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Omar Barquet in Mexico

Lapses

The Fondation d'entreprise Hermès presents the third edition of Arbol Objeto de Arte, inviting a contemporary artist to create a work centred on the magnificent jacaranda tree on Mexico City's Presidente Mazaryck avenue, as part of the fringe programme for the Zona Maco contemporary art fair.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Omar Barquet in Mexico
© Francisco Javier Martinez Campos

The installation comprises a dozen triangular-shaped pieces of wood, arranged like a colourful flowerbed around the base of the huge jacaranda, forming a graphic and geometrical carpet. The irregular marquetry of the coloured wooden slats deliberately echoes familiar abstract modern art motifs. In formal terms, it enacts the displacement of the viewer's gaze, from the verticality of the tree to the horizontal plane, playing on the density of visual information offered by the city's architecture.

The artist's intervention establishes a visual space informed by the transgressions of the 20th century avant-garde, in particular American artist Jackson Pollock. In the 1950s, Pollock worked on the horizontal plane, marking a clear break with cultural convention and image-making practice (although the paintings created on the ground were ultimately exhibited vertically). Omar Barquet lays his work out flat, at the foot of the adjacent building, enabling us to look down on it from the top floor.

The temporary installation is also a reflection on time: the abstract motif suggests a watch dial. The viewer is invited to engage directly with the work by walking across it. As the paint is worn away by the passage of time and feet, the underlying wood is revealed.
Omar Barquet's work (born in 1979) features regularly in solo and group exhibitions in Mexico City and Miami.

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