Mexico City, August 4 – 29, 1998
Artist: José León Cerrillo
In Obra Reciente, José León Cerrillo aims to show painting as an object, and his goal is to challenge the notion that painting is a freedom from the social aspect of life. By placing painting on the same level as more amiable objects of décor, and thereby maximizing its own nature as an object, it is possible to sabotage the utopian notions that spawn autonomous, ambivalent objects. By making painting’s discursive function and its social character more literal, José León Cerrillo’s work tries to raise issues of relative value and taste, inviting the painting to literally match the couch. Moreover, all this is done without irony. Images that might point to a pop vernacular are interchanged with abstraction and pattern. This allows for a negotiation of varied formal and pictorial legacies that are argued down until they are no longer resistant. Paintings, plants, sculptural fragments (or disassembled paintings) and wall dividers are used together to define both art and décor, in apparently indistinguishable measure; they exist together. Plants act as quasi-democratic stand-ins for objects whose use value, however limited, is at least popular. The work aims to provide a space for painting within a more fluid system, interrupting the passive indifference of its pleasures.