ALBERTO GARCIA-ALVAREZ

Crossings, 04 October - 01 November 2014
Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Auckland, September 2014


"The title Crossings refers to the intersection points of objects, or to ideas crossing each other. It also refers to the act of crossing; the crossing over an obstacle or a prejudice.

In the context of this exhibition, Crossings is a series of objects that were first made in Sausalito, California, in 1967. Originally they were constructs made from lengths of wood that crossed each other without reference or intention other than that of establishing points of attention and/or conflict.

Over the years allusions to the form as well as to the religious symbol were introduced - albeit subconsciously - and what had been subliminal in the early constructs became part of the conscious content or, at least, a consideration in the later ones. The process of making the work as separate objects or constructs has permitted constant change and development. Each new movement or direction has brought new allusions or references to the subsequent constructs.

Finding myself needing to select just a few from more than one hundred constructs I have had to position myself as both viewer and critic of my own production. On one hand, I find myself looking for the logic and links in the constant project of making without a conscious goal and, on the other, I find myself evaluating the results.

There is a subconscious determinism that, I believe, guides and encourages me to cross over my inabilities, doubts and obstacles and helps me reach some understanding of my motivation for this (seemingly) excessive attention to a single project. Consciously I know that time does not make a difference; decisions taken at any single moment affect what you make and show who you are. Furthermore, I realise that abstract works produced over many years and exhibited in a single exhibition with a single title, Crossings, may seem unrelated and/or incoherent.

In fact, however, it is this apparent unrelatedness that clarifies and reinforces my prolonged and sustained attitude. Time may modify an artist's point of view, knowledge, and skills, which may sometimes make it difficult to maintain a unified vision, but in Crossings (2014) this kind of unity (or lack of unity) does not need to be a consideration. Fragmentation in the expression of ideas and/or aesthetics, the distortion of meaning and metaphor (if any), and variety in terms of materials and colour should not be seen as negative or contradictory. Rather, these aspects should be seen as affirmation of the artist's freedom of making.
It is a way of seeing and being."

Alberto Garcia-Alvarez was born in 1928 and studied painting at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de Sant Jordi at the University of Barcelona.

While teaching at institutions including the University of California at Berkeley he exhibited widely, participating in shows in Europe and the USA alongside artists including Brice Marden and Frank Stella.

Garcia-Alvarez moved to New Zealand with his wife and two sons in 1973. He taught at Auckland University's Elam School of Fine Arts for more than 20 years and is today credited with having guided and mentored an entire generation of New Zealand artists.

An exhibition of wooden constructs was presented in 1977 at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University and another in 1978 at Bosshard Galleries, Dunedin. Constructs made after 1978 have not been shown in public with the single exception of z44-20- Giordano Bruno, 1998, which was presented as part of the St Paul Street Gallery exhibition Alberto Garcia-Alvarez at AUT, Auckland in July 2009.

Alberto Garcia-Alvarez lives and works in Auckland.