Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present artworks by Gustavo Bonevardi. This is Bonevardi’s first solo exhibition at Octavia Art Gallery.
Born and raised in New York City, Gustavo received a masters degree in architecture from Princeton University. While at first integrating murals and sculptural elements into his architectural projects, he ultimately came to focus solely on his artistic practice.
His diverse production resists simple characterization, ranging from austere, minimal drawings to abstract geometric paintings and sculpture, to somewhat figurative watercolors. His work has been exhibited widely and is represented in various public collections. He draws more fully on his architectural background when working on his large-scale urban projects (in collaboration with John Bennett), including Tribute in Light, the annual memorial of the September 11th attack at the World Trade Center.
When I began working on this series of geometric paintings, in late 2019, their balance and restraint seemed to answer the sense of instability and unease I’d been feeling. As the new year began, and the world fell into chaos, I was pulled more and more into the clarity, structure, and safety of the alternate world the paintings presented. The more things unraveled, the more the restrained, austere logic the works seemed to provide a form of refuge. I’m an architect by training, as well as by temperament. Perhaps that is why I am attracted by the ability of art to shape one’s experience of the world.
In the fall of 2021, I returned to watercolor, a medium that I hadn’t touched in a few years. At first the work continued to be somewhat controlled, but then it all gave way to an unrestrained riot of color. Despite my dark mood at the time, the works I was making suddenly seemed to be offering a world of abundance, I could even see joy in them. It was clear the need for safety and succor was gone. It was past time for life to return. -Gustavo Bonevardi