Canto Rodado (Boulder)

21 September - 1 November 2016

he first-ever UK exhibition for cerebral Colombian abstractionist Mario Vélez

Ministry of Nomads and Gallery Elena Shchukina are delighted to announce Canto Rodado (Boulder), an exhibition of painting, drawing, and sculpture by Mario Vélez, opening 22nd September 2016.

With a field of reference that spans Colombian history from the pre-Columbian era through today, Mario Vélez interprets Latin American visual culture through the lens of abstract and expressionist art.  His work lies in the tradition of geometric abstraction pioneered by Kandinsky and Af Klint, but his idiosyncratic motifs and colour choices are inspired by the natural and built environments of Colombia.  He balances a cerebral focus on formal geometry with a playful, organic use of shape and colour.

Mario Vélez describes his artistic aim as being ‘to reconnect, in some ways, to the primeval status of our culture – to embrace once more the essence of the past.’

Vélez builds on the paradigm established by early Latin American abstractionists such as Joaquín Torres García and Alfredo Hlito, who synthesised elements from indigenous and modernist art to create a new, post-colonial visual lexicon. His fusion of multiple artistic traditions reflects his belief in art’s ability to transcend national, temporal, and linguistic barriers.

In Vélez’s words, ‘our common heritage is… a sensation that survives in ourselves, and is transmitted by the medium of painting’.