Elias Crespin, Circuconcéntricos Alu Noir 100, 2023. Aluminium, nylon, motors, computer, electronic interface, 39 3/8 in.
Elias Crespin, Trianguconcéntricos Laiton, Edition of 3, 2021. Brass, 19 7/8 x 17 1/8 in.
Elias Crespin, Tetralineados Transparente 63, 2016. Transparent Plexiglass, 24 3/4 x 5 5/8 x 5 5/8 in.
Elias Crespin, Elipsis Aluminium, 2022. Aluminium, Diameter = 37 3/8 in.
Elias Crespin, 4Nte Inox Quadra, 2013. Stainless steel, nylon, motors, and electronic interface, 19 11/16 x 19 11/16 in.
Elias Crespin’s Tempomorphosis exhibition at Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino brings together a set of electro-kinetic mobiles made between 2013 and the present that are fascinating in their incessant ability to metamorphose in space and time. These creations, with open, almost immaterial forms, have consolidated the international reputation of the artist. Elias Crespin has had exhibitions around the world, and his work is included in the permanent collections of renowned museums, including the Louvre in Paris (where he has lived for nearly fifteen years), the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, El Museo del Barrio in New York, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) in Buenos Aires, and the Fundación de Museos Nacionales in Venezuela.
Elias Crespin grew up in a family that introduced him at a young age to the spirit of invention, both in the arts and sciences. Grandson of the artist Gego, son of mathematicians, he studied computer engineering. The result of this double heritage, his work draws its sources both from constructivism and kineticism, the principles of which he has fundamentally renewed with his use of algorithmic programming.
In the work of Elias Crespin, creative intuition and scientific rigor come together to make the laws of the universe visible: “I have always been interested in forms and logic. I am very sensitive to sensuality and the perception of things, such as enjoying a beautiful sunset. But I'm also interested in more complex things, such as functions or the properties of a circle.” Indeed, the visual language of his electro-kinetic mobiles is based on the repeated use of simple geometric figures (triangles, squares, circles, cubes) that he deploys along vertical axes in space with subtle dynamism. Their appearance changes depending on the rhythm of sequences skillfully programmed by the artist, but also according to the angle of observation. The work may appear as a stable and continuous form seen from the front or as a form defying all description and in precarious balance when seen from the side.
For the most part, these mobiles are suspended close to a wall to double their material presence with the changing beauty of the shadows they cast. As can be seen in Tetralineados Transparente 63 (2016), executed in transparent Plexiglas, the work, barely perceptible, exists as much in its materiality as in its shadow. The work reminds us of the famous Licht Raum Modulator (1930) by Moholy-Nagy, originally designed by the Hungarian artist to create a theater of shadow and light. However, in the work of Elias Crespin, this characteristic is established as a principle, as evidenced by Circuconcéntricos Alu Noir 100 (2023), whose steel circles, painted black, forcefully affirm their material presence in space.
Moving through the air as if by magic, Elias Crespin’s mobiles captivate. The grace of their choreographies, their subtle variations, and the lightness of their movements that seems similar to breathing obey the magic of a program that remains invisible. Animated by continuous movement, these works, which seem free from all mechanics, fluidly pass from simple to complex, from continuous to discontinuous, without our being able to anticipate these different states. “It is before our eyes, directly, that the aesthetic phenomenon unfolds, that the work is born, moves, lives, dies and is reborn.” This phrase, written by Jean Clay about the work of Carlos Cruz-Diez, applies perfectly to the work of Elias Crespin. Through his talents as a programmer, he has been able to rid his creations of any repetitive and mechanical character and to give them an organic dimension that evokes the living world. This impression is particularly perceptible in creations such as 4Net Inox Quadra (2013) or Circuconcéntricos Alu Noir 100 (2023), whose floating and undulatory character places them between the geometric and the organic.
The work of Elias Crespin invites us to enjoy a cosmic reverie, for he has always been fascinated by the cosmos, by the grandeur and the organization of the universe. The spatial movements of his electro-kinetic sculptures, defying the laws of gravity and equilibrium, going from order to chaos, suggest the first state of the universe, the genesis of the world and of forms. When one sees these hypnotic works and their slow and unpredictable movements, one feels a suspension of time in which wonder mingles with contemplation. Modifying our gaze and perceptions, Elias Crespin's mobiles enlarge our field of vision, leave room for the imagination, and put us in touch with other worlds.