Artists: José Antonio Suárez Londoño and Santiago de Paoli
Venue: Lulu, Mexico City
Date: August 16 – September 16, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Lulu, Mexico City
Lulu is proud to present a two-person exhibition of two South American artists: the Medellín-based, Colombian José Antonio Suárez Londoño, who will present a selection of framed etchings and the Buenos Aires-based, Argentine Santiago de Paoli, who will present a selection of new paintings.
Known for his entrancing, meticulous, small-scale drawings, José Antonio Suárez Londoño also makes postcard-sized etchings. The imagery found therein includes everything from flora and fauna to two-headed human beings to geometrical configurations to a Robert Walser-sized script itself as well as references to literature and music. At times reminiscent of classical, scientific illustrations, it can also bring to mind Leonardo de Vinci’s notebooks in addition to other, more elusive arcana. Timeless, bewitching, and strange, these works testify to the rigorous cultivation of a highly distilled, idiosyncratic graphic language whose intimate scale merits and richly rewards close viewing.
Although markedly simpler, the paintings of Santiago de Paoli are no less weird. Working on unusual supports, which include felt, slates of wood, and knitted wool, de Paoli’s most recent body of work alternates between, and sometimes conflates, the depiction of lunar crescents and non-gendered human posteriors (yes, asses and moons). Reductive to the point of seeming naïve, his densely layered paintings are fashioned with a dark and loamy palette, offset by luminous peaches and violets, pale blues and milky whites, which brings to mind the Sienna-inflected hues of central Italy. The stark linear quality of his imagery is not without a touch of European surrealism, while the tendency toward unconventional supports evokes the ad hoc ingenuity of the outsider artist.
In both cases, each artist combines a refreshingly personal approach to subject matter with a strikingly refined sense of craft. What they make is at once the byproduct of and continuous with the elaboration of their own unique pictorial universes and ways of perceiving the world.
José Antonio Suárez Londoño was born in 1955 in Medellín, Colombia where he lives and works. He received a Diploma and Postgraduate Degree, Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel, Geneva, Switzerland, 1978-1984. A recent, extensive solo survey, Muestrario, traveled from La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain, to CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, to Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Medellín, Colombia throughout 2015, and he has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Casas Riegner, Bogota (2016), Galleria Continua, San Gimignano (2012), The Drawing Center, New York (2012). His work has also been featured in the 32nd and 24th São Paulo Biennials (2016 and 1998, respectively), the 55th Venice Biennial (2013) and the Mercosul Biennial (2009), among others.
Santiago de Paoli was born in 1978 in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he lives and works. Having received his BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in Atlanta in 2014, he was a resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan in 2006. A selection of recent solo exhibitions includes: Entre nosotros y el objeto, Móvil, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016); Pescado y Papas, Wireless Ridge, Stanley, Falkland Islands (2015); Mendoza, Mendoza 2321, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2014). Recent group exhibitions include: Mostro VII, La Fábrica, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Ceramics, Galería Ruby, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017); Planeta Salvaje, MCHG, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2016); Omnidireccional, Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2015).