rio grande/rio bravo
Angles Gallery is pleased to present
rio grande/rio bravo, featuring new paintings
This is the artist's first large-scale solo
exhibition at Angles Gallery.
The exhibition will be on view January 11th through February 22nd, 2014 with
a reception for the artist on Saturday, January 11th, 6-8 PM.
Angles Gallery presents rio grande/rio bravo, the Los Angeles premiere of Tony de los Reyes' new series of paintings, Border Theory. The artist, known for his critically acclaimed work regarding the aesthetic effects of cultural histories, exhibits optically vivid and elegant paintings sourcing characteristics of abstraction within maps of the US-Mexico border.
While Tony de los Reyes' past work has been almost exclusively figurative, the relationship between materials and processes has been an ever present, guiding force within his thematically driven series. Drawing past inspiration from a variety of sources including literature, maritime history, art history and costume, de los Reyes has used both technical and narrative methodologies to underscore philosophical, historical and cultural forces.
Since 2012, de los Reyes has been developing his Border Theory series, combining the attributes and implications of abstract painting with the demarcation between the United States and Mexico. Components inherent in both, the delineation of space through a conceptual framework, and its realization and subsequent physical impact, form continuity between aesthetics and the effects of history. De los Reyes addresses the border as a site of abstracted politics, which, like painting, utilizes specific materials, processes and ideologies to organize otherwise incoherent spaces.
Visually, the Rio Grande (termed "Rio Bravo" in Mexico) is a natural boundary that dominates the eastern half of the US-Mexico border; as a pre-existing, geographic demarcation it forms a sinuous line cutting across half of the continent. De los Reyes fuses the central preoccupation of abstract painting, the placement and arrangement of (un)stable forms in a predetermined physical space, with satellite images of the river from 20,000 - 35,000 feet above the earth to form sensual, schematic works that offer the possibility of seeing the border as a phenomenological effect as well as a symptom of history.
In the paintings, raw linen is saturated with multiple layers of fabric dyes to create pervasive, unfolding areas of color that create both oppositional encounters and subtle planes of hued space. Superimposed on these are singular, thin lines of oil paint, gridded dot patterns and/or similar minimal marks that refer explicitly to areas contingent with the border. The gallery will also exhibit a suite of eight lithographic prints based on his photographs of Border Field state park, the final US zone of the border before it empties westward into the Pacific.
Curator Carol Ann Klonarides has written, "His evocative, allegorical paintings traverse the space(s) between the dualities of past and present, nature and culture, the real and the symbolic. Rather than illustrating an idea, the work functions as an aperture into the imaginary. To experience de los Reyes's work is one of those rare instances where there is a confluence of intellectual and aesthetic individuality, uniqueness and power, evident with a stand-alone work as well as an installation of his paintings, works on paper and sculpture, becoming more than the sum of their parts." (2011 C.O.L.A award catalog).
Tony de los Reyes' Border Theory series debuted at Grand Central Art Center in 2012 and was reviewed in Artforum and the OCWeekly. His previous body of work was the subject of the exhibition and catalog Chasing Moby-Dick: Selected Works by Tony de los Reyes (2010) at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, which traveled to the New Britain Museum of American of Art in Connecticut. In 2011, he was a recipient of both a City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) award and a California Community Foundation Fellowship. Reviews and articles have appeared in such publications as Art in America, Artforum, XTRA, Modern Painters and the Los Angeles Times. De los Reyes received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. He lives and works in Los Angeles.