STRICTLY COLOR | Osvaldo romberg 1968 - 2018

MAy 19 - June 30, 2018


OPENING Reception: SATURDAY, MAY 19, 5:00 - 7:30 PM

ARTIST TALK: FRIDAY, MAY 25, 5:30 - 7:00 PM | TALK at 6:00 Pm

Guest Speaker: Carlos Basualdo
The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Pentimenti Gallery is proud to present STRICTLY COLOR | Osvaldo Romberg 1968 - 2018. This solo exhibition, in honor of Romberg’s 80th birthday, features new work alongside a retrospective of work created throughout his brilliant career. STRICTLY COLOR | Osvaldo Romberg 1968 - 2018 runs concurrent with an installation of his work at the PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM of ART from Late May - Early September 2018.

The retrospective focuses on work ranging from Romberg’s ‘Color Classification Series’, ‘Paradigm Series’, ‘Building Footprints: Objects’, and ‘Dirty Geometry’. The progression of these works highlights his overarching analytical view and refined deconstruction of art-making while exploring the conventions of looking and seeing.

Romberg began using grids of color swatches to analyze the tone and saturation of various colors. These comprehensive studies go beyond the structure of the grid in his use of gestural brushstrokes to create vibrant, polychromatic compositions. From here, Romberg’s continued interest in architecture and art history led him to further examine the inner frameworks and societal appreciation of these subjects. The works in his ‘Paradigm Series’ form a synthesis of Romberg's prior color studies and art historical investigation through the use of reproductions of significant masterpieces of the past on canvas. Onto the surface of these representational paintings, he painted swatches of color, thus conflating two paradigms, those of abstraction and representation. In his ‘Building Footprints: Objects’ Romberg uses architectural object as a means for social, historical and analytical discussion. With these works, Romberg disrupts the recognition of the building footprint model by introducing holes and extrusions to manipulate their form and shape, bringing ambiguity and metaphor to the object's reading. Culminating in ‘Dirty Geometry’, Romberg set out to challenge and subvert abstraction into a new cultural and personal framework. These works subtly hint to high modernist masters such as Mondrian and Malevich, utilizing their language of the grid, primary colors, and a structuralist approach. However, despite a rational beginning, Romberg eventually allows gesture and excess to take over each piece. In the end, Modernist purity is contaminated, dirtied, in Romberg’s quest to: “break from all theoretical frameworks and thus invent a geometry that would be free from theory.”

After 80 years, Romberg has brought us to his most recent series of work, ‘Brazilian Papers’. With this series, he continues his pursuit to separate himself completely from the organizational rules that had determined many of the works from his career prior. Rather than taking theory or analysis as his inspiration, he looked toward the experience of being in nature. Here, constellations of colors, referencing the artist’s earlier works on the same theme, created with airbrush, watercolor and collaged elements evoke an organic sense of fluidity and movement. Apparent in these works are Romberg’s belief in the sensuality of color, or the ability of color to be felt and experienced in an emotional way, not just intellectually or analytically.

Osvaldo Romberg is an Argentine artist, curator, and professor who lives and works in Philadelphia, Tel Aviv and Ilha Grande, Brazil. He attended the Nation College of Buenos Aires and the University of Buenos Aires. His work is in numerous museum collections including: Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; MUHKA-Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Museo de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Dueren; The Haifa Museum of Modern Art, Haifa; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; California State University, University Library, Long Beach; Jewish Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; The Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv; Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; Brooklyn Museum, New York. He has had exhibitions at institutions including: Negev Museum of Art, Beersheba (2018); Cookie Butcher, Antwerp (2017); Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires (2012, 2007); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2011); Z.K.M., Karlsruhe (2009); Centro Cultural Recoleta (2008); Kunst Museum, Bonn (2007, 1997); Museum of Modern Art, Saint Etienne (2005); Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (1999), among others.

For all inquiries, please contact Pentimenti Gallery at or +1 215.625.9990.

May 25 - September 2018

Philadelphia museum of art

1st Floor, Modern & Contemporary Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130

osvaldo Romberg

In honor of Osvaldo Romberg's 80th birthday, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has 4 works on view.