Saturday, February 11, 2023

CAPA Modifications dialoguing with the world of Matta


From CAPA we are deeply happy to have the opportunity to inaugurate this magnificent exhibition of "painting on painting" proposals and to be able to dialogue with the work of our dearest Roberto Matta. The Espacio Matta houses one of the most important pieces of contemporary Chilean art and Universal Contemporary Art, the mural of "the first goal of the Chilean people." In addition to a large number of etchings and lithographic grades by Matta that take us back to the decade of the 70's of the 20th century and deal with topics such as the ties that were strengthened between the Cuban and Chilean people in the 70's, as well as other works of a more experimental nature and that were part of his series of "displaced objects" made in Florence that gave free rein to physical and psychic automatism for the construction of universal spaces, always making reference to the metamorphosis of the origin of creation. The space is a gigantic Museum in the shape of a bunker that was inaugurated in 2010 and was built precisely to preserve such a valuable mural that I have mentioned previously (and that can be seen in the subsequent images) and that Roberto Matta developed with great enthusiasm that led to the ascension of Salvador Allende. Regarding the support of this mural, we know that it was made on one of the walls that closed the municipal swimming pools of the commune of La Granja; a peripheral neighborhood of Santiago de Chile where culture basically did not reach and that Roberto Matta, following the ideas of solidarity that Salvador Allende's company intended, fulfilled to develop a magnificent collective work together with a group of students from the neighborhood and thus democratize art .

The "Espacio Matta" thus represents being a space full of history that acted as a new source of culture and to become an example for "the artistic colonization of the outskirts of Santiago". Aware of this, the CAPA Modificaciones exhibition was designed as a meeting space between the works of Roberto Matta and that of some artists from the "Collective Automatic Painting Amsterdam": Freddy Flores Knitoff, José Estevão, James Burns and Patricio Álvarez Aragón with the Special invitation from Bastiaan van de Welden (critic) and who are interested in the practice and investigation of a type of pictorial proposal called "Modification" and which greatly delves into a type of collaborative-conceptual painting. The exhibition exhibits 16 pictorial proposals of various dimensions and ranging from 30x30cm to 70x80cm. CAPA Modifications will be available in the central showroom of "Matta Space" until March 26, 2023.

Here are some photos from the exhibition:


Desde CAPA estamos profundamente contentos de tener la posibilidad de inaugurar está magnifica muestra de propuestas de "pintura sobre pintura" y poder dialogar con la obra de nuestro queridísimo Roberto Matta. El Espacio Matta alberga una de las piezas más importantes del arte contemporáneo chileno y del Arte Contemporáneo Universal, la obra mural de "el primer gol del pueblo chileno". Además de un gran número de aguafuertes y gradados litográficos de Matta que nos llevan de vuelta a la década de los años 70's del siglo XX y tratan temas como los lazos que se potenciaron entre el pueblo cubano y chileno en los años 70's, asimismo como otras obras de carácter más experimental y que formaron parte de su serie de "objetos desplazados" realizados en Florencia que daban rienda suelta al automatismo físico y psíquico para la construcción de espacios universales, siempre haciendo referencia a la metamorfosis del origen de la creación. El espacio es un gigantesco Museo en forma de bunker que se inauguró en el año 2010 y fue construido precisamente para conservar tan valioso mural que he citado anteriormente (y que se puede ver en las imágenes posteriores) y que Roberto Matta desarrolló con gran entusiasmo que suscitó la ascensión de Salvador Allende. En cuento al soporte de este mural, sabemos que fue realizado sobre uno de los muros que cerraban las piscinas municipales de la comuna de la Granja; un barrio periférico de Santiago de Chile dónde básicamente la cultura no llegaba y que Roberto Matta siguiendo las ideas de solidaridad que la empresa de Salvador Allende pretendía, cumplió para desarrollar una magnifica obra colectiva junto a un grupo de estudiantes del barrio y así democratizar el arte.

