Gyula Kosice (Fernando Fallik). Articulated Mobile Sculpture. 1948

Gyula Kosice (Fernando Fallik) Articulated Mobile Sculpture 1948

  • Not on view

Composed of metal bands linked by pins, this lightweight work was originally intended to be handled and molded into different shapes by the viewer. Kosice believed that a fleeting physical interaction with an object superseded the notion of art as untouchable and self-contained. Sculptures like this one “require the viewer’s participation,” he noted, “because if there is no viewer to lend them movement, they are pointless.” Although shiny and sleek, even futuristic looking, the sculpture’s brass strips were among the humble everyday tools used by Kosice’s father to reinforce leather bags handmade in their family’s workshop.

Gallery label from Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, October 21, 2019–March 14, 2020
Additional text

In 1946, Kosice, along with other Argentine artists, founded the MADI movement, one of the earliest artistic groups entirely devoted to nonobjective abstraction in the Americas. He began his landmark production of unconventional sculptural forms in the early 1940s. Inspired by the raw, nontraditional materials in the leather shop he owned with his brother, Kosice developed artworks that are in a permanent state of change. This transformable sculpture is made from metal bands used to reinforce leather handbags. Intended to be touched and moved by the viewer, it defies the idea of sculpture as a static monument and exemplifies the primacy for MADI artists of peripheral, unconventional artistic structures, such as irregular, broken frames and forms without default positions. For conservation reasons, viewers are no longer allowed to manipulate the sculpture.

Gallery label from New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930–2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions, November 21, 2007–February 25, 2008

In the early 1940s, inspired by the materials in the leather shop he owned with his brother, Kosice began to make artworks that are very different from the static monuments of traditional modernist sculpture and question conventional approaches to material. This transformable object, made from the metal bands used to reinforce leather handbags, was intended to be touched and moved. (To preserve the sculpture, viewers are no longer allowed to handle it.) Kosice was a founder of the Argentine artist group MADI, one of the earliest in the Americas that was entirely devoted to abstraction. Escultura movil articulada exemplifies the primacy for MADI artists of unconventional artistic structures such as irregular, broken frames and linear forms.

Gallery label from On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, November 21, 2010-February 7, 2011
Medium
Brass
Dimensions
Dimensions variable, approximately 65 x 12 x 1/2" (165.1 x 30.5 x 1.3 cm)
Credit
Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of Jay Levenson
Object number
321.2004
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance

The artist.
1998 - 2004, Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, and Caracas, purchased through Galería César Aché, Rio de Janeiro.
2004, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as gift from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

Exhibition history

Mexico City, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, "Cruce de Miradas Tradiciones Plásticas de América Latina en la colección CPPC", August 2 through October 22, 2006

Austin, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, "The Geometry of Hope: Latin American Geometrical Abstraction from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection", February 17, 2007 - April 5, 2007

MoMA Exh. #2022: "New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930-2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions", 3rd Floor, November 21, 2007 - February 25, 2008

MoMA Exh. #2135: "On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century", 6th Floor, The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Gallery, November 21, 2010 - February 7, 2011

Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, "La invención concreta. Collección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros", January 22 - September 16, 2013

Basel, Museum Tinguely, "Speilogjekte: Die Kunst der Möglichkeiten", February 18 - May 18, 2014

London, Royal Academy of Arts, "Radical Geometry: Modern Art of South America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection", July 5 - September 28, 2014

MoMA Exh. #2424: "Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift", 3rd Floor, 3 East, October 21, 2019 - September 12, 2020

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