Aprendiz de hechizero (1975)
Pencil on paper
Donated by Roque de Bonis 1993
This work belongs to La ciudad (The City) a series that Josefina Auslender began in 1974 and worked on throughout that decade. All of the works in the series are in pencil (using different variations of the medium: some graphite and some colour) and all are rendered on German Schoeller Parole paper.
Auslender prefers to work in series and La ciudad was one of the earliest that she produced, exhibited in a solo show in 1974 (Galería Bonino, Buenos Aires). Within La ciudad, each work is titled individually. Despite this Aprendiz de hechizero (Sorcerer's Apprentice) contains elements that recur in many of the other drawings: the stark abstract building and the solitary human figure.
Here, the figure is neither male nor female; with no arms or features it has the appearance of a marble sculpture or faceless dummy. The sharp corners of a white building, set against an intensely black sky, frame this figure. The floors of the building are disconnected; while they point upwards, leading beyond the frame of the drawing, strips of paper or ribbon cascade from within the building's void interior, covering the figure.
The titles of many works in this series are melancholic: El silencio (Silence); Sola, por siempre sola (Alone, forever, Alone); El secreto (The Secret); Ciudad amenazada (Threatened City). However, drawn from the imagination and placed on paper, the artist considers these works to be a constructive revelation of beauty and humanity.
Joanne Harwood, 2008