Neoplatonic Symmetries

Year: 2021
Solo exhibition.
Sculptures made of glass and colored acrylic sheets.
Place: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo en Vidrio (MAVA). Madrid, Spain

«Neoplatonic Symmetries» is a collection of eight medium and large-sized sculptures created by the visual artist Mario Valdés using flat glass, translucent colored acrylic sheets, 3M™ Dichroic film, and colored laminated glass. Its inspiration stems from the reading of the book «On Beauty,» belonging to Plotinus’s Enneads.

For Plotinus, sensible beauty, as a derived expression or image of a suprasensible beauty, reveals to those who can see beyond external appearances, that which transcends it. However, for him, this quality cannot be the result of a mathematical relationship of measurements but is an intrinsic attribute of objects. Plotinus acknowledges the importance of proportion in beauty but considers it to be merely its external manifestation, in which its essence is not found; beauty is not Symmetry but the radiance that ‘shines through’ it.

Exploring the apparent contradiction of these concepts, Mario Valdés has developed this set of works with laminated glass. Seven of the eight sculptures are constructed by combining six rectangular pieces of flat glass of the same size and one square piece of equal measurements to the sum of two rectangular ones. Depending on the permutations in the way the pieces are joined, two distinct collections are created: open Symmetries and closed Symmetries. The color of the surfaces is achieved through tinted acrylic sheets.

In these series of sculptures, the artist studies the formal possibilities of constructing volumes with limited elements and the structural capabilities of the glass pieces themselves to create tensegrity units. The kaleidoscopic interplay of colored planes achieves the creation of objects with great formal harmony and indicates a conceptual exploration path of tremendous potential.


Vidrio laminar, lámina acrílica de color.
28 x 39 x 29 cm.


Vidrio laminar, lámina acrílica de color.
20,5 x 40,5 x 28 cm.


Vidrio laminar, lámina acrílica de color, acero pintado.
31,5 x 30 x 25 cm.


Vidrio laminar transparente, vidrio laminar de color, lámina acrílica de color.
68 x 85,5 x 90 cm.


Vidrio laminar. Lámina acrílica de color. Acero pintado.
31,5 x 31,5 x 25,5 cm.


Vidrio laminar transparente, vidrio laminar de color, lámina acrílica de color, acero pintado.
94 x 75 x 75 cm.


61 piezas de vidrio laminar, lámina acrílica 3M™ Dichroic Blaze.
41 x 24 x 21 cm.