Monday, March 16, 2009

NOEsis o NOEmas? Luis Felipe Noe

NOEsis o NOEmas?
Luis Felipe Noe
Galeria Rubbers Internacional
November 12-31, 2008

NOEsis o NOEmas?, the latest solo exhibition by Luis Felipe Noe, is a persistent confrontation, no matter how rapturous the experience. Comprised of works on canvas and paper that obscure the boundaries between drawing and painting, Noe willfully pushes us away from our received "sanity" to make us recognize the images in our mind, images that we don't control, that we don't want to see; images that speak the truth as it appears to us. He urges us to feel, feel, feel, where we would prefer to think; to pass out with our mouths open, blabbering about what we know not. Despite the opulent beauty of some works, we are urged to go inside, not to fetishize, to ornament our life with his art.
This is the work of a man with a mission.

From the first look, the bold color and strong line which attract us are precisely the means by which we are repelled; these are almost anti-paintings, and are meant to guide us to our own internal "paintings." "Paisage en el Limite" uses violet in a most unusual way, almost as an anticolor; the landscape may be seen as our own interior terrain and is situated at the limit of our rationality, the beginning of our mystery.

I have to steel myself not to be swayed, entirely seduced by the luxurious color in "Crimen de la Noche Suburbana," and by the form, the slipstream (sleepstream) of night and light. But in the end I am helpless, I give in to this formless picture to experience its joys and its grave repentance. "Menage A Trois' " spirit lines against a dark ground foster investigation into the limits of our personal histories' importance. And "La Investigacion" propels us forward into the future of mass immunity, trial (and punishment?) by television.

There are too many important works to go into them all here, yet Noe consistently manages to pull it off without drawing too much attention to his impeccable technique. He is confident enough to leave us with suggestion and inference where other artists would push us into detail and color. We can lose ourselves in these pictures if we desire, without thinking of the author; enough said. Of course, I can't neglect to mention here the masterpiece, "El Tiempo Vuela," a large format mixed-media that looks like a multi-dimensional blueprint for a mysterious city, a city that vanishes in the light of morning. This deeply engaging picture displays the many possibilities of "art" in the hands of a truly committed professional; suggesting both ephemerality yet attachment; impermanence, illusion yet fascination (and much more).

Argentina is fortunate to have such an artist working at full strength contemporaneously with younger artists, providing inspiration, guidance, and most importantly, a strong example of all the qualities and exertions necessary for the full realization of art.

Nick Thabit
Bs As Noviembre 2008

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