Seguí’s work evades easy classification; he draws from a deep pool of influences ranging from Argentina’s own traditions of Modernism and Surrealism to Cubism, Mexican Muralism and Neue Sachlikeit (German New Realism). The present work, De cómo los nervios saltan a la vista (How nerves jump into view) is an emblematic example of Seguí’s signature style. A densely populated sea of patchwork figures dart across the canvas, scurrying in and out of buildings, smoking cigarettes, dancing around one another in an intricate urban ballet. Seguí flattens the pictorial plane and distorts the scale of the city such that figures and buildings are the same size, and although they crowd the composition, none seem to acknowledge or even be aware of one another as they bustle about their business. Here, Seguí’s flat planar space reflects the influence of Fernand Léger, while his labyrinthine composition evokes both Argentine Surrealist Alejandro Xul Solar and Paul Klee. In the oblivious, often humorous actions of these figures, Seguí also creates a sardonic atmosphere, commenting lightly on the social isolation and pervasive loneliness of urban life, a tradition that can be traced to George Grosz’s depictions of daily life in interwar Berlin. De cómo los nervios saltan a la vista belongs to the artist’s first series to incorporate collage; the added textural and patterning variation contributes to the overall intensity and graphic power of this outstanding composition.
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