El "Espacio Matta" así representa ser un espacio lleno de historia que actuó como nuevo foco generador de cultura y para llegar a ser un ejemplo para "la colonización artística de las periferias de Santiago". Consientes de esto, la exposición de CAPA Modificaciones se trazó como un espacio de encuentro entre las obras de Roberto Matta y la de algunos artistas del "Collective Automatic Painting Amsterdam": Freddy Flores Knitoff, José Estevão, James Burns y Patricio Álvarez Aragón con la invitación especial de Bastiaan van de Welden (crítico) y que están interesados en la práctica e investigación de un tipo de propuesta pictórico que se llama "Modificación" y que ahonda en gran medida un tipo de pintura colaborativa-conceptual. La exposición exhibe 16 propuestas pictóricas de diversas dimensiones y que van desde los 30x30cm a los 70x80cm. Capa Modificaciones estará disponible en la sala de exposición central del "Espacio Matta" hasta el 26 de marzo de 2023.

A continuación algunas fotografías de la exposición:

CAPA Modifications exhibition at CCEM "Matta Space"


CAPA is pleased to invite you to its new exhibition CAPA Modificaciones that will be available until March 26, 2023 at the CCEM "Espacio Matta" in Santiago de Chile.


CAPA tiene el agrado de invitarles a su nueva exposición CAPA Modificaciones que estará disponible hasta el día 26 de Marzo de 2023 en el CCEM "Espacio Matta" de Santiago de Chile.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Modifications in Aljustrel

Our last exhibition was at the beginning of February 2022 and there are some things that remained anonymous due to the great reception that the exhibition had and the scarce existence of catalogs that were made. That is why here we will reproduce the full text published in said catalog. The text in question refers to the dialectic that exists between the works of CAPA and Don Quixote; whom we adopted as an amulet for this exhibition and who, following the programmatic ideas of the same, is a clear difference from other Riders, such as the prestigious group of artists of the Blue Rider in a Saint George with a great religious charge and for being basically the symbol who rules Bavaria. With everything here, the text is reproduced and we add some photographs of the exhibition that was entirely organized by the José Estevao component in conjunction with the CAA; which has already appeared as a frequent space for the most experimental samples of CAPA since 2018.
CAPA found its Blaue Reiter in Don Quijote

CAPA is happy to meet again for a small exhibition in Aljustrel (Portugal) with Don Quixote and his misadventures as the main character. For CAPA the figure of Don Quixote is symbolic as was Saint George for the collective of expressionist artists of the Blue Rider (der Blaue Reiter) in Munich (Vasili Kandinsky, Franz Marc, August Macke, Gabriele Münter, Alexei von Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, Paul Klee, among others ...) and that, unlike CAPA, in the Blue Rider this signified a symbol of spiritual freedom and artistic justice, clearly in tune with the story of Saint George and the Dragon and that CAPA has reinterpreted adopting the figure of Don Quixote, another chivalrous character but who, unlike Saint George or the Blue Rider, represents a symbol of the wealth of madness and a magnificent speech of the imagination that broadly demonstrated the disagreements of objective automatism and freedom over impediments of reason, thus more than an iconography if perhaps more ethical and religious linked to the spiritual, CAPA presents its own Rider who, unlike being the liberator of the spiritual, reivindicates as liberator of Madness as the true source of creation, to the first thing that passes through the mind, the hands and his vital attitude of acting openly and that in the work are defined in the intense search for the ideals of freedom, justice, and love. Don Quixote has suffered, like any classic work, all kinds of interpretations and criticisms. Miguel de Cervantes provided in 1615, through the mouth of Sancho, the first report on the impression of the readers, among whom "there are different opinions: some say: 'crazy, but funny"; others, "brave, but miserable"; others, "courteous, but impertinent." Opinions that already contain the two later interpretative tendencies: the comic and the serious. However, the novel was received in its time as a book, in the words of Cervantes himself, "of entertainment", as an exhilarating book of ridicule or as a hilarious and withering parody of chivalric books. However, we could establish that the figure of the same protagonist is a symbol of beauty-madness, gallantry, and "clairvoyance", depending on how it looks. Be that as it may, this small project adds 16 modifications by Gustave Doré (French engraver and illustrator) and that the members of CAPA: Freddy Flores Knistoff, José Estevão, James Burns, Patricio Álvarez Aragón, and Eduardo Rojo have shed light through their own perspective and automatic gaze.

Exhibition statement
Patricio Álvarez Aragón
Dublin, 2021


Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Modifications as a pioneer of CAPA

Martin van Zomeren (front), Freddy Flores Knistoff (background), and Rik Lina (right) worked on a few "Modifications" in 1992 at the Galerie 13 in Hannover.

