Cercle Rouge Vermilion
Venezuelan born 1939
Cercle Rouge Vermilion 2022
Painted wood, pigments, glass, electric motor
A painter, scenic designer and installation artist, Venezuelan-born Manuel Mérida has worked in Paris since the 1980s. Trained at the Arturo Michelena School of Fine Arts in Valencia, he found acclaim as one of Venezuela’s notable exponents of Informalism.
Originating in the 1950s during a period of political turmoil in Venezuela, Informalism embraced bold experimentation, the use of found materials and imagery best described as gestural abstraction as opposed to the geometric abstraction for which Venezuelan modern art is best known.
In Paris in 1968, Mérida contacted the studio of renowned Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, a pioneer of kinetic and Op Art. Under the influence of Cruz-Diez, Mérida began a series of works in which he encloses various materials – metallic powders, wood dust, glass, and fragments of ceramic tile – within square or circular cases. These glazed cases revolve around a central axis, their motion generated manually or, as here, by motor.
With this work, the hypnotic and ever-changing fall and collapse of red pigment reflects the artist’s desire to avoid any sense of static or fixed imagery.