“For the Slow Motion exhibition at the Maison de l’Amérique latine, Venezuelan artist Elias Crespin, famous for his programmed kinetic mobiles, has assembled an outstanding set of works created between 2010 and 2016.
The artist, one of the finest heirs to constructivism and kinetic art, is renowned in the international art arena for the ingenious beauty of his creations. His geometrical structures, that execute the repetition of simple forms (triangles, squares, circles, lines), come to life in space in pace with sequences determined by mathematical algorithms. This programming work is the culmination of two years of research conducted by Elias Crespin, a former engineer. The origins of his work also lie in time spent in the studio of his grandmother, the artist Gego, whose preferred material was metal rods. During his youth in Caracas, Elias Crespin also met leading figures in kinetic art, such as Otero and Soto, whose discovery of virtual cubes suggested putting them into motion.
Elias Crespin’s mobiles are suspended in the air by invisible threads and their spatial configurations continue to surprise viewers. This programmed art, with no evidence of mechanical linearity, favours slowness over speed. The artist continues to surprise us depending on whether the forms distort, expand or disperse, going from order to chaos and from simple to complex. Elias Crespin subtly harnesses the aesthetic properties of materials from one accomplishment to another: the transparent or coloured luminosity of Plexiglas, the visual finesse of metal, the interplay of contrasts between copper and brass, etc.
The artist also generates fascination when he deploys, as he does at the Maison de l’Amérique latine, from 21 February to 6 May 2017, large-scale installations comprising several mobiles: their skilfully orchestrated movements result in an aerial choreography with endless combinations that cannot be anticipated.
The works of Elias Crespin establish an on-going dialogue with the viewer and hence contribute to expanding our perception of space and time. Rejecting immediacy, they demonstrate that our awareness of things is not just about temporality but more the result of experiences that penetrate and mark us.”
Domitille d’Orgeval-Azzi, curator.
A catalogue is being published by Éditions Hermann.
Maison de l’Amérique Latine
217, Boulevard Saint-Germain
75007 Paris, France