"Luz y Movimiento: Ender Martos"
A new space for Camiba Art allows for a playful, active relationship to Ender Martos' vibrant Op Art work
Reviewed by Seth Orion Schwaiger, Fri., Nov. 6, 2015
Over the last year, Troy Campa, gallerist and co-founder of Camiba Art Gallery, has been quietly collecting momentum for his contemporary art enterprise through building friendships within the Austin community of artists and curators, keeping his eye on the wider regional scene with regular trips to Dallas and Houston, working as an art consultant for individual collectors and businesses, and mounting regular exhibitions – albeit in a less than ideal space on East Sixth Street. Until recently, Camiba was headquartered just east of Chicon, in a spot that doubles as an interior thoroughfare connecting several unrelated businesses. When a space opened up at the Flatbed complex, Campa pounced on the opportunity to expand. He now joins stalwarts Gallery Shoal Creek, Flatbed Press, and Photo Méthode, rounding out a collection of stable commercial galleries housed under one roof.
The first solo exhibition in this new space showcases work by Ender Martos. Though a longtime Austinite, Martos acknowledges a deep influence from contemporary art coming out of Venezuela, the country of his birth. Like Op Art movement giants Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto, Martos uses strong geometric form and sequenced parallel lines to create works that visually interact with the viewer's movements, appearing to vibrate or twist with each step. Unlike his predecessors, Martos employs a pop sensibility in color, choosing commercial fluorescents and neons instead of less synthetic tones. Furthermore, Martos constructs a reversal of Soto's "Penetrables" (large installations of dangling strings that viewers can move through and touch). In Camiba's new space, viewers are greeted by an impenetrable series of brightly colored nylon strings strung tight diagonally across the gallery. The sculpture confronts the viewer with a choice: Either shimmy past the front desk and go through a hall of Plexiglas to one side of the sculpture or limbo underneath the large cylinder of strings. This sort of interruption in space is impossible in Camiba's utilitarian Sixth Street location, but at Flatbed it serves an important role, resetting the default passive viewing to an active, playful tone – a much more appropriate lens through which to view the rest of Martos' handiwork.
"Luz y Movimiento: Ender Martos"Camiba Art Gallery, 2832 E. MLK
Through Nov. 7