There are a few things to say about this great and unknown picture taken by Mauricio Jalil at the Galerie 13 in Hannover but first of all, I would like to remark on perhaps the work produced at this "happening" as a kind of intent of doing "Modifications". This is very important due to the fact that CAPA never worked in this format/idea but only Collective Automatic Painting or Automatic Painting. Freddy tells us that he especially brought some posters from the Stedelijk Museum with the intention of painting them over at the opening of this exhibition (these posters remain today at the Galley 13). Regarding this, we all already know that Freddy from the beginning before CAPA was already interested in "Modification" due to the influence of Asger Jorn, but he never realized that this could be the impetus to create the Collective Automatic Painting. In fact, Collective Automatic Painting is a kind of Process Art where the painting is modified in situ several times so it is continuously "Modified" in favor of the final result. Obviously here, this still wasn't theorized and wasn't thought through but the idea was there from the beginning. I also believe that the only in understand this idea was only Freddy since "Modification" is an artistic process that is very difficult to understand and it takes many years to be able to understand it, what is more, very recently it has been possible to develop an artistic process that is linked to the "Collaborative" more than the "Collective" or "Destructive" or "Vandalized". The Modification in painting is rather an act of working with what is found, discovering a hidden path of the narrative that has been put before us. It is not about covering what exists, much less destroying it. It is adaptation and discovery. About this picture, we also know that only a few CAPA participants participated due to the fact that this exhibition was a "collective" where were invited various artists from the International Surrealism collective at that moment also linked with Edouard Jaguer. Freddy tells us that the curator of the gallery was a very good friend of Jaguer and just before this exhibition called "Crossing Borders" in German "Grenzänge" he made an exhibition called "Methamorphases" which gathered artists from Phases. However, this exhibition brought together the following artists: 
Freddy Flores Knistoff (Amsterdam), Karol Baron (Bratislava), Guy Ducornet (Le puy Notredame), Rikki Ducornet (Denver), Kathleen Fox (Wales), Marco Fragasso (Hannover), Mathias Lyssy (Göttingen), Miguel Lohlé (Amsterdam), Rik Lina (Amsterdam), Paul Goodman (Gouda), Paul Hammond (London), Dave Bobroske (Utrecht), Conroy Maddox (London), Tony Pusey (Örkelljunga), Carlos Re (Argentina), Gerald Stack (London), Katharina van Hoffs (Hannover), Geert van Mulken (Amsterdam), Gerda van der Krans (Nijmegen), Martin van Zomeren (Amsterdam), John Welson (London), Philip West (Zaragoza), Rainer Wichering (Hannover), Mauricio Jalil (Santiago de Chile / Amsterdam) and Michael Woods (London).

Monday, January 24, 2022

Make Collective Automatic Painting wasn't planned

"Worlds in Collision II"
CAPA painting from Freddy Flores Knistoff and Rik Lina (1991)
(acrylic, oil, ink, enamel and collage over canvas, 140 x 100 cm) 

When did the aesthetic-pictorial movement of "collective automatic painting" began?

Under this statement, several issues that deserve and require a small analysis to contrast certain information that sometimes appears diffuse and at the same time confusing with respect to the same origin of this movement, and for this, it is necessary to refer to Freddy Flores Knistoff, yes perhaps, the most important of the founders of this magnificent movement of automatic and experimental artists, being here where we break down and throw some small rays of light to this exciting story that in 2021 turned 30 and that it is already for 31 years. A confusing document is that of some photographs dated in November 1991 in which Rik Lina appears next to Freddy Flores Knistoff performing several automatic paintings in a gallery of art and about what appears to be an installation. The story behind these photographs is very interesting since it turns out that Freddy and Rik along with other invited artists (called in the publication as Droomschaar artists, something completely wrong, since they only participated in the publication but were not artists linked entirely to this anarchist-surrealist collective, perhaps in exception of Rik Lina) went to visit the exhibition of the Automatic Swedish-German artist K. R. H. Sonderborg at the Boër Gallery of Hannover and in which the same painter was going to perform a performance but that for reasons we unknown, the artist in question could not attend and were Rik and Freddy who offered to work on the arranged material. All in all, that was never planned and did not paint collectively but only painted "automatically" for saying it in a way. This vanishes the story behind these photographs.

