viernes, 25 de febrero de 2011


Jaime Gili The Lakes

Left Photograph: Aviary, c.1965. Photo by Fernando Tábora. Right: Jaime Gili, E1, Lago 1, 2010, acrylic on canvas

Opened in 1961, Parque del Este in Caracas, is a recognized jewel of modernist architecture. Though the design, by Roberto Burle Marx, has over the years been corrupted by modifications which sit uneasily with the architect’s original concept. The ten new canvases and boat sculpture by Venezuelan Jaime Gili take as their starting point an aerial view of the nine lakes set within this unique landscape.

Jaime Gili, Lago 2, 2010, acrylic on canvas.

As a young artist growing up in Caracas, Gili witnessed these alterations to the site. The area, the changes in the surroundings and its rich history continue to inspire him.

Aviary, c.1965. Photo by Fernando Tábora.

In 1969, a full-scale replica of Nao Santa Maria, the ship that brought Christopher Columbus to America’s mainland coast, was placed in one of the lakes by the government of the time. The sight of a galleon-style flagship anchored within this waterland retreat seemed incongruous to the park’s many regular visitors.

Roberto Burle Marx, Parque del Este´s plan, 1958, gouache.

More recently, the military government of Hugo Chávez, considering that vessel a symbol of colonial power, removed the galleon, but proposed replacing it with yet another replica, that of galleon “Leander”, which in 1806 transported the War of Independence leader Francisco de Miranda back to Venezuela with the new Venezuelan flag, another incongruous addition.

Lago de los patos, photo by Fernando Tábora.

Gili has always considered the Park del Este in its original state a perfectly executed masterpiece, the subsequent changes inflicted on the aesthetics of the place raises questions about public art and landscape; post-colonial politics and propaganda, Modernism and heritage; all within the specific history of the park in question; its shipwrecks, mini-Utopias – and failures.

Jaime Gili, Lago 7, 2010, acrylic on canvas.

For the first time the artist has introduced curves into his visual language. Foliate leaves are set against modulating backgrounds. Teardrop and paisley shapes evoke the soft quality of this retreat - the paintings referencing a very specific story of architectural design and the beautiful Lakes and gardens contained therein.

March 8 - April 16
Private View: Monday, March 7

A Riflemaker book is published to accompany the exhibition with texts by: Iain Carson, Hannia Gómez, Robin Mann and Alan Powers. The Lakes is curated by Robin Mann.

Riflemaker, 79 Beak Street, London W1F 9SU Tel: 020 7439 0000

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