José León Cerrillo. Continuum

25 Feb — 8 Apr 2017 at the Galerie Mitterrand in Paris, France

14 MARCH 2017
Continuum, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Galerie Mitterrand
Continuum, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Galerie Mitterrand

Galerie Mitterrand is proud to present José León Cerrillo’s first solo exhibition in France. On this occasion, the Mexican artist has taken over the gallery’s street-front space, reconfigured to house an installation that is representative of his formal approach: an investigation into perception and interpretation, clean, simple, and geometric.

José León Cerrillo is a protean artist whose exploration of the image encompasses a wide range of media, including posters, sculpture, installation, and performance. The starting point for his work consists of simple geometric systems and an interest in complicating and codifying notions of language and perception, in order to address ways of understanding the object, vis-à-vis abstraction. His sculptures, objects, and installations challenge our sense of perception. By extracting elements from architectural blueprints and technical drawings from graphic projects, José León Cerrillo projects autonomous abstract forms onto reality. In turn, these forms break free of the spatial constraints that enclose them.

For his exhibition at Galerie Mitterrand, José León Cerrillo presents three ongoing series of work. Superimposing two seemingly-irreconcilable space-time continuums, Double Fault covers the ground with a pink mat that mimics the shape, lines, and size of a built-to-scale tennis court. By overlaying the plans for the tennis court onto those of the gallery, as with an imported image in Photoshop, Cerrillo distorts both real space and our perception of it. In our minds, we can of course extrapolate the outline of the tennis court beyond the mere limits of the exhibition space, but physically, we are truly observing an abstract, geometrically autonomous form. The demarcation lines of the tennis court associatively mimic, continue, and introduce The New Psychology, two sculptures constructed from coloured metal frames that shift between actual planes and a drawing in space. On the wall, there are seven works from the series Poems. Poems exists somewhere between diagram, drawing, and pattern, using letters, symbols, and numbers as anatomy of content. An idiosyncratic alphabet of sorts is thus compiled, and this logic is applied as a reusable graphic system that is combined differently each time, allowing for mutable formats and media but always pointing to, or making manifest, the possibilities of meaning through repetition: the jolly jolt of interpretation as form.

José León Cerrillo was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1976. He lives and works in Mexico City, and holds degrees from the School of Visual Arts and the University of Colombia, both in New York City. Cerrillo’s work has already been included in several museum exhibitions, such as at the Triennial of the New Museum (NYC) in 2015, and at MOMA PS1 during the Expo 1: New York exhibition commissioned by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Klaus Biesenbach in 2013. In 2012, he took part in an exhibition at the Tensta Konsthall arts centre in Stockholm, Sweden, and in 2011 at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City.