Materials: Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: Various dimensions
Exhibition history: 2019 Jane Lombard Gallery, New York, USA
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
The word ‘derrame’ in Spanish is imbued with multiple significations: leak (escape, loss), spillover (waste), outpouring (effusion), or a stroke (cerebral seizure, paint gesture). All these meanings encapsulate these intense paintings –at the origin of the abstract gesture is an accidental moment that produces the varying states of pigment fusion – the accident being the essential composition and subject matter of the painting.
The Derrame series dates to 1977, a traumatic period of social and political unrest in Argentina. The military Junta had toppled the Perón government a year earlier, leading to total censorship of culture and the first demonstration in the Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires by the mothers of the disappeared children. Working in his hometown Rosario, Jorge Orta’s practice underwent an intense period of questioning. Parallel to his collective work and performances, painting became an emotional act of frustration and even revolt. For Orta, Derrame epitomises a society going out of control.