Mar de Aral
May 2 – June 27, 2015
As part of the Gallery Weekend Berlin, Galerie Thomas Schulte presents new works by Juan Uslé paralleled in the Corner Space by a site-specific window painting by Richard Deacon. Both artists open their presentations on Friday, May 1st from 6 to 9 pm.
At the center of Juan Uslé’s exhibition “Mar de Aral” are new, large-format works. Since the end of the 1990s, the Spanish artist has been working, in no particular order, on the series Soñé que revelabas (“I dreamed that you appeared”), which represents the largest coherent group of works within his diverse oeuvre. In it, Uslés poetic emotional conceptualism comes to light, as the artist not only inquires into the structure of the painterly process within abstraction, but simultaneously allows the subjective experience and feeling to flow into it.
In predominantly black-and-white paintings, which always are created at night, Uslé works with extremely reduced painterly means. Color and ductus are limited to the slightest and the tension of the works results from minimal changes in tonal value and contrasting horizontal layers, slightly differing in brushstrokes. On always vertical canvases, bright streaks of color create highlights on the grey, vibrating chord. Each painting develops from the permanent repetition of a brushstroke, which from line to line fills the surface and provides a distinct transparent planarity. Every mark of the brush is charged with an existential corporeality, as the artist rhythmically transfers his heartbeat onto the canvas.
“Uslé has taken the brush imprint that represents nothing but itself – an invocation of the great historic longing in painting for the absolute absence of mimetic reference, for pictures that do not imitate anything – and turned it into a sort of painterly cardiogram, a work that reflects and responds to the history of painting and may at once be read as a self-portrait in a very elemental sense," Stephan Berg explains in the catalogue for Uslé's exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bonn in 2014.
Juan Uslé was born in 1954 in Santander, Spain. In recent years he has developed to be one of the most important artists in the international art world. His paintings and photographs have been shown in countless American and European exhibitions. He has had shows in museums such as the Reina Sofia (2003), the SMAK in Geneva (2004), and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (2004). In 2005 he participated in the 51st Biennale in Venice. In Germany, his works were presented at the documenta IX and recently in a retrospective of the Morsbroich Museum in Leverkusen. The group of works Soñé que revelabas was extensively exhibited in 2014 at the Kunstmuseum Bonn and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela. Numerous catalogues were published about him and in 2002 he won the Spanish national prize for art. He lives and works in New York and Saro in the North of Spain.