Van Doren Waxter is very pleased to present a solo exhibition of new drawings and paintings by Madrid-based Spanish artist Jeronimo Elespe. This curated presentation of recent paintings and works on paper highlights the artist’s visionary intimacy, and features representational works as well as dense, allover abstractions. Through varied ongoing series and formats, Elespe’s miniaturist and intuitive mark-making accrue as history and narrative on the surface of each work, fully imagistic in select works, while more patterned and non-representational in others. Each picture is optically charged, animated by the artist’s searching ink stains, wipes, brushstrokes, and scratches. The exhibition features more than a dozen recent works on paper and paintings on linen (all 2019 - 2020). The show is on view at 23 East 73rd Street from January 14 through March 20, 2021. This is the artist’s fifth exhibition with the gallery.
The intimate practice of Jeronimo Elespe exists in liminal territories, in spaces informed by phenomenological experience, pattern, schema, and presence. The manifestation of each picture is significant for the accumulation marks, inscriptions, indices, and incident on the work’s surface. Passages of ornament and loosely woven structures evince networks of various life, both intellectual and emotional, in an effort to understand it. Elespe primarily works in two parallel modes, which very rarely merge. He has long painted tender portraits of people, which are often inspired by his wife and family, as well as observations of narrative driven spaces, such as rooms found in his home or studio. Additionally, he creates highly intricate and tessellated abstractions on paper which can evoke the concentration and vividness found in nature and landscape, as seen at dusk or in evening light. While in the past, Elespe has deliberately vacillated between these modes of imaging in an organic way, he has described the duality in this exhibition as “a very focused stand-off, a painterly confrontation between portraits and works on paper with almost nothing in between. It will be a confrontation about different ways of remembering, annotating and narrating.” Three new, arresting portraits – Sanar, Vestiduras, and Laderas (all 2020) keep an eye on suites of drawing that resist easy classification. And in a small, yet momentous and hallucinatory work on paper – Consider, 2020 – the artist proposes a strategy that possibly offers a key to the exhibition’s proceedings: a drawing in pencil and ink with the profiles of two busts vulnerable in a swirl of red and sepia toned lines and marks. This specific drawing, and the presentation of this group of works, is described by Elespe as: “A compression of time - during this painful year more than ever - that creates fertile ground for future memories and fictions.”
Jeronimo Elespe was born 1975 in Madrid, where he currently lives and works. He was educated at Yale, CT (MFA) and The School of Visual Arts, NY (BFA). Solo exhibitions include Van Doren Waxter, NY (2018); Maisterravalbuena, Madrid (2018); LABOR, Mexico City (2015); Eleven Rivington, NY (2015, 2013, 2011); Ivorypress, Madrid (2014); Galeria Soledad Lorenzo, Maridd (2012, 2009); and El Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (CAC Malaga), Spain (2012). Elespe’s work is included in the collections of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. Monographic publications on the artist include The Antipodal Room, published by Ivorypress (2014), which includes an interview with the artist and Hans-Ulrich Obrist; and Tacitos y sordos, published by CAC Malaga (2012), with text by the curator Dan Byers.
Van Doren Waxter is open by appointment with visits limited to one to four people for 30 minute increments. The public is invited to schedule a visit here. Safety precautions are taken in accordance with CDC guidelines to ensure the health and safety of staff and guests.