Ordovas opens exhibition of 132 drawings by the Colombian artist José Antonio Suárez Londoño
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Ordovas opens exhibition of 132 drawings by the Colombian artist José Antonio Suárez Londoño
Installation view.



LONDON.- Ordovas presents an exhibition of 132 drawings by the celebrated Colombian artist and master draftsman José Antonio Suárez Londoño. One Year: 52 envelopes, 132 drawings represents the creative output of his daily drawing practice in 2014, a year in which the artist dedicated each week to a specific theme or subject. This is the second major exhibition of Londoño’s work to be held at Ordovas following his inaugural European retrospective at the gallery in 2019.

One of Colombia’s most revered living artists, José Antonio Suárez Londoño - also known as JASL - was born in the Colombian city of Medellín in 1955, and is celebrated in particular for his dedication to the mediums of drawing and printmaking. Since the 1990s, he has pursued a meticulous and disciplined daily drawing practice, creating works whose vivid images are filled with poetry and observation; while each individual drawing is an intimate gem in its own right, it also serves as part of an incredible over-arching and open-ended narrative.

Londoño’s work has previously been shown at institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the 2013 Venice Biennale. The curator of this year’s edition, Adriano Pedrosa, also included his work at the XXIV Bienal de São Paulo, 1999, and in the exhibition F[r]icciones, 2000, at Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid.

In 2014, Londoño decided to structure his year through a series of weekly themes, dedicating his daily drawings to a particular subject; the exhibition includes drawings from each of the 52 weeks. The artist selected the diverse range of subjects having looked back on his previous work over the years and identified recurring themes and topics he wished to revisit. The first weeks of the year are represented by Planos (Blueprints), Personajes (Characters), Wallpapers, and Cajas (Boxes); other subjects include El Conejo (The Rabbit), Vestidos (Dresses), Cielos Oscuros (Dark Skies), Perros (Dogs), La Línea Punteada (The Dotted Line), Jacob y el Angel (Jacob and the Angel), Canciones (Songs), Barcos (Boats), Dirigibles (Airships), and Abstracto (Abstract). For over three decades on the 19th of each month, Londoño has drawn Edgar Degas, one of his greatest artistic heroes, who was born on 19 July 1834. Week 39 is titled Le Maître Absolut, Degas (The Absolute Master, Degas) and includes three drawings inspired by the great French Impressionist.

Through his lifelong devotion to drawing, Londoño’s work takes inspiration from a dazzling variety of visual and textual sources. From illustrations, paper scraps and photographs (JASL does not own a computer) to classical texts and pop songs, the artist synthesises these with a methodology born of his scientific training, and his childhood obsession with an illustrated Larousse encyclopaedic dictionary. Celebrated in his homeland, and hugely influential on a younger generation of Colombian artists, including Johanna Calle, Mateo López, Nicolás Paris, and Bernardo Ortiz, Londoño’s work can be found in museum collections including those of MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Courtauld Gallery in London and the Albertina in Vienna. He continues to live in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia, and for the last twenty years, he has run a weekly portrait-drawing group there, as well as printing his etchings at a local workshop.










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