Categories: Cathy Breslaw, THE BUZZ

THE BUZZ: Javier Marin: Sculpture

Javier Marin: Sculpture

San Diego Museum of Art
On view through March 3, 2019

Written by Cathy Breslaw
September 12, 2018

Javier Marin’s sculptures are as much about the creative process and use of materials as they are about the human figure. Javier Marin is a Mexican artist from Mexico City where he works and collaborates on his mostly monumental sculptures. Works included in his San Diego Museum of Art exhibition are located in first floor Galleries 14/15, Mrs. Thomas J. Fleming Sr., and in the central museum entrance rotunda.

Javier Marin’s installation (Little Women and Little Men 2000-2015) of 23 polyester resin and lost wax bronze, mixed media figures are each hung horizontally across a large (approximately) 25 foot white wall. With no particular pre-conceived plan, the museum staff worked in concert with the artist on-site to create conversations between small groupings of the figures. With a focus on identity and human relationship, these are figures in motion relating to one another through gesture and pose. Hung horizontally these 3 foot figures cast intriguing wall shadows, appearing to defy gravity while challenging the viewer to examine the contextual meaning of the installation. The ‘hand’ of the artist is in each of the figures as marks, lines and crevasses pressed into the forms are visible.

The wall tableau (Group L 1012/2016) created with polyester resin and iron wire, combines parts of male and female human forms tied together with wire that is both visible and an integral part of this artwork. Perhaps suggesting an ominous theme of death and destruction, Javier Marin may also be using these forms simply as physical shapes creating a visually compelling and beautiful composition. Situated in the central rotunda, (Untitled I,II, VI 2004), created with polyester resin and iron wire are a grouping of 3 sculptures – each a composite of a main torso sitting upon bronze pedestals  with human body parts emerging from the heads of each torso. They are a construction and de-construction of human forms. In the initial stages of creating his sculptures, Javier Marin uses sourced clays from various areas of Mexico which were also used in Pre-Columbian times.  Overall, his classical human figures historically reference the sculpture of the Renaissance, but with additional gestural and expressive content reflecting his take on our complex contemporary world.

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IMAGE: Chi Essary

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