One realises that the more one digs, the more one finds talismans that one has to look at closely, and that is what is happening with the history of CAPA, its foundation, which until now had remained hidden. And the more one digs, the more one realises that this movement of artists that arose in Amsterdam would never have arisen if it had not been for the activity of Freddy Flores Knistoff in his conversations with Rik Lina about automatism, Freddy himself tells us that they got together and created automatic painting, these conversations being the fruit of the discovery if perhaps by chance the objective of the foundation of Collective Automatic Painting, painting in this way was never planned. To this must be added that Freddy had already been working under experimental precepts that linked him to Modificationism and that from the beginning he promoted this career through the experience he had of other pictorial movements such as CoBrA, Roberto Matta, North American Abstract Expressionism and Modificationism (called in other ways according to its subject matter and application - Appropriationism, Ready Made, Interventionism, among others). It is also interesting to note that CAPA did not start out as CAPA, in fact, as Freddy tells us, it never presented itself as something closed or as an indissoluble group of artists, but quite the opposite, as a transversal and free space for the intellectual exchange of ideas linked to painting and automatism and that this "name" arose only to label the group of artists who worked at a key moment in the history of Collective Automatic Painting and that was in the exhibition "Phases-Surrealismo e Contemporaneidade del Museo de Arte Contemporânea de São Paulo en Brasil en 1997" curated by the critic Daisy Peccinini, which also labelled the group of artists under the title of "the new CoBrA", the first exhibition to refer to "CAPA". All in all, an exhibition which, as is well known, coincided with the bifurcation of its members Freddy and Rik, displacing Rik Lina within the parameters of International Surrealism, rather than Automatic Painting itself, and Freddy with his interests linked to "Modificationism" and "Absolute Automatism" in the same pictorial language. However, the most important of all this is that according to Freddy, "CAPA did not exist, I invited Rik to my studio to work, because he did not have a studio in 1991, and from there we created the first collective automatic paintings in a highly experimental period". In this sense, it is also very important to point out that it was Freddy Flores Knistoff who encouraged the Dutch painter to work collaboratively and that it was in Kennedylaan's studio that the first collective automatic works signed by both artists were created. According to Freddy, during this year's production, around twenty large and medium format works were produced, of which here are two magnificent works "titled" by Rik Lina as "Worlds in Collision". About this, we know that Freddy never liked to title the works as each work itself represents an infinite search for pictorial knowledge and that it refers only to itself. Nevertheless, one as a researcher is grateful for a reference for documentary purposes.


"Worlds in Collision I"
CAPA Painting from Freddy Flores Knistoff and Rik Lina (1991)
(acrylic, oil, ink, enamel and collage over canvas, 140 x 100 cm) 

Friday, January 7, 2022

The avant-garde won’t give up

Collective Automatic Painting over wall and Gerda van der Krans "automatic sculptures" at the Gallery 13 (Germany, Hannover) during a "Collective Automatic Painting" exhibition held in October 1992. In the picture: Freddy Flores Knistoff (front) and Dave Dobroske (background) working (Action Painting) over Gerda sculptures hanged in the same wall, creating a sort of a Collective Automatic Experimental Installation. This picture was taken by Mauricio Jalil (photographer and friend of Freddy)

