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Javier Peláez - Broken Tree

William Turner Gallery, Suite E1
Exhibition Dates: July 13 - September 1

In Javier Peláez´s recent work executed in Mexico City for this year's exhibition project with William Turner Gallery there are new formal and discursive premises in the composition of the images and also lines of continuity with respect to his past explorations. Specifically, the artist continues to develop the optical complexity of abstract planimetric architectures; retains the connection with certain Japanese visual elements; supports the idea of the diagram or structure of floating or weightless forms; and continues to resort to the industrial or high-tech chromatic scenes that incorporate fluorescence into sober color repertoires.

As for the new premises visible, the first thing that is noticed is an emphasis on the tension between the secant geometrical planes and the image of the trunk of the tree. The atmosphere in most of these new paintings is that of a world where the organic is placed in an artificial and strident scenery (somewhat influenced by “vapor wave” aesthetics) where architectonic planes strive to configure themselves against broken tree trunks while the rupture of the trunk emphasizes on the concept of fragility and change as inevitable components of our human condition.

Conceptually Peláez himself associates the icon of the tree with a process of reference to his personal history. The tree is related to fatherhood, specifically to the figure of his late father, who used to be an architect.

The Garden of Eden has been subverted: the tree of life and enlightenment, according to the ancestral sacred mythologies, appears dry and broken in the visions of Javier Peláez, in a state of fragmentation and sterility. The dystopian tone of the iconography invoked by the artist speaks, in a sense, of the crisis of the idea of happiness and raises a saga of the mediatization of reality.

Erik Castillo

Art Critic and Curator - Mexico City