José Guerrero

23 Feb — 30 Apr 2017 at the Galería Cayón in Madrid, Spain

4 MARCH 2017
José Guerrero, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Galería Cayón
José Guerrero, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Galería Cayón

Galería Cayón is pleased to present the second individual exhibit by José Guerrero (Granada, 1914 – Barcelona, 1991) since the Galería assumed the representation of his artistic estate.

Coinciding with ARCOMadrid 2017, this exhibit will offer a selection of six large canvases that were produced in New York in the 1970s and have not been displayed in this country for a number of years.

These paintings reflect a new phase of artistic fulfillment in Guerrero and correspond to his return to New York after his having lived in Spain from 1965 to 1968. They are more serene and condensed than his previous work, devoid of the overflowing abandon found in the abstract expressionism that made him famous in the latter half of the 1950s when he was part of the New York School. Without loss of the traits essential to his colorist painting, he drifts toward a more structured, architectural inquiry into the limits between the forms and the borders of the canvas. Initially he uses the theme of friction (or kitchen) matches and then moves beyond it to pursue his explorations of color. It was precisely this early painting which exerted the most influence on a number of Spanish artists in the 70s and 80s, after it was first exhibited at the Galería Juana Mordó in 1971.

A catalogue will be issued, concurrent with the exhibit, which includes an essay by Yolanda Romero, current curator of the Art Collection of the Banco de España and former director of the Centro José Guerrero (Granada) for fifteen years. In Romero’s words, “…a restraint in gesture and a development of recognizable forms (the match, the arch, the accents); the use of a reduced yet fresh and vibrant chromatic spectrum, where black is almost always present; monumental and enigmatic forms. In essence, his painting would become what it had always been: the expression and liberation of his inner world through color, even though that color would now be applied in thinner layers and with finer transparency. Guerrero was able to distill a method that would define his work, make it attributable to him, despite the impression that, apparently, nothing remained unchanged.”