The Very Much Living: Xul Solar and Jorge Borges, The Art of Friendship.


Today, April 18, 2013, is the opening of the first solo exhibition in New York dedicated to painter, writer and occultist Xul Solar.

This exhibit, co-presented by the Americas Society and the Museo Xul Solar (Buenos Aires) offers “an in-depth examination of the public and private aspects of Solar’s long friendship and vigorous exchange of ideas with famed writer and fellow Argentine, Jorge Luis Borges.” Read more about the exhibit here.

In the year 1949, Xul Solar held an individual exhibition of paintings at Galería Samos (Samos Gallery). His friend Jorge Luis Borges prefaced the catalogue and presented him in the following way:

Versed in all disciplines, curious of all mysteries, the father of writings, of languages, of mythologies, guest of hells and heavens, “panchess-player,” author and astrologer, perfect in indulgent irony and in the generous friendship, Xul Solar is one of the most important events of our age. There are minds who profess probity, others, discriminate abundance; Xul Solar’s plentiful invention does not exclude honest rigor. His paintings are documents of the unearthly world, of the metaphysical world in which the gods take the forms of imagination, dreams. Passionate architecture, happy colors, many circumstantial details, labyrinths, homunculi and angels unforgettably define this delicate and monumental art.

The taste of our time vacillates between mere linear pleasure, emotional transcription and realism painted by a dauber’s brush. Xul Solar renews, in his ambitious but modest way, the same painting of those who do not see with their physical eyes in the sacred field of Blake, of Swedenborg, of the yogis and of bards.

[Hombre versado en todas las disciplinas, curioso de todos los arcanos, padre de escrituras, de lenguajes, de mitologías, huésped de infiernos y de cielos, autor panajedrecista y astrólogo, perfecto en la indulgente ironía y en la generosa Amistad, Xul Solar es uno de los acontecimientos más singulares de nuestra época. Hay mentes que profesan la probidad, otras, la indiscriminada abundancia; la invención caudalosa de Xul Solar no excluye el honesto rigor. Sus pinturas son documentos del mundo ultraterreno, del mundo metafísico en que los dioses toman las formas de la imaginación que los sueña. La apasionada arquitectura, los colores felices, los muchos pormenores circunstanciales, los laberintos, los homúnculos y los ángeles inolvidablemente definen este arte delicado y monumental.

El gusto de nuestro tiempo vacila entre el mero agrado lineal, la transcripción emotive y el realismo con brocha gorda; Xul Solar renueva, a su modo ambicioso que quiere ser modesto, la mística pintura de los que no ven con los ojos físicos en el ámbito sagrado de Blake, de Swedenborg, de yoguis y de bardos ]

Watch Borges speak about Xul Solar after his death:

“Although this is a time when art is more individual and arbitrary than ever, it would be a mistake to call it anarchic. In spite of so much confusion, there exists a well-defined tendency toward simplicity of means, toward clear and solid architecture, toward the pure plastic sense that protects and accents abstract meanings of line, mass, and color, all within a complete liberty of subject and composition… Let us admit, in any case, that among us now – if mostly still hidden – are many or all of the seeds of our future art, and not in museums overseas, and not in the homes of famous foreign dealers. Let us honor the rare ones, our rebellious spirits who, like this artist, before denying others, find affirmation in themselves; that instead of destroying, seek to build. Let us honor those who struggle so that the soul of our country can be more beautiful. Because the wars of independence for our America are not yet over…” ~Xul Solar

-Excerpted from an article written in anticipation of Emilio Pettoruti’s first Buenos Aires exhibition for the magazine Martín Fierro, 9 October 1924

Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges: The Art of Friendship

April 18 – July 20

Americas Society
680 Park Ave
New York, NY 10021
Venue Website

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