October 29 – December 20, 2015 | 195 Chrystie Street, NY
11R is delighted to present an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Spanish artist Jeronimo Elespe, on view at 195 Chrystie Street from October 29 through December 20, 2015. This marks the artist’s third solo show with the gallery, and with it, Elespe develops the insistent, lyrical universe he has built through his fifteen year painting practice, while also examining the nature of repetition and concentration through a series of autonomous drawings. The exhibition features the artist’s well-known paintings on aluminum along with new works on linen, wood panel, and paper.
Meticulously encrusting and scrubbing oil paint on aluminum panels, Elespe creates paintings whose imagery is initially informed by his memories of domestic and studio life. These autobiographical motivations gradually merge with the artist’s imagination to become dreamlike, liminal scenes – figures in repose, an interior staircase – poised between memory and fantasy, the intimate and the universal, and the spiritual and the everyday. The material quality of aluminum is essential to these works in two contradictory ways: on one hand, the coruscating panel has an immateriality, suggesting a sacred object; on the other, it provides a durable, hard-edged substrate for paint to accumulate and be expunged.
Elespe’s treatment of surface extends to the drawings on view, where his scraping and layering is even more apparent. Meanwhile, paintings on coarse stretched linen, exhibited here for the first time in New York, have their own inherent structural woven texture. The recurrence of elements across the work evidences the artist’s habitual, almost monastic approach to art making, and it guides our own consideration of how repetition stimulates creativity.
By continuing to work on an intimate scale, Elespe imbues his paintings with a devotional quality and makes it impossible to look at more than one work at once. As a result, the exhibition as a whole requires an itinerant form of focused looking, whereby how we proceed through the show leads to the discovery of new connections and the construction of different narratives between the works.