Halcyon Gallery is pleased to present Unfinished Business, an exhibition of new works by Colombian artist Santiago Montoya. The solo exhibition, Montoya’s third at the gallery, provides a striking culmination of the artist’s endeavours since his acclaimed first exhibition at Halcyon Gallery, The Great Swindle (2012).
Unfinished Business sees Montoya continue to develop his dialogue spotlighting society’s contemporaneous relationships with money and the economy at large. Using uncirculated bank notes he creates canvases which boldly illuminate tensions; questioning preconceptions and offering new pertinence to complex social constructs. Montoya views bank notes as ready-made painted surfaces, as snapshots of time, theatres in which political propaganda and historic events play out. Yet these paintings come with their own pre-assigned commercial value that forms the basis of all international trade, relations and infrastructure. The result is artwork saturated with layers of meaning.
Santiago describes his inspiration for Unfinished Business:
"For so many years, we fought nature to survive, and I wonder if, for some of us, the economy has taken its place. We´ve anchored our expectations for wellbeing, success and happiness on the economy. The economy has become a new god, which we all cease to understand. An incomprehensible mystery of which many prophets write about, at times becoming holy, and at others, an evil in disguise. For better or worse (interdependently inseparable), as inconclusive as things are in the sacred fields of religion – and economy, it seems that we have quite a distance to go before we conclude… all I pray is that in my time, it remains forever unfinished business."
To mark the exhibition, a comprehensive monograph of Montoya’s oeuvre dating from 2008 to the present has been published; The Great Swindle which includes texts by Justine Ludwig, Director of Exhibitions and Senior Curator at Dallas Contemporary; Robin Greeley, Professor of Modern & Contemporary Latin American Art History, UCONN, and edited by Professor Jose Luis Falconi, Art Forum Curator at the David Rockefeller Centre for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.
Halcyon Gallery will be holding a panel discussion on the 20th of October, which will coincide with Montoya’s solo exhibition at the Colombian Consulate in London running 9- 30th October.