Galeria Fernando Pradilla
Oct 30 -Dec 5 2014
Claudio Coello, 20 MADRID 28001 Spain
Phone: (34) 91 575 4804/5639
Fax: (34) 91 577 6907
After several years without having a personal show in Spain, Armando Mariño returns to Madrid with a new exhibition project. Under the title Pinturas Recientes (Recent Paintings), the Fernando Pradilla Gallery will show a selection of drawings and large format canvasses created over the last two years.
Residing in New York City since 2010, Mariño has deployed an intense creative and promotional activity around his work, in both the United States and Europe. He has been proposing new thematic and discursive routes within a pictorial body of work inhabited by a multitude of literary and graphical references, completely attuned with the contemporary political, social, and cultural contexts in which it is immersed.
Armando Mariño’s work has been evolving in unison with his existential and creative path. He began showing his pieces in the 1990s while still residing in Cuba, and his first individual show took place at Havana’s Centro de Arte 23 y 12 gallery, a space that supported the new languages and reflections taking place in Cuban art during those years by betting on the innovative proposals of a young generation of Cuban artists among whom Armando Mariño distinguished himself. The title of this first exhibition, Arqueología de la Simulación (The Archeology of Simulation), set the path that his work would follow for a good portion of his career, which has been centered on reconsidering Western culture’s hegemonic discourse, and questioning the mechanisms of imposition and penetration that have defined the perception of the history of art.
His stay at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam between 2004 and 2005, constituted a veritable platform for the development of his later work, which has been focused on other treatments of pictorial representation with new conceptual proposals. There, Mariño was exposed to the work of internationally renowned artists like Peter Doig, Daniel Richter, Luc Tuymans, and Bernard Frieze from whom we find certain thematic and compositional references in his latest pieces.
Mariño has also acknowledged that photography has recently become a vital source of inspiration for his work as an artist. The iconography displayed in his paintings and drawings makes clear references to the images amplified by the media and social networks of the Internet era. As he is fond of stating, the studied observation of these images provokes in him the need to think them through pictorially, and to recreate them in a painting. To do that, he uses their deconstruction or manipulation through software already well-established among contemporary artists.
His artistic language has journeyed through the hybrid territories of the figurative and abstraction, in a recurrent round trip, always marked by an expressive treatment of color that creates those very particular atmospheres in his paintings.
Many of the canvasses and drawings that form this exhibition are centered on an intimate treatment of the landscape. The human figure, always present, is integrated in the work with a certain contemplative or self-absorbed appearance. The evocative titles of the pieces such as “Memento Mori,” “The Wasteland,” “The Night Inside of Me,” or “The Sky is the Limit,” allow us a glimpse of what Meyken Barreto pointed out in his review of Mariño’s previous work: “the true dimension of the dramas generated by human relationships facing the natural and physical vastness of the universe that surrounds and cradles us.”