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Art.

Unwrecking the Penn-Central

by J. R. Blevins

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Last month Cleveland artist Jaime Davidovich unveiled his plans for making an aesthetic experience out of the old Penn-Central railroad bridge at E. 55th St. and Euclid Ave. While the art critics didn't flock to the New Gallery on Bellflower Rd. from New York, Paris, and London, CLEVELAND Magazine thought the project, regardless of its merits, needed viewing.

Argentine-born Jaime Davidovich, an artist of international fame, is almost unknown in the community where he resides. He lives in Cleveland but constructs most of his projects where he can find the support - in other states or countries.

However, there have been a few works and proposals done for this area. Davidovich investigates a realm outside of traditional art structures and dislikes his projects being labeled with scholarly "isms." The elements he deals with are pure and banal, his process direct. By manipulating the simple components he brings about a visually transporting experience related to the environment.

Davidovich's roots lie in modern painting and an attitude that is Oriental to the point where he considers his work in an Eastern tradition.

"In 1958 I was in Rio de Janeiro on a scholarship and had the opportunity to be in contact with the work of the American painters Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko," Davidovich said. "I had never seen such large paintings before - they were more like murals taking up a whole wall with color. Other abstract painters didn't interest me as much as these two because they gave me an awareness of the reality I was living in.

"When I went back to Argentina, I was confronted with the empty space of the pampas. You would drive for hours and see nothing but the sky and land - nothing but that. This experience reminded me of Newman and Rothko and I started doing abstract landscapes of the pampas. These paintings gave me an awareness of space I had not had before and this lead to an interest in oriental art and philosophy."

Why do you try to do art?

I have the need and the energy to do it.

Are your projects always done by yourself?

No...depends on the nature of the project. Sometimes it is done by a building firm or a display company or helpers or sometimes myself. Since each project is different the circumstances are never the same.

Why do you work with such a common thing as tape? 

102
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