Pablo Siquier: “Hostile”

at Sicardi Gallery

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“1306,” 2013, Pablo Siquier, Charcoal on paper drawing, 59 1⁄16″ x 64″
Photo: courtesy Sicardi Gallery

After years of utilizing rulers, compasses and other measuring tools to create his intricate drawings, Pablo Siquier started using a software program called formZ that allows him to create more complex forms while remaining faithful to his geometric sensibilities. Although these large graphite drawings on paper are two-dimensional, the contrast between the flatness of the picture plane and the illusion of depth is arresting. Most of the pieces in the show, which have numbers for titles, depict rectangular forms that appear to recede deeply behind the picture plane. They vibrate as well, and draw the viewer in closer to examine the elaborate interlocking grids that comprise them. Siquier is a master of one-point perspective, and it does seem like one could enter these room-like spaces. In fact, he does construct them in real space from time to time. The transition to a digital production tool has allowed his work to be free of size or scale restrictions.

A contrast in Siquier’s work can be seen by comparing 1608 (2016) and 1306 (2013). The former resembles a rectangular cuboid, its walls constructed from a thick layer of interwoven thick lines reminiscent of chair-link fencing, as well as a honeycomb hive. The front-facing end is open, allowing the viewer to see into the cuboid. In the latter piece, however, a single-layer grid encloses a cube filled with lines running at various angles to one another. The point of view is external, with the interior available to the eye only through the transparency of the grid.

Siquier says these geometric abstractions are apolitical; instead, he is informed by the lines and shapes of urban architecture and considers his drawings to reflect the experience of being in a mega-city like Buenos Aires (where he resides), San Paolo, or Mexico City. An earlier drawing presented the bus routes in a large city, with the crisscrossing lines representing the movement of people and vehicles in a complex urban environment. In these intense, fantastical creations, Siquier continues to explore the intersection of geometric forms and visual illusion.