Francine Birbragher Art Historian and Indipendent Curator
”After several years of research, travel, photographic gathering and spiritual pilgrimage, Karina Chechik presents Architectures of Light, an exhibit based on various architectural settings with religious and cultural references which combine different artistic currents, beliefs and temporalities. The exhibition is a reflection on the existential questions the artist has tried to answer over the years regarding the human essence, the search for the divine, and the spiritual elevation."
“While her pictorial work has always had a profound spiritual sense, to the extent that it has been a celebration of life in all its aspects, this new exhibit illustrates a deeper and more believing experience that transcends time and generations through architecture and art.”
“It is precisely faith and hope what inspired her vision of "light", visually represented by bright sun rays that illuminate the blue skies of exterior views, vaults, and domes of churches; by the light that enters through the windows and the stained glass roses of cathedrals; and by the flames of the candles lit by the faithful who visit the Duomo, in Milan, and Notre Dame, in Paris. The same light appears in the Baroque chiaroscuro and the clarity that emphasizes the depth of the vaults of the ancient street of Jerusalem, a light that saves, transports, and elevates, especially in the places chosen for this installation which aims to illustrate the religious and spiritual diversity of the contemporary man.”
Karina Chechik has long been fascinated with the concept of light and dark as the very basis for her work, and this exhibition, Architectures of Light, represents a culmination (although it can continue for as long as she pursues her journey of exploration) of years of travel to visit structures that are meaningful to her, such as bridges, art institutions, churches, temples, pyramids, and other sacred sites. From photographs that capture the materiality of a building or location (themselves independent and unique works of art), Chechik begins her personal, artistic journey to reveal their significance through the interplay of light and shadow to transcend mere architectural description, which is often a distraction from the spiritual in our secular society. Modern interpretations that dwell on architectural innovations and sheer enormity of scale and production may leave the real meaning buried in time. For Chechik, her artist’s vision reveals the true underlying symbolism inherent in each scene in paintings that bring the spirit of renewal and enlightenment.
Carol Damian Director and Chief Curator, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami
Rodrigo Alonso Profesor de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) y curador independiente
El laberinto vertical. "Borges y Ricci se han encontrado en diferentes oportunidades. Hoy lo hacen nuevamente a través de la obra de Karina Chechik, quien aborda la imagen del laberinto como punto de contacto con dos personalidades potentes e inspiradoras, que, además, condensan las bondades culturales de sus dos patrias, Argentina e Italia". "Es significativo que Karina Chechik haya elegido un museo de arquitectura como ámbito para desplegar su laberinto plástico. Porque, aunque éstos son el resultado de los más estrictos diseños estructurales, su finalidad pareciera ir en contra de los principios organizativos del planeamiento arquitectónico. La artista realiza una operación crítica perspicaz y desafiante al proyectar su laberinto en la altura y romper con el tradicional modelo horizontal. Y al multiplicar los estímulos sensoriales, al integrar espacio, tiempo, experiencia, ascensión, luz, movimiento y sonido, expande los campos en los cuales es posible perderse. Erige un laberinto de laberintos. Explora una complejidad que la sumerge en la imaginación borgeana, evitando quedar atrapada en la seductora imagen pictórico-fotográfica."
Ivan Petrella PhD in religion from Harvard University. Professor at San Andres University, Buenos Aires
Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
”That line, from Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem provides an interpretative key to Karina Chechik’s Architecture of Light. Beyond the artistic merit of the work, there lies a political-theological statement of great importance for our time. Chechik is challenging us to focus on the imperfection in every structure, the crack in every theology. It is in those cracks and imperfections that, for her, humanity approaches the divine."
"Churches, mosques and synagogues are living monuments to humanity’s search for truth. They are testaments to our relentlessly inquisitive nature. They, in brick and stone and glass, represent the answers we have found so far. The question that Chechik forces upon is, however, is whether we will stick to answers past, whether we will stay safely within the walls of our particular cathedral, or whether we will dare follow the light the cracks let in. “
Antonio Fernandez Ferrer Professor at Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Writer specialized in Jorges Luis Borges
"That is what Karina Chechik achieves with her trees and staircases: she makes them fly-swim and emerge or submerge us."
