L.A. Louver is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by the Spanish artist Juan Uslé.
Uslé creates abstract paintings that possess a rich combination of color, light and geometric pattern. He mixes his own colors, using dry pigment, vinyl and dispersion, and paints on canvas in thin washes, building layers that form blocks, bands and stripes. The appearance is one of close-knit pleats that are comprised of waves of luminous, transparent color.
The exhibition includes over a dozen canvases, most measuring 24 x 18 inches, with the majority vertical in format. Uslé likes to make groups of same-size paintings, and within this structure, to search for as many differences as possible. He approaches each painting as an individual entity in which to express his experience and imagination. In so doing, Uslé draws inspiration from his everyday life and environs to make paintings that are infused with a sensation of reality, time, space and gravity. Dividing his time between his native Cantabria, Spain, and New York City, the contrast between the pastoral landscape of Northern Spain and the architecture and vibrancy of Manhattan informs Uslé's work, and is reflected both in his palette and the organic geometry of his compositions.
For Uslé, each painting is an act of discovery that combines a search for organized compositional elements with the emergence of the unexpected. While the paintings are marked by Uslé's life, they are also deeply involved in the history of abstraction, as well as in a quest for what remains to be said in that genre. Kevin Power states that Uslé “not only maintains a relationship to history, but pushes it forward in new ways.” In summing up the work, Power says, “Uslé asks questions about the complex nature of contemporary sensibility. He has done so through a highly articulate system of affirmation, disruption, worked surface and immediacy.”
Juan Uslé was born in Santander, Spain in 1954, and studied art in Valencia. In 1987, he moved to New York, and now divides his time between the city and a home in Saro, in rural Cantabria, Northern Spain, not far from where he grew up. Uslé has exhibited widely in Europe as well as the United States. His work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions, including the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga in 2007, which traveled to the Bancaja Cultural Center in Valencia, Spain; Stedelijk Museum voor Acttuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2004; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, in 2003; and the Instituto Valenciano de Art Moderne, Valencia, Spain, in 1996. Uslé was also represented in the Venice Biennale in 2005, Documenta IX in Kassel, Germany, the Third International Istanbul Biennal in 1992, and the Bienal de São Paulo in 1985. A full-color catalogue, with an essay by art critic and curator Kevin Power, will be published on the occasion of this exhibition.
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