JAVIER PELÁEZ + GUSTAVO RAMOS RIVERA
September 16 - October 28 2017
The William Turner Gallery is pleased to present two concurrent exhibitions, Javier Peláez: At The Front Door Of A Stone and Gustavo Ramos Rivera: Al Mal Tiempo Buena Cara (A Good Face for Bad Times), opening on Saturday, September 16, in conjunction with the 2017 Getty Initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA.
JAVIER PELÁEZ : At The Front Door of a Stone
"All we know of the world is incomplete, it is inaccurate.” - Witold Gombrowicz
Santa Monica, CA - The William Turner Gallery is pleased to present, Javier Peláez : At the Front Door of a Stone. Based in Mexico City, Javier Peláez creates work that considers the myriad possibilities involved with the construction and perception of reality. Depicting enigmatic imagery that can be construed as simultaneously materializing and deconstructing, Peláez’s pictorial language is set in an incessant swing between opposing states of being. Fascinated by polarities, Peláez’s subjects walk the line between figuration and abstraction, disintegration and formation, certainty and uncertainty.
The title of this exhibition references the 1962 poem, “Conversation with a Stone,” written by Wislawa Szymborska. Through an imaginary dialogue between a human speaker and a stone, Szymborska examines the human desire to understand everything about the world around us and the inevitable reality that it is an impossible quest. Essentially, the stone in this poem serves as a metaphor for all that is incomprehensible to us. With the paintings in this exhibition, Peláez invokes the primordial form of the stone, highly rendered in multi colors, juxtaposed against hard-edge, planar backgrounds. These cryptic forms seem to defy gravity, weightless yet imposing, their origins and trajectory unknown. The viewer is left with more questions than answers, as Peláez’s paintings seem to challenge their own existence.
This exhibition will include a number of new paintings on canvas and panel, as well as a series of paintings on paper that Peláez completed during a recent stay in Los Angeles. Javier Peláez was born in 1976. His work has been exhibited extensively in Mexico. This exhibition marks his first show with William Turner Gallery, as well as his first show in Los Angeles. He currently lives and works in Mexico City.
GUSTAVO RAMOS RIVERA: Al Mal Tiempo Buena Cara (A Good Face for Bad Times)
“It is a deed of light against darkness, a poem, a love letter to someone.”
- Gustavo Ramos Rivera on painting
Santa Monica, CA - The William Turner Gallery is pleased to present, Al Mal Tiempo Buena Cara (A Good Face for Bad Times), an exhibition of recent paintings by San Francisco based artist, Gustavo Ramos Rivera.
Over the past four decades, Ramos Rivera has developed a unique visual language that manifests throughout his paintings, monotypes and collages. His playful and powerful abstract compositions can be read like a visual diary, the expression of which works on both intellectual and emotional levels. Ramos Rivera’s fields of rich color and glyph-like mark making recall both the work of Joan Miro, Paul Klee and Cy Twombly and the iconography of the indigenous cultural heritage of his native Mexico. The marriage of spontaneous linework with technicolor fields create a highly personal symbology that speaks to memory, experience and shared history. Ramos Rivera says of his practice, “Painting is a delightful devotion, a mirror of truth; it’s an invention of anything you want.”
Gustavo Ramos Rivera was born in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico in 1940, and immigrated to the United States in 1969. He has lived and worked in San Francisco for over 40 years. Ramos Rivera’s work is in the permanent collections of prominent institutions including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, The Mexican Museum in San Francisco and The Nevada Museum of Art. In 2006, the San Jose Museum of Art presented a retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work, which then traveled to additional institutions in California and Mexico.