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Curated by Willy Kautz, the exhibition “FORMASOBREFONDO” at Proyectos Monclova in Mexico City (on view through September 2), includes work by 17 artists exploring contemporary formalist aesthetics. The title reveals the conceptual thematic of the group show through a play on words where “forma sobre fondo” refers to figure and context, and “formas sobre fondo” means “forms on a ground.” It highlights the narrow space separating forms and concepts, abstraction and syntax.
There are recent works by a younger generation of Mexican artists such as Leo Marz, the duo SANGREE, and Gabriel de la Mora, in conversation with older, international pieces like On Kawara’s 22 SET. 1968 from the series “I GOT UP” and artworks by Helen Escobedo. Old and new takes on formalism are showcased in a contemporary context, touching upon currents of history, philosophy, and art, questioning both the content and art practices between formalist and conceptualist movements.