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David Gill Gallery opens José Yaque's debut UK show
José Yaque, Magnesita I, 2016. Acrylic, enamel on canvas. H30.5 x L40 x D5 cm / H12 x L15.7 x D2 in. Unique. Photo: David Gill Gallery and Galleria Continua San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins/ Havana.

LONDON.- “Tierra Madre” is the first London solo exhibition by the Cuban artist José Yaque. The various works, inspired by and made specifically for David Gill Gallery, are on show from 3 February until 5 March 2017.

José Yaque’s debut UK show follows a residency in London last October with David Gill Gallery, in collaboration with Galleria Continua, when the artist was invited to prepare a new body of site specific work for London. Over several weeks, José painted various canvases in different formats and colours, created charcoal drawings and sketched the projects of the installations, to be shown as “Tierra Madre {Mother Earth}.”

The title of the exhibition alludes to the close relationship of the artist’s work with nature, the riches of natural world and the materials it comprises. Each of the artworks emerge from the inspiration and the dialogue, which form and visualize nature in each component of the exhibition. “Tierra Madre” consists of a selection of paintings, drawings and installations. Each one of these manifestations, in dialogue with the earth and its components, has inspired the young artist in many diverse ways.

Yaque’s special way of painting and his interrelation with his materials cause the resulting paintings, some of very large dimensions, to enhance the media he uses causing an apparent abstraction, with each work taking on a telluric and almost dramatic force. His drawings speak to us of the treasures inside great mining quarries. These “open-air mines”, as he calls them, reveals an relationship with nature, based on the beauty of the most refined stroke. The installations mix natural elements such as earth of different origins, stones, mineral components and recovered books, which are integrated into this substratum, then framed and eventually harbour a new genesis within each work.

“I observe all this, which is denominated “media” as one single thing which is at my disposal, I simply don’t distinguish between one and another in my process. Before, drawing was a resource, but nowadays I employ it as an almost verbal form of communication. This line I make now, for me is a becoming, it’s a representation, which I later endow with a body, a physical or three-dimensional presence in the installations. On occasion it has to do with a single idea or a single object which is transfigured or transformed into something else apparently different, but in its essence it’s the same thing.” José Yaque

This debut London exhibition serves as a leitmotiv to celebrate a long friendship, through love of art and commitment to young artists, between David Gill Gallery and Galleria Continua. David Gill met José Yaque two years ago in Havana in the company of Lorenzo Fiaschi, one of the founders of Galleria Continua and his since been a supporter of Yaque’s work, now bringing him to London for the first time.

A catalogue has been published to celebrate the occasion. The compilation, printed in two volumes, is divided into one section dedicated to the painting, and the second to the installations and drawings. The paintings shown respond to the period of Yaque’s creations from the end of 2014, beginning with his personal exhibition “Magma”, up to the works created during his residency in London at the behest of David Gill Gallery. The textual material is composed of two interviews realized by the curator Laura Salas Redondo in 2014 and 2016, which also give a timeframe for his work and thoughts, accompanied by a critical text by Elizabeth Pozo Rubio.

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