel Cisneros.
Por Susana Benko. Art Nexus, # 66, Volumen 6, Pags. 141-2, septiembre-noviembre 2007
Some time ago, Vicente Antonorsi and Isabel Cisneros, visual artists with established careers in Venezuela, shared a vision of aggregating their individual experiences in order to experiment with and enrich their creative processes. They recognized their common ground: an almost sensual pleasure in matter and working with the accumulation and assemblage of small elements to generate two- or three-dimensional shapes. Under the guidance of the curator Miguel Miguel, this formal dialogue resulted in an exhibition titled ¿Acumulaciones, Diálogos Visuales: Vicente Antonorsi / Isabel Cisneros,¿ which was presented at Trasnocho Arte Contacto.
Antonorsi is an architect, visual artist, and designer. He is intimately familiar with wood, on which he bases his impeccably designed furniture. His shapes also refer to primordial forms. Cisneros had her beginnings in ceramics, a medium she continues to use as she explores its potential in the field of sculpture. For this, she employs weaving and the assemblage of serialized elements created in clay. For their experiment, each artist became involved in the materials used by the other: Antonorsi explored ceramics while Cisneros experimented with wood, seeds, coconut shells, buttons, etc. ¿Neither or us would have come up with some of these works alone in our studios,¿ said Cisneros in an interview with the local press, while Antonorsi acknowledged he had been greatly pleased to be able to create his work ¿with her materials.¿
Even though their empathy is intense-both are passionate about the natural and the organic-their creative processes are individual and autonomous. Antonorsi retains an almost symmetrical order in his works, while Cisneros tends toward structures that are flexible and irregular. Yet there were works in which the authorship was difficult to assess, because of the experience of adopting the other artist’s procedures.
Nature gave them the material for their work. They transformed these materials without distorting their essences and were respectful of their original appearances: a seed was not posited as something other than a seed, and the sea shells or coconut shards never ceased being what they were. The transformation of matter came through the way that the artists handled the materials and through the accumulation of small elements that comprised the sculptural forms. Antonorsi’s works were solid and imposing in their volume; Cisneros’s resembled zoomorphic, highly organic shapes. Both worked with artisanal techniques, such as the way that beads are threaded to form a necklace. At the same time, the artists’ systems generated three-dimensional structures that were highly distilled and rational. In sum, these works were rigorously ordered and had been created with formal discipline.
The accumulation and assemblage of small elements implied abundance, yet at the same time this resource became a synthetic language. Both artists used it. This was the show’s curatorial message, which expressed the synthesis at which the artists arrived through a visual dialogue that emerged from the formal propositions that unite them.
Cisneros and Antonorsi appropriated the products of nature. They extracted nature’s formal richness, but this quality also promoted a sense of belonging from which Venezuelan viewers could not subtract themselves. These were earth works, from a nature that is ours and that defines our environment.