Cabinet of geometric curiosities.
To inaugurate the Cabinet of TOBE Gallery in Budapest has allowed José Luis ‘Chuchi’ Sánchez to conceive an exhibition in the manner of an old ‘room of wonders’ –as also known–. Transformed into a strictly measured, rhythmic mural, modularly conceived to structure three groups of one hundred and five unique tesserae attached to the wall and a fourth singular piece sheltered in the showcase facing the street. The artist offers the public the work carried out between 2015 and 2022.
The cabinet of curiosities of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries exhibited exotic objects from all corners of the known world; collectors gathered and showed visitors their most “rare, new and unique” goods, covering walls, ceilings, and furniture, occupying every single empty span of the room. The Cabinets became open encyclopaedias and precursors of museums as we know them nowadays. In his 1841’ «Dictionnaire de la langue française», Littré proposes to classify the heterogeneous mixture of treasured pieces in the Cabinets according to four main categories, designated by their Latin names: Naturalia, Artificialia, Scientifica and Exotica. Four are also the series assembled by Sánchez in this personal version of a cabinet.
Although the general conception in the exhibition is part of that already described, known as ‘cabinets de curiosités’ in France, ‘Wunderkammern’ in Germany or Austria, ‘Cabinets of curiosities’ in England, and ‘Kunstkammer’ in Denmark. It is in an ancestor of the Renaissance, the Studiolo of the XVth and XVIth centuries, with which this exhibition is most related. Insofar as it is the product of an uninterrupted and constant personal investigation of the abstract-geometric essay settled in the knowledge and obsessive exploration of the dimensional aspect of its artistic object. Sánchez questions and tests, perform and systematically classifies, defines and gathers until he finds that minimum dimension in which the piece is both one and a part of a larger whole. A tiny grain in a sand dune, a drop in the water, a stream, a river…
While the wall crammed with pieces is a selection among the works from these seven years in Europe, they are works produced ad hoc for the show. Grouped according to a chromatic speech and formal series with a precise location in the fabric; in such a way that, unified in the same format, made with the same technique, and inserted in identical supports, they can be seen as a whole made up of individual units. Like ‘miniatures’ covering the entire room, it is, in short, the personal research laboratory of the artist being expanded and shown. The artist’s Studiolo exhibit in another Cabinet –the one provided by TOBE in Budapest– is the same way the works are displayed, ready for changes at his.
MINIMUS. Cabinet of geometric curiosities. 2022 ©José Luis ‘Chuchi’ Sánchez
Perhaps, a quick glimpse at the tapestry unfurled on the wall would not suggest the presence of the ‘rara avis’ that were spreading in the cabinets. However, there, in the works seen individually, the modern essence is shared, firmly anchored to geometric abstractionism –which is so day-to-day for anyone from Caracas, and to which, wholly Chuchi Sánchez’s artistic production is affiliated–. Now merged with the elements of his European transit, contributing to the ‘curiosities’ factor currently the core of a cabinet. In his world, in that of his work, the elements of the landscape are now fully incorporated, the harsh reality of passing through the arctic during his stay in Umeå, the colours discovered in the absence of light, the gloom from grey to black, and the pristine white unfolded like a natural mantle covering every surface. And, also, the reunion with the sun and its light in the blue skies of the rural Spanish location where he currently lives. Although bursts, sinuosities, straight lines, and circumferences are always present. Simultaneously, the blues, the greens, the yellows, and the oranges of his Caribbean origin.
We invite you to observe each tile of the wall one by one and read in them that migratory transit from Caracas to who knows where.
Ana María Marin M.
MINIMUS Cabinet of geometric curiosities by José Luis ‘Chuchi’ Sánchez (VE)
June 30, 2022 – March 05, 2023
TOBE Cabinet | Budapest, Hungary