FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANIBAL CATALAN and JOGE JURADO
November 1 -- December 22, 2007
Gallery 415 is pleased to present two concurrent solo exhibitions by the Latin American painters Anibal Catalan, Mexico, and Jorge Jurado, Colombia -- exhibiting for the first time in the United States. Both employ a mixture of figuration and abstraction to create virtual spaces that attract the eye and tantalize the mind. Surrealism, critic Peter Schjeldahl wrote recently, has been so thoroughly incorporated into American advertising that it is now imperceptible; these artists have found new approaches with roots in Surrealism (and Cubism and Metaphysical Art) that lead to the creation of surprising vehicles for reverie and wonderment -- though free of the anxiety and iconoclasm of the 1920s.
Anibal Catalan with his exhibition called "free & mobile" is trained as an architect, and his work in painting, drawing and installation seems to continue that space-sculpting and space-creating discipline, minus the limitations of real-world livability (zoning, plumbing, lighting, landscaping, etc.). His exquisitely rendered acrylic Home paintings depict the elements of domestic architecture -- walls, roofs, dividers, cables, pillars, scaffolding, grids -- as if torqued and twisted by external forces, and seen through an exaggerated perspective; yet no romantic sense of disaster emanates from them. These 'houses' in their cosmic, otherworldly landscapes are rendered in flat, ungradated Pop-Art or comics-style zones of color; they appear to be computer-aided designs for some location where other laws of nature prevail, or perhaps backdrops for strange cartoons. The cubist planes dramatically blown by solar winds that we see in the Chilean Surrealist Matta (also an architect by training) here achieve a strange tranquility; Ron Davis' semi-transparent geometric solids seen in deep perspective also come to mind. In Catalan's lunar suburbs we find shelter, and an excellent view of the sweeping bands of color, like radiation belts or rings of asteroids or auroras, that surround us.
The paintings of Jorge Jurado titled "a multitude of memories" derive from other Surrealist sources: Magritte's and Chirico's explosive juxtapositions of poetically connected objects, and Magritte's use of objects as windows onto other objects -- a silhouetted tree, for example, revealing a night sky. Where the connections are more or less explicit in the Belgian Surrealist (a bird's egg in a cage), with his objects derived from daily life, Jurado chooses to mix modes: figures or motifs from familiar famous paintings are reduced to linear patterns, like crime-scene chalk outlines, and then transformed into windows onto the 'lives' of things that we might encounter in daily life; both of these elements are painted atop flat color areas derived from comic books. Thus a cartoon figure forms the base for an abstracted/absented figure from Goya or Velasquez or Monet (we search our memory banks), which in turn opens onto a realistically rendered vase or speedboat or goat or giraffe. Sometimes the motifs are inverted; sometimes they seem off-center, caught as if by accident before disappearing from view. The slippage hints at the arbitrariness of life, yet the mind persists in making connections in these comic abstractions.
Gallery 415 will be at the ART NOW fair in Miami Beach, Thursday, December 6 - Sunday, December 9, 2007. The fair is located at the Claremont Hotel, 1700 Collins Avenue, two blocks away from Art Basel. Fair hours are 10am -8pm. Gallery 415 will be located in Room #106. www.artnowfair.com
Gallery 415 in San Francisco focuses on modern and contemporary art from Latin America. The gallery program challenges the traditional views of Latin American art and showcases the great range of styles, materials, themes and aesthetics in artistic production from this diverse region. The gallery is located in the Union Square area of downtown San Francisco and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00am-5:30pm. For more information please contact: Christina Bosemark 1.415.690.0026 www.g415.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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