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Perrotin presents first show in Hong Kong of four Mexican contemporary artists
Gabriel Rico, VI – from the series “More robust nature…more geometry”, 2018. Rock, branch, neon, 50 x 170 x 38 cm ½ 19 11/16 x 66 15/16 x 14 15/16 in. Photo: Álvaro Argüelles. Courtesy the Artist and Perrotin.

HONG KONG.- Perrotin Hong Kong is presenting an exhibition featuring José León Cerrillo, Jose Dávila, Gabriel Rico and Martín Soto Climent, marking the first time that the artists are showing in a Hong Kong gallery. This presentation stems from ¿Cómo te voy a olvidar? (How could I forget you?), a 2016 group exhibition at Perrotin Paris that brought together the work of 16 contemporary artists across Mexico. For the four artists from that show now exhibited here, their engagement with architecture, interest in non-art materials, and investigations into the legacies of modernism, illustrate how similar concerns can be channeled towards different ends.

José León Cerrillo’s site-specific installations address architecture directly. At Perrotin Hong Kong, he will present his Subtraction Screens and Unstable Examples, a series of sculptural frames that reorganize, reorient, and delimit the space. The viewer’s behaviour and course through the gallery is modified accordingly. With allusions to Russian constructivism and the Bauhaus school, and a formal debt to Fred Sandback’s drawings in space, Cerrillo’s stark geometry belies a greater interest in movement, perception and the failures of minimal abstraction.

Jose Dávila’s sculptures of stone and glass are fraught with tension: the juxtaposition of surfaces and finishes—polished and rough, fabricated and organic—and the literal tautness that holds the glass panels in suspension, always anchored by an earthly force, some element of earth transferred to the white cube of the gallery. Dávila, and the other artists presented here, intervene minimally with their materials. It is through composition—or the relation between elements— and context, that the work finds stability and coherence. In Dávila’s sculptures, fragility and resistance, geometry and chaos are elegantly hinged to achieve a harmonious whole.

Gabriel Rico’s work also mines non-traditional sources for its materials; found objects, neon lighting, and taxidermied animals are some of the common elements he arranges to make a phrase, an equation, or formulation. His work is characterized by the inter-relation of disparate, seemingly unrelated objects. For this exhibition, Rico, sharing a room with Dávila and in direct conversation with him, has created sculptures that are keen on achieving a precise geometry despite the organic, roughly hewn character of their materials. This tension is achieved with humor, irony, and beauty.

Martín Soto Climent’s materials, however, are of a wholly inorganic provenance, opting instead for store-bought items of the everyday. At Perrotin Hong Kong, ladies’ stockings are stretched into parabolic forms to make an elastic web in which art materials—canvases and plinths—are trapped in its threads. These sinuous forms emerge from his canvases and attach themselves to the walls, ceiling, and floor in a suite of works that interact and make contact with every plane of the room. A poetic meditation of the physical limits of painting, these pieces reach beyond convention and constraints.

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