The New York-based Spanish artist and represented by The Hue, Lluís Lleó, will install five monumental sculptures along the meridian malls of Park Avenue in New York City on May 1st, 2017. Morpho’s Nest in the Cadmium House, a site-specific installation, will parade along the Park Avenue Malls from 52nd to 56th Streets. The 13-foot, 7,000-pound paintings are part of NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program and are presented in conjunction with the Sculpture Committee of the Fund for Park Avenue.
These outdoor paintings on sandstone slabs are a sort of homage by Lleó to the Catalan Romanic fresco tradition which have greatly influenced his work and is the very foundation of his career as an artist. These paintings are an encounter between tradition and modernity, a merger between the Catalonian tradition and modern American masters such as Mark Rothko, Ellswort Kelly and Agnes Martin. The sandstone is carved to create relief and Lleó applies fresco painting technique to accentuate the balance between color and form. According to Lleó, “These stones are on the one hand a refuge and on the other a protection of fragility, delicate and fleeting. They create a place where all our dreams can rest: the hope that the art of painting will not die; and the hope that the art that leaves my studio will be soaked in rainwater and let to dry in the sun, to have the spring breeze blow gently on it. The Cadmium House is that pure place one dreams to find in life. That place where memories lie and we can pay tribute to the art before us, that safe place called history where so many things are unchangeable”.
With the installation, Lleó bring objects reserved for interior spaces to an exterior context, altering our perception as observers. One of the painting-sculpture hybrids is juxtaposed with the Seagram Building creating a dialogue with architect Mies van der Rohe. Like van der Rohe’s maxim “structure is spiritual,” Lleó’s work creates transcendent and spiritual encounters by transforming harsh materials into three-dimensional paintings. This exhibition is Lluís Lleó’s first exhibition of sculptural works on Park Avenue, following a roster of prominent artists of the likes of Alice Aycock, Albert Paley, Rafael Barrios, Robert Indiana, Yoshitomo Nara, Jean Dubuffet and George Rickey, to name a few. For The Hue, this show marks the gallery’s 2nd artist to have been placed in this renown public art exhibition, thanks to the efforts and work of the gallery director, Mali Parkerson. The first was Rafael Barrios in 2012.
The project was made possible by the collaboration of Mali Parkerson of The Hue (Miami), Galería Marc Domènech (Barcelona), The Instituto Cervantes, El Institut Ramon Llull, Banc Sabadell and Indus.