Meadows Museum acquires two paintings by Secundino Hernández

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Meadows Museum acquires two paintings by Secundino Hernández
Secundino Hernández (Spanish, b. 1975), Untitled, 2019. RB glue, chalk, calcium carbonate, titanium white pigment and dye on linen, 112 5/8 x 157 1/2 in. (286 x 400 cm). Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Museum purchase with funds provided by Susan Heldt Albritton, Pilar and Jay Henry, Stacey and Nicholas McCord, Jenny and Richard Mullen, and Elizabeth Solender and Gary L. Scott, and with additional funds from Linda P. and William A. Custard and Gwen and Richard Irwin, MM.2020.08. Photo by Kevin Todora.

DALLAS, TX.- The Meadows Museum, SMU, announced today that it has acquired two recent paintings by the contemporary Spanish artist Secundino Hernández (b. 1975). The Madrid-based artist’s connection with the Meadows began in February 2018, when museum leadership and patrons visited the artist’s studio while on a trip to the ARCOmadrid Fair. It was on this trip that the Meadows began discussions about bringing both Hernández and his painting Untitled (2019) to visit the museum. The painting has been on view in the Virginia Meadows Galleries for over a year and the artist himself visited Dallas in March of 2020. In tandem with the museum’s purchase of Untitled (2019), Hernández has announced that he will donate another work, Orígenes Secretos (Secret Origins) (2020), to the museum.

Untitled (2019) is a monumental painting measuring just over 13 by 9 feet, and is part of Hernández’s “monochrome series,” while Orígenes Secretos (2020) belongs to a genre he describes as “palette painting.” Both works reflect different processes of abstract, free-form gesture, which produces a strong sense of movement and depth across each surface plane. Hernández made Untitled (2019) out of pieces of canvas—often discarded scraps from other works—that are stitched together and then washed and dyed repeatedly, creating a mix of hard-edged lines with vibrant washes of color. Orígenes Secretos (2020) is a much smaller painting that began life in service as a palette, the surface on which artists typically mix paint colors before applying them to a painting. Essentially using leftover paint from multiple paintings to create other works, Hernández mixes, layers, and sculpts the thick impasto into something completely original. Hernández describes his palette paintings, like Orígenes Secretos (2020), as a kind of antithesis to his “monochrome” works, such as Untitled (2019), using the corporeal metaphor: the former is flesh, the latter bone.

“Untitled (2019) felt at home in the Meadows from the moment we hung it in the museum,” said Mark A. Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum. “The dialogue it creates with other works in our collection and the enthusiasm it inspires among our visitors encouraged its purchase as we expand our commitment to collecting contemporary Spanish art. Hernández has a unique place in the Meadows Museum’s history, as our work with him kicked off our new partnership with Fundación ARCO. We’re thrilled that Hernández chose to celebrate our relationship with a gift alongside our purchase.”

As part of the Meadows’ mission to expand its focus on contemporary Spanish art, the museum last year announced a six-year partnership with Fundación ARCO, the guiding organization behind Spain’s premier contemporary art fair, ARCOmadrid. Through the collaboration, titled MAS: Meadows/ARCO Artist Spotlight, the Meadows will, on a biennial basis, select one Spanish artist with limited recognition in the U.S. to present their work at the Meadows Museum for approximately four months. As part of the series, each selected artist will also travel to Dallas to participate in academic and public programming designed to further engage audiences with the artist’s practice. While Hernández was not officially part of this partnership, it was the Meadows’ collaboration with the artist that inaugurated the initiative. Hernández traveled to Dallas in early 2020 to participate in educational programs with SMU students and museum patrons. The first MAS artist will be announced in spring 2021, anticipating the next planned ARCOmadrid Fair.

“During my trip to Dallas earlier this year, I was struck not only by the hospitality of the Meadows community, but also the genuine passion and dedication to Spanish art among museum patrons and SMU students,” said Hernández. “I wanted my work to be permanently surrounded by this kind of enthusiasm and energy, and so decided to donate Orígenes Secretos (2020) to the Meadows. It is an honor for my work to be housed alongside the Spanish masterpieces held by the museum.”

Hernández was born in 1975 in Madrid, where he currently lives and works. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at international venues including CAC Málaga, Spain (2018); Taidehalli Helsinki, Finland (2018); Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015); and Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France (2014). The artist has also participated in group shows including Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London (2017); Abstract Painting Now, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria (2017); Das Allerletzte Prof. Winkler Stipendium at Kunstverein Weiden, Austria (2013); Alone Together at the Rubell Family Collection/Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, U.S. (2013); Diálogos Colección DKV—Colección Arte Cotemporáneo en el Museo Patio Herreriano at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Español, Valladolid, Spain (2013); Berlin Status 1 at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2012); and Berlin Klondyke 2011 at Art Center Los Angeles, U.S. (2011). His work is in numerous institutional and private collections, including National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, U.K.; Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand; Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid, Spain; Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres, Spain; The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, U.S.; Kunstdepot Göschenen, Switzerland; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada.

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