It is a pleasure to present Juan Uslé’s fourth solo exhibition at Galeria Joan Prats, titled ‘Unsettled’, which shows his latest paintings and photographs. “Unsettled” means unstable, but also variable, restless, something that includes opposites, or a paradox. In Uslé’s paintings, the stripes of color fluctuate, they do not have a definite beginning and end, and refer to the passage of time, the hours, the seasons, the changing landscapes, such as Bernia, a mountain range located in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, a place of inspiration for Uslé, among many others.
Juan Uslé’s work reflects on the possibilities of painting. In his words: “Speaking of painting, I would also talk about his tremor, his ‘no fixation’, his journey or, even better, what we understand as displacement.”
Formed by repeated strokes, although never identical, his work is characterized by movement and rhythm, and invoke the surrounding environment, and, at the same time, the energy of the body’s drives. Uslé creates a pictorial language where formal or metalinguistic aspects are mixed with his life experience, in addition to allusions to time and the creation process itself. According to Juan Uslé: “Time is what we have left. I conceive it as a horizontal surface where past and future moments are deposited and transfigured. Many of my small works seem to go on, spread in space. They suggest a “landscape” –let’s call it this way- or space of multiple juxtaposed horizons.”
In the exhibition, Uslé presents small formats, which create a close and intimate relationship together with large-scale works, the largest dimension he has worked with and which he started in 2017. Small works are organized into families, and speak of repetition, but also individually contain their own identity.
The exhibition is completed with two photographs, also of two very different dimensions. They make allusions to the painting and invoke the recollection and emotion of the discovery. Like his paintings, they question our ability to see, think, perceive and feel.
Juan Uslé (Santander, 1954), lives and works between New York and Saro (Spain). He has presented his work at the 51 Venice Biennale (2005), Documenta 9 in Kassel (1992), and at the II Istanbul Biennial (1991), and obtained in 2002 the National Prize of Plastic Arts. His pictorial and photographic work has been exhibited in numerous museums and art centers such as the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea in Santiago de Compostela (2014); Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani, Palma de Mallorca, Marta Herford, Germany (2010); Kunsthalle Emden, Germany (2009); MUDAM, Luxembourg, ARTIUM, Vitoria (2008); CAC, Málaga, Domus Artium, Salamanca, Fundació La Caixa, Barcelona (2007); Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg Florida, Alburquerque Museum, New Mexico (2006); Fundación Marcelino Botín, Santander, IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublín (2004); MNCARS, Madrid (2003); Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany (2002); Museo Serralves, Porto (2001). He recently has shown works on paper ‘Notes on SQR’ at MACE, Ibiza. (Joan Prats press-release)
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