Catalina Chervin

By Robert C. Morgan (Art Critic, poet and artist)

I discovered the drawings pf Catalina Chervin in November 1996 during an visit to Buenos Aires. I had been invited to give a lecture at the Museo de Bellas Artes at the kind invitation of Jorge Glusberg. It was during this occasion that Catalina Chervin introduced me to her astounding images of corporeal interiors.

I immediately recognized in her drawings a quality that belonged to the world of the fantastic. I felt them to be truly and wonderfully obsessive. Obsession is one of the most prevalent tendencies among expressionist artist of the 20th century. It is a feeling instigated by desire, by a longing to move from the material world into a spiritual state of understanding, a need for tranquility. Chervin´s drawings are filled with a desire to understand humanity not as individual beings lost in their solitary pursuits but as a larger body, where every person´s emotional needs and anxieties are somehow connected to every else. I think of Chervin´s work as heroic in the tradition of the great mythic artists –Goya, Archimboldo, and Bosch–. Perhaps this is too facile an interpretation. Perhaps, it is too obvious or even arrogant to suggest such a comparison. Yet I have seen Chervin´s tenuous lines, shapes, and contrasting folds of light and dark. I have seen the utter abandon into her obsessive lingering of a form, a bodily form, a moment of decay that suggest putrefaction an entropy, yet there is always the persistence of hope. There is the hope in Chervin´s art that carries us into another stratosphere of being and of understanding who we are and who we want ourselves to become. As I study and enjoy her drawings I am aware of the fragility of human feeling, but I am also aware that the human mind is a great instrument that takes us into the heart and soul towards a richness of experience. Catalina Chervin is such an artist who takes us on an intimate journey into the soul and who leaves us with light and a radiant simplicity of vision. It is this simplicity of vision that can only happen through and extraordinary complexity of mind, an exuberant of compassion that touches humanity of all levels –both material and spiritual– and finally transcends elements that we understand as the basis of all civilization.

New York City, February 1998

 

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