Making a nemotechnical exercise through the dense documentation that involves the History of Art and this movement of automatic artists and, always attending the main source of such context through the automatic artist Freddy Flores Knistoff; we see how from the beginning of the practice of Collective Automatic Painting there was a continuity with ideas related to the "Modificationism" as a field of experimentation. This is how Freddy tells us that even before the realization of the countless canvases he realized next to Rik Lina in 1991 at the Kennedylann studio in Amsterdam; he already worked for several years under the aesthetic concepts of the "Modificationism", proof of this, are the same works that he shared in other artistic activities and publications prior to the emergence of the Collective Automatic Paintings, such as the publications of the Anarchist-Surrealist magazine "Droomschaar" (pictures (1), (2)) or the same Freddy exhibitions at Hannover Gallery 13. Wathever the case may be, the experimental opening that occurred in CAPA always operated as a skillful conservator of this artistic trend and that Freddy himself inserted from the beginning in performing what it means today CAPA. On the history of "Modificationism" there is a capital and mandatory text for the understanding of this variant or rather, knowledge of what it was "the last European vanguard" from a historiographical point of view. The thesis in question is that of the researcher and Art Historian Karen Kurczynski, (today associated Professor of Art History at the University of Massachusetts) entitled: "Expressions as Vandalism: Asger Jorn's" Modifications "published in the research magazine of the University of Massachusetts in 2008, "Anthropology and Aesthetics" Volume 53-54 in Association with the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University; text that we include integrally below. To recap, the text in question talks about the importance of this "trend" that arose around 1959 under other aesthetic concepts such as that of the "New Disfigurations" in the work of Asger Jorn and soon from other artists such as Enrico Baj and Daniel Spoerri and who drank other artistic solutions contributed by the genius of Marcel Duchamp . However, each artist understood in a different way the hatching of this type of artistic solution but unwittingly opened a new field of experimentation that until today has been maintained as something innate of contemporary artistic production. It is also interesting to note that this type of attitude arose as a protest, a protesting attitude that protested - if you will forgive the repetition- about the alienation of the historical vanguard's by the Parisian Artistic Academy. Therefore, we could say that this protest arose as a new solution to the demands of a context marked by the "robbery and mercantilism" of the historical avant-garde's and what is already popularly accepted as valid. That is why the new "Modification" movement was presented as the last great and genuine movement or "ism" of liberation of Arts.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

CAPA: Seek Inside (exhibition at the Бункер / Bunker Gallery Project in Varna, Bulgaria)

CAPA: Seek Inside is the first exhibition of the CAPA Movement in Bulgaria and not just one exhibition but two of them thanks to the support and invitation of the experimental Gallery Бункер Bunker of Bulgaria. The first exhibition will be held at the II World War abandoned Bunker of Varna at the forest of the city and the next exhibition will be held at the abandoned Bunker of Ezerets. Both Bunkers are managed by different events creators and curators but linked in the idea of presenting Contemporary Art and Artists to the public through a very inisual way of do it. The Bunkers are totally conservated as they were so no light or electricity are installed in order to move the guest of the exhibitions to use their cellphones lanterns during the visit. Neno Belchev the curator of the project tell us that this project is a low budget project so the space do not intend to present original artworks but only copies and that the focus of the project is to present Contemproary Art and Artists to everyone to break with the idea of the Museum or regular gallery as a unique space of exhibition. He also say that the space itself have history and a specific context. The context of the II World War. A context that has been representated by very different minds and understandings of what it is to dialogue with these unique spaces. Until know the Бункер Bunker Gallery has presented the solo work of the CAPA Members Patricio Álvarez Aragón and Marcos Vidal Font, also has presented the work of the recognized Bulgarian Land Art artist Penka Mincheva, an interesting exhibition/research of the Russian photographer Yakov Shustov "about the rest of Militaries", the intervention of Dessislava Atanasova and has celebrated an interesting collective within the ideas of the "Feminism" on March 8.

You can check out more about the Gallery/Project and Space here

CAPA is pleased to be the first "group exhibition" at the Bunker Varna and Ezerets (Ezeretzsky branch) and to exhibit for the first time at Bulgaria. The work displayed at the exhibitions was a product of an ardouos work between the CAPA members Freddy Flores Knistoff, José Estevão, James Burns, Jorge J. Herrera Fuentealba, Patricio Álvarez Aragón, Marcos Vidal Font and Eduardo Rojo during the moths of January to May 2021. Because of the pandemic of the Covid-19, CAPA started to work remotely via post and more than 49 works were exchanged during the creative process and modification (the main topic and activity of CAPA Knistoff branch) between the countries of EE.UU (Seatlle), Portugal (Aljustrel), The Netherlands (Amsterdam), Ireland (Dublin) and Spain (Palma de Mallorca). An exhausting job full of patience and love for painting, the collaborative work and experimentation.

*First CAPA exhibition at the Бункер Bunker Gallery in Varna will be available to visit under petition until the 27 of July o 2021. Soon will be more information about the second part at Ezerest!

You can reach the curator and sign up for your participation here

About the Collective Automatic Painting Amsterdam Group (1991-2021)

CAPA (from, Collective Automatic Painting Amsterdam) is an International and Experimental group of artists founded in the 90's by the ch...