Flora, Fauna, Figura

FWP28406 El Jardin 2011 61x46 500"El Jardin" Watercolor/Paper 61x46 2011Carlos Pérez Franco adopted the "Southern Cone" palette utilized by generations of modern painters throughout that region of South America for over one hundred years. Characterized by warm, dark and muted tones, traditional Uruguayan masters like Figari and Barradas used it almost exclusively, as did Joaquin Tórres-Garcia and members of his constructivist studio. Contemporary regional artists including Ignacio Iturria, Diego Donner and Javier Bassi have continued to use the Southern palette in much of their work.

After moving to Venezuela in the late 60s to further his career as a professor of architectural design at the University of Zulia, Pérez Franco's palette abruptly shifted to incorporate references of the sunny climate and lively culture from his adopted Caribbean surroundings. For over two decades, color was used with striking effect as yet another compositional layer for his already complex work.

Back in Uruguay, after the termination of its repressive dictatorship in the mid-80s, local artists also began to explore the possibilities of an expanded color range.

While Pérez Franco's works assumed a vibrant contemporary palette as early as the 80s, nothing could prepare us for 2011's "Flora, Fauna, Figura" series of mixed works on paper produced in the artist's oceanside studio apartment in Punta Carretas. While atypical both in structure and palette compared to much of his work, we believe that the breathy quality of the compositions coupled with an uplifting color range work perfectly. While subdued scapes are more prevalent given his surroundings during the 2009-2011 period, Flora, Fauna, Figura features a less nostalgic, forward-leaning engagement more typical in works created during his time spent working in Florida and the Caribbean.

Below are works from this series: