Concrete Improvisations: Collages and Sculpture by Esteban Vicente
Concrete Improvisations: Collages and Sculpture by Esteban Vicente at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU. "...For five decades Esteban Vicente (1903–2001)―an integral member of the New York School―explored color, form, and texture in vibrant paintings and inventive collages. Whether using paint or cut-and-torn paper, he crafted his works with painstaking care, attentively layering abstract shapes and varied hues. Vicente’s very early collages, however, also exude Abstract Expressionism’s spontaneity, prompting critics to dub him a pioneer of 'action collage.' Indeed, this medium was as important to Vicente as his painting, and collages often made up half of his annual output. Later works feature bold, geometric forms that showcase luminous colors and delicately shifting tones. He also created small-scale sculptures called 'toys' or divertimientos, which he cobbled together from bits of wood and other detritus scattered about his studio. Thoughtful yet lighthearted improvisations, his “toys” convey the artist’s whimsical side—he was well known for his formal demeanor―and reveal his hands-on, polychrome experiments with three-dimensionality."