In Breakfast by the Light of the Moon, Emilio Perez shifts towards a more elusive approach and darker palette than seen in his previous abstract paintings while still maintaining his signature practice—juxtaposing freeform movement with meticulous, measured actions. Breakfast by the Light of the Moon is Perez's second solo exhibition at Galerie Lelong and will open to the public on Thursday, February 11 from 6 to 8 pm. The artist will be present.
Perez's unique process entails painting sheets of latex and acrylic in different hues onto wood panels and then, using a blade, decisively cutting away at layers, revealing the colors underneath. The final works are striking, complex designs that simultaneously evoke upheaval and harmony. Throughout this organized chaos are blended, muted shades. Working without preliminary drawings, Perez displays a deeply instinctive dexterity with movement, composition, and color.
Previously, Perez employed sharp contrasts—between light and dark tones, between foreground and background, between broad, sweeping arcs and short, swift lines—and achieved works with a strong, graphic presence. In the works exhibited in Breakfast by the Light of the Moon, elements converge more subtly, with steady, painterly arrangements and an intangible sense of space that plays with the viewer's perception of depth and direction. Dark, rich colors dominate and envelop the plane. Titles such as time is burning and forget all i said further shroud the works in mystery, suggesting emotions and events without overt visual associations.
Also on view will be the artist's drawings—restrained, self-contained compositions of ink and watercolor on paper. Though an entirely separate practice from the latex and acrylic works, the drawings reveal the same innate, elegant sense of movement seen in Perez's paintings.
Most recently, Perez's paintings were featured in the exhibitions Topographies at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; and Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. In addition, since his first exhibition at Galerie Lelong in 2007, Perez has presented a solo exhibition at FILIALE in Berlin and has been featured in group exhibitions in Düsseldorf, Philadelphia, Houston, and St. Louis. His works can be found in the permanent collections of the Miami Art Museum; Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock; and in corporate collections throughout the U.S. Born in 1972 in New York, Perez currently lives and works in Brooklyn.