The buildings and gardens that the Mexican architect Luis Barragán realized in the second half of his career, from the 1940s to the late ’70s, have in common a monastic feel that tends to inspire a contemplative state in a visitor. When the German artist Robert Janitz (@robert_janitz) first began to engage with Barragán’s designs three years ago, he responded, in particular, to a sense of “dematerialization of space into colored light,” he recalls. It is fitting, then, that 10 of his own vibrant works are currently on view at Casa Gilardi — the final house that Barragán completed, in 1978, in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhood of Mexico City — for the show “Best of All Worlds,” curated by @GianniJetzer. Janitz’s polychrome canvases, with broad brush and squeegee marks made of oil, flour and wax, as well as his first work on ceramic tile and a minimalist concrete fuchsia tile composition — arranged beside the home’s aquamarine indoor pool — demonstrate his own tendency for introspection (as a graduate student in Germany, he specialized in Indology and comparative religion and subsequently dedicated 10 years to meditation before pursuing painting). Set against the home’s luminous white, cobalt and lemon yellow walls, the pieces have a mesmerizing effect. Set against the home’s luminous white, cobalt and lemon yellow walls, the pieces have a mesmerizing effect. “This is not an eye-level conversation,” Janitz says of how his work interacts with the architect’s. “I come in as a devotee.” He did include one note of defiance though. While most of the pieces in the exhibition are as bright as the house itself, Jetzer and Janitz chose to hang “Álgebra sin color” (2021), a 6-by-5-foot canvas in black and white, on a first floor terrace. “This one is anti-Chucho Reyes,” says Janitz with a laugh, alluding to Barragán’s frequent collaborator and master of color.”
Photo by Beka Odette Peralta.
Originally published in T The New York Times Style Magazine