VALENCIA.- The exhibition of Bosco Sodi presents the series Croacia comprising large-format works that confront the spectator with the gestuality of the act of painting by using chromatic and matteric devices. Each of the pieces that form the series, although it maintains its own individuality, fits into the whole to configure a single "abstract image". It establishes a play of light that emphasises the orange and red shades that fill the canvas in a relief that runs between two and three dimensions.
In creating this series, the artist worked on the different parts simultaneously, with the same preparation of pigments and organic ingredients in order to produce an effect of continuity between the works. It is a group of pictures articulated around ordinary physical characteristics: large-format dimensions, a strong matteric presence (achieved by means of a mixed technique that includes natural pigments, sawdust, earth and cement), the intensity of colour and supports of basic rectangular shapes, which we can consider constitute a polyptych.
Bosco Sodi (Mexico D. F., 1970) began his artistic career in Barcelona, from where he moved to Berlin, and although he has studios in both cities and in Mexico City, he spends most of his time in New York.
In his plastic work he applies conceptual, chromatic and matteric resources that outline the spiritual and emotional landscapes that the artist includes in each of his works. Sodi converts oil painting into a sort of sculpture. He generates a tension between the absence of forms, for which he compensates with an abundance of matter, and cracked, eroded, earthy textures. The relief produced by the sawdust, the jute fibres and the other organic matters mixed with pigments that he uses on the large-format canvases comes from the most out-of-the-way corners of the planet, and one of the artist's fundamental motivations is searching for them.
Bosco Sodi uses his hands to make his works, applying them to the support with different degrees of intensity: in some cases in harmonious, uniform layers, while in others forming folds or even cracks and craquelure, following a similar process to the process of earth drying. In his references to the materials, Sodi has said he acquired his taste for the organic from artists like Mark Rothko and Antoni Tàpies, who emphasised the intensity of colour and the energy of matter.
In the words of the artist himself, this exhibition "presents a brief, simple series where you can see this technique I have been working on for the last three years. They are paintings that do not have a meaning, I am not trying to say anything specific, just incite the public, stimulate their curiosity. I think I have evolved little by little, I have focused much more on matter and I have brought painting close to sculpture, and I like very much this kind of spontaneous painting in which organic matter takes over the space."
In the creations characterised by monochromes, Bosco Sodi uses colour without symbolic or descriptive functions, and focuses on optical properties, making the light create nuances and effects that are not visible at first sight, but suggest the work itself as a source of its own light and the autonomy of the chromatic value, as the painter himself points out: "The truth is that I don't like using titles or references that may distort observation. For example, if I call them 'fire', people will not see anything but a fire."
Alongside these creations that are in a space somewhere between painting and sculpture, Bosco Sodi has also experimented with different technical materials such as ceramics.
The exhibition Croacia has been shown at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico, at the Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños, in the city of Oaxaca; at the Museo de Arte de Ponce, in Puerto Rico, and now at the IVAM.
Among the most recent exhibitions of this important contemporary artist it is worth mentioning especially Pangea (2010) at the Bronx Museum, in New York, Un largo camino a casa (2011), at the Galería Hilario Galguera, Mexico, and Ubi Sunt (2011) at The Pace Gallery, in New York; in 2012 at the Taka Ishii Gallery, Kyoto, Japan, Project B, Milan, Italy and the Galeria Álvaro Alcázar, in Madrid.