This work is sold with a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by Natalio Jorge Povarché and dated 15 September 1995.
In the 1930s, Solar began to paint a series of mystical, semi-abstract landscapes that collectively number among his finest works. "They are his imaginary landscapes," art historian Mario H. Gradowczyk has remarked, "the counterpoint to the real landscape, lately impoverished and arbitrary. In these landscapes, over which Solar's architecture presides, it is easy to share dreams and hopes, to create new spaces for play, knowledge, meditation."(1) As Gradowczyk suggests, Solar's cryptic landscapes imagined an escape from Argentina's década infame (1930-43), an era characterized by corrupt, repressive governance and severe economic bankruptcy following a military coup d'état. Against this bleak reality, his enigmatic landscapes envisage a metaphysical place far removed from the hardships of everyday life and rich in cosmic possibility. Their cryptic impenetrability only invites deeper scrutiny: what wisdom awaits us at the summit of each staircase, what enlightenment is to be gained?
Ciudá Hochi is a characteristically dense landscape of asymmetric buildings, clustered in rising elevations with steeply cascading staircases and darkened blocks of windows. A row of curious onlookers peers over the precipice at the towering city, perhaps planning their ascent or tracking the progress of the intrepid souls already scaling the sides of the buildings. Working within a restrained palette of ruddy browns, Solar tempers his pigments to achieve maximum tonal effect, washing the buildings with a peculiar, moonlit luminosity. The slanting, perspectival space is overcast by a warm aura that fades to the darker regions in the distant horizon, imparting an uncanny, atmospheric glow to the deep space of the painting. The overall effect is one of transcendence and mystical experience: an alternate, utopian universe, Ciudá Hochi is fully part of Solar's rarefied, esoteric world.
1) M. H. Gradowczyk, Alejandro Xul Solar, Buenos Aires, Ediciones ALBA, 1994, 148.