The first time I did maps was in the late ’80s. It was a moment when my painting had been before very figurative and theatrical. Theater was sort of a reference in my work. I wanted to find a material that was not necessarily an abstraction but not necessarily a figure. So I tried to use a fine line that was in the cartography, in the architecture, something with plans—something that is referential but not figurative.
Guillermo Kuitca is one of Latin America’s leading contemporary artists. Inspired by the worlds of architecture, theater and cartography, his work transcends geographical boundaries and has been exhibited extensively worldwide.
The artist’s distinctive visual language was initially developed in his Desenlace series of paintings, exhibited in the Argentinean Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Recalling a cubist aesthetic and eschewing figurative references, Kuitca’s segmented forms and angular patterns act as the organizing principle of his compositions in this series. To create these paintings, Kuitca relied upon elementary human movements to map the surface of each canvas. Pacing to and fro, he marked the cloth with short diagonal strokes as he walked: a process inspired by the avant-garde choreographer Pina Bausch’s notion of ‘Tanztheater’, which he first encountered as a young man of 19 in Buenos Aires. Struck by Bausch’s dictum ‘walking is enough’, in light of this experience, Kuitca sought to transform the narrative effect of his paintings to evoke theatrical fields of expression and reception.