FELIPE PANTONE at Kunsthal in Rotterdam

There was a time when OpArt was all the rage, there was a time when Kinetic art was all the rage. Graffiti/Street Art is currently all the rage. The work of Felipe Pantone, born 1986 in Buenos Aires and raised in southeast Spain, manages to combine all three, and bring a lot more to the party as well.

This relatively small exhibition in the Kunsthal’s top gallery demonstrates the full gamut of Mr Pantone’s talents. There are flat wall paintings, walk through mobile installations and, perhaps most interestingly, a large sculpture that was created virtually by the artist in an empty room wearing virtual reality goggles whilst waving some sort of magic wand around. The image only existed in his goggles and was then transformed by computer into a sculpture using 3D printing. Near the metallic sculpture there is a fascinating video of the artist creating the piece, a piece that is invisible to everyone except himself.

Pantone is, as most of you will know, the standard range of inks used for commercial colour printing. Now, I don’t know if Pantone is Felipe’s real name and that it is a coincidence that some of his works resemble Pantone colour swatches or whether he changed his name because they did.

There is a lot of Perspex (or Plexiglas if you are American), both in the flat wall pieces and the installations. It gives much of the work an ethereal quality that draws the viewer in and stimulates the imagination.

If you like your art clean and clinical with little evidence of the human hand at work then this is the show for you. If you like OpArt, Kinetic art and graffiti style work you will relish Felipe Pantone. Even if you prefer your art more painterly, more raw, this exhibition is fascinating on a technical level and certainly has a lot to appreciate.   Michael Hasted   4th May 2023