From 11/23/2022 to 12/16/2022
Quito, Ecuador

Juegos combinatorios (Combinatorial Games), the exhibition of artist José Miguel Mantilla at + Arte gallery, summarizes an exploration and study of the number Phi and its combinatorial properties.


During World War II, a small group of French artists, unemployed because of the war, became interested in the study of the combinatorial properties of the number Phi (Φ). As part of their research, they made certain illustrations which they called panel games [jeu des panneaux]. Six of these illustrations are known that resorted to a number of 21 combinations to segment a line with 8 contiguous values of the set {x-Φ-n, ..., x-Φ- 3,x-Φ-2,x-Φ-1,x- -Φ0,x-Φ1,x-Φ2,x-Φ3, ..., x-Φn}. At the end of the war the researchers were occupied in the reconstruction of Europe and their studies on the combinatorial properties of the number Phi were abandoned.


José Miguel Mantilla's interest in the combinatorial properties of the Phi number dates back to 2015, when he became aware of the aforementioned research. He wanted to extend what he had discovered from the 6 sets of panels that were published in 1946. Using the same guidelines as the French researchers, he found all the 70225 possible combinations with which to compose the sets of panels.


The exhibition Permutations and other combinatorial games is the result of what was learned in this trip to the garden where numbers flourish.

José Miguel Mantilla (1974) ventured into the field of music with a Punk Rock band between 1996 and 2003.


As an architect he has won more than twenty awards and professional recognitions, among which stand out: International Selection for the Ibero-American Prize, Panorama of Works of the X Ibero-American Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, Spain (2016); National Mention of Architecture in the category architectural design, in the XVII Pan-American Biennial of Architecture of Quito (2010); First Prize obtained in the Public Competition of Preliminary Projects For the Urban and Architectural Design of the Plaza de la República, promoted by the Decentralized Autonomous Government of Pichincha (2011), among others.


In the year 2020 he made the decision to distance himself from the professional practice because he considered that, at present, architecture is subject to external commitments that irremediably distance him from the sphere of artistic creation. Faced with the current limited opportunities to explore "the beautiful" from architecture, he decided to devote himself entirely to art. His position as an artist is critical of the lack of spiritual values in today's world. For Mantilla, art emerges and develops where there is an eternal, untiring yearning for the spiritual. In that sense, the hieratic style of his representations is close to historical art, but with the awareness of the discoveries of the modern art period.


Juegos combinatorios. Solo exhibition by José Miguel Mantilla.

Until December 16, 2022.

Galería + Arte - Av. 12 de octubre N26-48 Ed. Mirage, Quito, Ecuador.