"Trees inside, we hear and see the roots-veins and the arteries-branches, precisely because K.’s trees, like those of that other K. from Prague, are also firmly rooted to the ground, but at the same time they fly and make us fly in their purest appearance." (From "The trees of K". UBS Solo show, Switzerland, 2008)
Perderse (y encontrarse) soñando un claro laberinto. Contemplar un cuadro, leer un poema, escuchar una música, puede suponer adentrarse en un sueño. También, sumergirnos en una ensoñación ajena y apropiárnosla. Margueritte Yourcernar fabuló sobre Wang-Fô, internado en el mar de jade azul que estaba pintando, y Kurosawa imaginó un artista bisoño que deambula por el sobrecogedor cuadro de Van Gogh Trigal con cuervos (Champ de blé aux corbeaux). Tampoco al arte fotográfico le ha faltado este asunto: recuérdese el cuento «Las babas del diablo», de Cortázar, adaptado libérrimamente por Antonioni. Convoco esta selección de referencias para invitar al lector del presente catálogo a imaginarse paseando dentro de los cuadros de Karina Chechik en su nueva exposición dedicada al laberinto de bambú de Franco Maria Ricci. Considerémonos, pues, paseantes de estas pinturas e intentemos perdernos en ellas. (From "El Laberinto Vertical". MARQ Solo show, Argentina, 2018)
Corey Brennan Professor at Rutgers University, New Jersey (USA), and former Professor at the American Academy in Rome
The light of hope for immigrants: the Faro degli Italiani d’Argentina, in Rome and Buenos Aires. Karina Chechik will create a dual, simultaneous installation in Rome and Buenos Aires, focused on the symbolic Lighthouse that Italian immigrants to Argentina erected on the Gianicolo hill in Rome in 1911, as a gift to Italy. In its early years the Argentinian Lighthouse on the Gianicolo Hill, gifted to Italy by Italian emigrants to Argentina, brilliantly illuminated Rome from its height, with lights that evoked the red, white and green tricolor flag of Italy. But for many decades it has remained closed, and stopped showing its colors. What better time to revive it than now, in artistic intervention that will serve as a timely reminder of historical context in what many perceive as a present-day refugee crisis?
Monica Nucera Mantelli Director, Museo del Design GH di Torino, Italy
Architectures of Light. So the real protagonist of the architecture is the Light. That light that shakes the vigorous wings of the vaults, great towers, arches and rose windows which break into the dark of the buildings, signing the perfect adhesion between significatum and significant, between the power of matter and the wisdom of the spirit. Between the human strength embodied in the stone and the mystic vertigo that the esprit envelops around and into buildings that own great spiritual appealKarina Checkik’s art, made by pictures and photographs, can be framed as a system of readings of signs in a continuing evolution, as a living language, organic, structured in imaginative forms which open the formal representation in Doors, Bridges and Meeting places where it is almost impossible to find them.
Mariano Michaud PhD philosophy and theology from the Catholic University of Argentina
Light and warmth. “The splendor of being and its warmth gathered in a same glance and in a same piece of art, the one of the artist Karina Chechik. A gaze that, above all, ch aracterizes itself for its respectful silence, for its ability to contemplate, admire and be deeply moved by the surrounding beauty. And from such ability of listening emanates her creativity, creativity which notoriously accompanies the transcendent glance on everyday things. Her works of art are thus transformed into windows through which the fresh air caresses our senses, our souls." "Hence, Vestigia fidei is not only an exhibition but a summary of all her work, of her look, of the essence of her as an artist and as a person, synthesis of an existential and vital path: a sensibility open to transcendence." "The invitation to enjoy her work is to stimulate the entrance to the thickness of the secret of creation, of nature and of the mystery which every human being is in itself.”
Dalmazio Ambrosioni Journalist, specialized in art criticism and history of art, Switzerland
The truth is the light by which you can find your way in the dark. Kindle it. ( Rabbi Nachman of Breslov )
“According to the Kabbalah, the Jewish mysticism, each of us is a vessel of light.The challenge is the choice; the capacity and potential of being able to choose: being light or being darkness. Light is hope, it is the act of creation; it is goodness, love, and truth.”
“And there it is, where we find the insistence of the artist Karina Chechik, trying to figure out, to reinvent those nooks where light passes through, trying to open spaces, creating opportunities for meeting; the only possible scenario for dialogue, for the inter-, for the space between.
" The meeting is the same dialogue between opposites, there lays the light, pure movement, incomprehensible, unapproachable. It is the dimension of holiness, light, time, movement, and action. Because the purpose of giving light is to create, is to turn on, is to illuminate. Bringing light is a way to create palaces in time; it is a way of making heaven and earth become pure unity.”
Marisa Bergman Director, Jewish Museum of Buenos Aires
The colour is an element that really connotes Karina Chechik's works. In the declining of the shades, in the harmonic succession of the tones, it reflects the passing of the time, the sense of history, the veil of nature, the boldness of the shapes. The colours are even vertiginous, they gradate the consistency of the physical elements thus exalting the interior perception. The light blue is not for the grass, the yellow is not for the sun, the same for the red, violet, and the grey tones. But all of them have an inner ability of vibration, of trasparency, of reflexes, of glazings that reminds us some glares in the skies painted by Turner. The light blows gently on the surfaces, animates the movements, interprets the quality of the evocation. It is a rafined, delicate, and sometimes sharp light. A light that generates from the tones and allows to distinguish the real nature of things, beyond the appearances. A light that projects a perspective of opening, of getting over all the borders, of hope.