In a bold move, The Ladder Room Art Gallery is dedicating the next four months to launching an eight-artist group that has recently emerged in South Florida. GUILD consists of painters who reconnect with art's long-standing traditions, and gladly embrace concepts of originality and craftsmanship which have been derided by trends of the last couple of decades.
The painters of GUILD are: Abdiel Acosta, Frank Garaitonandia, Lu Gold, Todd Eliott Mansa, Yamel Molerio, Vincent Serritella, Jose L. Telot, and Jovan Karlo Villalba. All currently live in South Florida, except for Serritella who now lives in Oakland, CA. All of GUILD's artists are Miamians and graduates from the New World School of the Arts, where many first met and established friendships and common cause, before going on to pursue degrees in fine arts at various universities. The group had gathered loosely and had begun exhibiting irregularly. However, it has recently formed into a focused association at the instigation of art critic and poet, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, who first encountered their work last December at a Little Havana exhibition space they had rented to show their work during Art Basel week. Pau-Llosa was taken by the group's diversity, passion, and the high quality of their work. He is the curator of these exhibitions at The Ladder Room Art Gallery and wrote the essay which appears in the group's first catalogue.
GUILD's artists have defined their unifying ideas and mission in a ten-point statement. The group is conscious of the irony implicit in their position as rebels who seek to move Art forward precisely by not abondoning craftmanship, the cult of originality, and other traditions which are central to Western art, and last extolled in Modernism. As Pau-Llosa points out in his essay, GUILD is part of a broader generational awareness which he terms "Renewal Modernism" and which has taken a new look at ideas within this compendium of styles which are full of promise for future innovation. GUILD, Pau-Llosa affirms, is aware that the old linear narrative of stylistic novelty, derailed by Post-Modernist theorists and artists, has ironically led many younger artists back to Modernism itself to recover avenues of thought which the market-driven rush to new art had abandoned prematurely.