Juan Carlos Palenzuela

The idea of travel has been a constant in the work of Asdrubal Colmenárez since 1993, when he presented in the MACCSI charts and navigation instruments as well as remains of ships. Since then his painting takes large formats and on a blue background overlaps notions of drawing, painting, collage, writing and even objects. Everything is mixed, hybrid, of heavy planes, materic, sometimes transparent and with strong strokes.

The painting suggests the trip without getting to the tale of it. The reference is given by the signs, the coordinates for an imaginary tracing of the space, by the true mapping adulterated in the licenses of the creator. To that amount of elements there should be added data referring to his own work, whether it is his "Scores" or his series "Navette". Everything is given to rebuild the displacement of the individual associated with art. But also in this set of new paintings by Colmenárez, I suddenly find quotes to the artistic tradition as permitted by modernity. Collateral quotes, winks. This reminds us of another of his exhibitions at the MACCSI, in 1998, but at that time the evidences are hidden, minimized in the great spins of the painting, in his flat grids, in the bold structural lines holding the composition, in his color strokes on the previous work.

The work of Asdrúbal Colmenárez maintains minimum connections that link it and gives it a conceptual continuity. Apparently introduces breaks between one chapter and another. Perhaps the binding sites are in the illusion of the journey, across a useless mathematics that only serves as a visual reference -clocks, figures, screens- in written notes on geographical names, words or loose figures, alphabets turned into plastic. Printed letters and handwritten by the artist. Texts to see. The so-called technological art is surely a kind of an “aesthetic dinosaur" to Colmenárez. But this so-called technological art has been a good starting point for many of his researches- space, writing, time, the incorporation of the spectator. The technological age is transformed into a pictorial event.

His paintings communicate notions of a virtual society. While his lines are straight, strong, defined, color is large, overflowing, superimposed. Both situations could set the dilemmas, excitement and possibilities open of this work. It is important to stress that these Colmenárez’s paintings lack a center, a leading point, a place from where security radiates. And just as there is no center, there is not even the firmness of a board, of a commands control, understandable, of a place in which the ship allows to get hold of. The outside and the inside is one at the same time, without a center of gravity, without docks whatsoever, without land. All sea is rough or infinite sky, categorical

(When Asdrubal shows his work on the roof of a building, he places the canvas in one position or another. For the time being, he is indifferent to the need of north of the lost spectator we are and only by mocking courtesy indicates, "this is so." Or what is the same, it could also be in opposite position. Then his nature, his image is mutant, undefined, open) the nature is the foreground subject of this work. Nature of the cosmos, the sea, of the wild. On it are superimposed navigation tools and some old map. Thus converging the modern and the archaic. At the time of travel difficulties, perhaps remote a plane is more useful than a sophisticated measuring instrument. Thus, this layout to the itinerary, a good guide is the classical of Greek antiquity.

Colmenárez said that "Art consists of fragmentary truths, common truths." Thus, knowledge of the history of art- the artist is a professor- and the awareness of the vast cultural wealth of modern man, are translated into concepts, in an art of the future

Caracas, Venezuela
March 2002