Guillermo Creus' new paintings. ''Painting has been historically conceived as an endeavor struggling between dichotomies: abstraction/figuration, figure/ground, surface/depth, and linear/painterly, to name just a few. Contemporary painters have, for the most part, eschewed these polarities altogether or have used them in formal strategies of pictorial destabilization in order to achieve idiosyncratic aesthetic ends. Exemplary of this modus operandi is Guillermo Creus.'' Raul Zamudio
Cynthia Broan Gallery is proud to present the second solo exhibition of Guillermo Creus' paintings:
Within, Through, and Around the Folds of Painting
by Raul Zamudio New York, 2001
Painting has been historically conceived as an endeavor struggling between dichotomies: abstraction/figuration, figure/ground, surface/depth, and linear/painterly, to name just a few. Contemporary painters have, for the most part, eschewed these polarities altogether or have used them in formal strategies of pictorial destabilization in order to achieve idiosyncratic aesthetic ends. Exemplary of this modus operandi is Guillermo Creus.
Creus obliterates the above-mentioned dichotomies, while paradoxically re-invoking their presence by culling them into new configurations to the point that it is difficult to discern where figuration ends and abstraction begins. In a painting such as Fubu Abstraction # 8, for instance, layers of paint take on the appearance of the epidermis and/or folds of the skin, an organ possibly, or some perverse take on Color Field painting with a little Hard Edge thrown in for critical and subversive measure. The ambiguity of Creus' pictorial discernment between abstraction/figuration and surface/depth primarily resides in the suppleness of his biomorphic abstractions that, in turn, are compounded by their amorphous quality that engenders them to be more like autonomous mounds of flesh. The shift between abstraction and what appears to be the corporal amounts to visual palpitations and are further increased by Creus' eclectic palette: the colors share an affinity with both "high" and "low" sources. Trafficking in colors that range from soft pastels to hues that verge on a dizzying intensity, Creus couples his forms with chromatic choices that inflect his painting's visual presence with an exploding dynamism of subtlety and nuance. This is evident when Creus works with the most minimalist of means, as is the case with Untitled (2001).
The deep, saturated reds of Untitled produce an array of tonal ranges that is akin to a Baroque aesthetic effect, and is a result of a peculiar artistic logic and complex, elegant pictorial vocabulary. The drapery's visual delirium is concomitantly about the libidinous dimension of color and shape. Cascading down the canvas in its own erogenous glory, the folds in Untitled take on a life of their own as creases of lusciously amplified reds congeal into an array of somatic signifiers. Likewise, Soul can induce the same sort of visual vertigo and seduction, though Creus' overall use of white via the monochrome undermines surface/depth dynamics and anchors it in an avant-garde painting tradition that runs the gamut from Malevich to Ryman, from Reinhardt to Klein.
Creus' larger canvases, whether mono- or polychromatic, shift the viewer's experience from strictly an optical one to a reminder that one is first and foremost, a corporal entity. Apart form referring to flesh or the body, which creates a tension between visual experience and physical presence, Creus' paintings paradoxically operate against the Cartesian modality of the mind/body problem and redirect it to an eye/flesh equation. He does this via the confluence of canvas and pigment and through polarities thought to be antithetical to one another that he articulates with the greatest aplomb, within, through and around the folds of painting.
Raul Zamudio New York, 2001
Opening Reception: Thurs, March 20, 6-9pm
Cynthia Broan Gallery
423 W. 14th St, NYC NY 10014