Silvia Castagnino, Matter and spirit
By Fermín Fevre*

In Silvia Castagnino´s paintings different aspects are conjugated that give main importance to matter. This artist develops all the expressive media she uses such as oil, acrylic, rosins, expanded polyurethane, paper, glue, fabric and different pigments.
In this way her creation is multiple, because she not only elaborates an image but to do so she creates the necessary plastic resources to formulate it. In this way a symbiosis between materials together with supports that the artist create and image, is produced. It is difficult then to establish what is first and what goes after. Is it the desired image what determines the necessary media to express it or are these the ones that condition it?
In many artists- and these seems to be Silvia Castagnino´s case- a kind of dialogue between matter and the creator is produced. Sometimes one can even question if the artist works with matter or against matter. Such is the struggle to bring out all of its expressive capabilities, that it could become a real battle to dominate it, to make it malleable.
Without any doubt in the work of this artist we can notice before anything a spiritual determining that is located in the origins of her creativity. The symbiosis between matter and spirit is given, but it is governed by that intuitive perception of every creator that can see -where no one else can- a plastic concept possible to be expressed.
In her most recent works this artist has reduced to the minimum the figurative references, tending to a matter abstraction that in other sense contains it. Let's take the series dedicated to the " walls". In some of these works that contain relieves and bas-relieves, hands as if printed in the surfaces or clutching fingers appear.
These summarizing references are enough for her to create a symbolic message.
This is the reason why the paintings that this artist creates through the variety of mixed techniques that she uses have a great density of meanings, free for the imaginative development of the contemplator. That symbolic sense is loaded with diverse messages that color, with its intensities and textures takes care of transmitting. The mysterious condition of any artistic expression is evident, becoming a reason for visual as well as tactile attraction and seduction. The indirect language of the art of painting is present in the works of this artist, with its eloquent and silent voice.

Fermín Fevre

Buenos Aires, september 2002.

*Art critic
Former Director National Art Museum Buenos Aires
Former director of the National Art Fund, Argentina
Member of the National Academy of journalism