LONDON.- Victoria Miro
presents Secundino Hernández's first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Hernández's diverse and energetic painting features intricately structured compositions that mix strong linear elements and rich bursts of colour. Some canvases feature abstracted, atomised forms, while others have more densely overlaid imagery in which it is possible to pick out figurative elements.
His paintings deftly combine representation and abstraction, linear draughtsmanship and colouration, minimalism and gesturalism. Over the course of his career Hernández has mixed diverse references: a physicality that recalls Action Painting, the shorthand figuration of cartoons, and passages evoking painterly precedents ranging from El Greco to Giacometti, Velázquez to Picabia. This stylistic multiplicity grows out of Hernández's detailed and informed knowledge of art history. While his references are broad he has, in recent years, developed a specific engagement with the work of old and modern masters from his native country, Spain, as a way of getting in touch with his personal and artistic roots.
In keeping with the breadth of his influences, Hernández employs a variety of techniques including washing, scraping, and working directly from paint tubes. He has a meticulous and process-oriented approach to making work, and his paintings openly display the triumphs and struggles of the artist's practice, creating a tension between beauty and destruction.
For his first show with Victoria Miro, Hernández has produced a series of 'wash' paintings. These paintings are characterised by strong underlays of colour and a gestural use of line. The works are produced by layering and removing layers of paint. Hernández's method involves literally digging through layers of paint to the canvas, in a process that the artist associates with sculptural carving. The resulting paintings have a dramatic, exploratory quality.
Hernández was born in 1975 in Madrid, where he currently lives and works. He has recently had solo exhibitions at Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria (2007, 2010, 2014); Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland (2010, 2014); Galerie Heinrich Ehrhardt, Madrid, Spain (2006, 2009, 2011, 2013) and Galerie Bärbel Grässlin (2013). He has also participated in group shows including Alone Together at the Rubell Family Collection / Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, USA (2013); Dialogos DKV - Patio Herreriano at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Espanol, Valladolid, Spain (2013); Berlin Status 1 at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2012) and Berlin Klondyke 2011 at Art Center Los Angeles, USA (2011). His work is in numerous institutional and private collections, including Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid, Spain; Helga de Alvear Foundation, Cáceres, Spain; The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA; Kunstdepot Göschenen, Switzerland and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with text by Lorena Muńoz-Alonso