October 3rd – November 14th, 2020
Solana Beach, California – Madison Gallery presents noted Colombian artist Santiago Parra’s first West Coast solo exhibition. Parra is known for his large, abstract and highly expressive black and white paintings. His canvases capture the suspended flatness of the calligraphy-like imagery, harmonizing two seemingly incompatible aesthetic moments, spontaneity and pondering, which are all shaped by movement, strength, gravity and skill of the Columbian artist’s creative process. He explores the expressive possibilities of the quintessential abstract form. This exhibition focus on the recurring motifs Santiago has identified in his work;
“Lately I’ve started to see recurring patterns in the paintings, underlying structures, an unpremeditated order. This formations, often concatenations of an archetypical geometry have become ineludible to my eyes. Ive always been intrigued by the source of this arrangements but never before have they appeared so manifestly than in some of the works in this exhibition. With Archetype Ive come to ask myself a question: If this underlaying geometry emerges from the subconscious, do we all have access to a common pool of archetypical forms ? Does geometry lives inside of us not only as the pattern shaping our organic tissues but also as images abiding in our subconscious?”
The dynamics of Santiago Parra’s art complete when beheld by its audience. The force of Parra’s aesthetics and the persuasive reasoning – or, perhaps, avoidance of reasoning – that locates his method in the mysteries of his own consciousness invoke the viewer’s own unmodulated response. The scale of the paintings gives them a theatrical cast, to be sure, but also makes them seem – feel – as natural as the weather. Parra seeks to capture raw experience with them, knowing full well that “raw experience” is defined by, among other things, its uncapturability. But all art is approximate, and Parra’s less so than most. “Art” may be a cultural construct, but on that construct Parra constructs his own ur-cultural experience.