Text for the catalog of the individual exhibition “Intersections” published on the occasion of the said exhibition at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Valencia in 2004
No one is unaware that, at this start of the new century, a scattered directional multiplicity stands as a defining note of the plastic inconsistencies of the latest batch of creators. So much so that, as the coinage of the individualized poetics is taking place, the feature of linguistic plurality is accentuated as specifically characteristic of our time. Stretching the fringes of that wide repertoire of paths explored by modernity -and more specifically, if possible, by the avant-garde attitude and practice-, different ways of facing the pictorial fact are sowing, in the soil of our current artistic culture, varied records that are nothing more than the result of the different modes of inquiry operated on that –always, fortunately, open- field of pictorial relationships.
Among the emerging values that already have their own voice, forming the new artistic generation that has begun to bear fruit at the dawn of the 21st century, is Silvia Lerín (Valencia, 1975), who, since the mid-1990s, He oriented himself with conviction towards a line of pictorial research aimed at developing the potentialities of that inexhaustible vein that weaves abstraction and geometric approach. Eschewing referentialist illusionism (that is, totally distancing himself from apparent reality) and vindicating the autonomous value of painting, from the firmness of his vocation he has been developing intense work that, by curdling in idiosyncratic diction, in a personal style, has already given him well-deserved recognition.
The aniconic nature of his plastic discourse places him in the analytical/constructive line of contemporary art, and such an absence of denotative meanings (because we are not dealing with a representational painting -which refers to something concrete or objective-, but rather with the cult of form itself) presupposes, of course, both the complete distancing from any approach to atmospheric illusion and delving into the most conspicuous postulates of reductionist plastic syntacticism. The spatial organization prevails in these paintings that illuminate a powerful painting that is offered to the gaze (that concentrated gaze; it is not in vain to contemplate is to look distinguishing), on their generally square format supports. The method of applying acrylic with marble dust and paper on canvas shows a mastery of technical resources. Knowing the ins and outs of the grammar of color, Silvia Lerín, either fixing the chromatic field -saturating it with greater or lesser intensity as appropriate in each case- with delimiting lines, or tracing strips or strata -on whose epidermis she marks traces by washing and scratched-, transmits his peculiar sense of color -generally intense, matte- in those canvases of his that he approaches simultaneously without previous sketches, and in whose implicit geometry the experienced eye of the viewer will estimate not only scales and depths, but also a control of the laws of gravitation.
Positioned –like the rest of the makers of forms based on the formlessness of her generation- in the necessarily reflexive dichotomous position of, or anchored in the self-folding of the “I” –consubstantial with the individualistic hypertrophy, so much of our time- , or, on the contrary, channel their expression so that it runs along the communicative path extracted from their own intimacy, the painting that provokes these lucubrations is the result of the confrontation of polarities and the subsequent defeat of the proposed antinomies. Thus, she manages to shock the viewer by establishing a calculated contrast between cold and warm ranges; the rational control that every compositional approach with a formalist nature entails is altered with nuances, transparencies, textures; the rotundity that, on occasions, exhales from its desired chromatic contrasts, is attenuated by a compensatory subtlety. In a permanent struggle to reconcile order and instinct, balance and impulse, Silvia Lerín (provider of vision, like any self-respecting plastic artist) articulates some plastic proposals in close consonance with a way of being, a way of looking at reality.
The “intersections” that he now presents to us respond precisely to that sway – hectic at times – in which overflowing energy and the desire for balance quietly quarrel. We are facing interpenetrations derived from a game of syntactic organization (distribution of weights, mutual compensation of forces), and I would like not to be mistaken in understanding that in these intersections of lines, angles and planes beats the vertigo of the assumption of a self-imposed challenge: the of the dissolution of pugilism between provocation and aesthetic pleasure. Ultimately, it is about reaching that point of convergence between vitalism and discipline. Well, trapped at the crossroads where random recurrence and the desire for perfection converge (or, if you prefer, visual impact and elegance), Silvia Lerín offers us –through that vehicle of expression, which is her painting- proposals of high aesthetic value that, by stimulating our perception, are –at the same time- enabling cognition, thought (obviously, visual thought). An increasingly refined, fresh, attractive painting that emerges from the artistic sensibility of its author, and in whose resulting syntax radical caesuras are not so much appreciated as dialogues between extremes, a search for approximations, antagonisms and overcoming irreducible polarities.
It goes without saying that these “intersections”, manifestly raised in the most recent paintings by Silvia Lerín, have –also- their correlate in the intersections that arise from the complicity of that double gaze: that of the one who plots the work and that of the one who contemplates her. In this –sometimes instantaneous- process of active apprehension (which is the vision) of the artistic work that is shown before the eyes of the beholder, an encounter is produced in which both protagonists –the artist and the spectator- seek copulation, the lace. In the trance of this reciprocal approach, there are elusive paintings that seem to avoid visual penetration, while others – seductive (such as those that provoke these appreciations) – give off a magnetizing force that fixes the attention of the gaze on that space thought and made. to the surprise of the discovery.
I am pleased to present, on the occasion of this exhibition, the most recent pictorial work of Silvia Lerín. A painting of architectural construction, attentive to the exclusively visual, subject to the laws of the relational system of forms, planes and colors, whose meaning is its composition and its message is beauty. Well, her paintings -with which the panorama of the renewal of the current plastic discourse is widened-, present themselves, since they are plain and simple that (which is not little): support and colored two-dimensionality; openings to the polysemic language –metaphorical, after all- that all the arts entail. Located on the border that separates (and unites) intuition and rigor; rocker between enthusiasm and doubt; devoted to the relationship and analysis of the convergence and divergence of lines and shapes…, the resulting quality soaks the gaze -trapped here- of that demanding iconic receiver that is the viewer who feels passion for painting and profits from the new aesthetic with suggestions. .
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(Somehow, in the operative process of writing about contemporary art, “intersections” also take place -or, if you prefer, overlaps or overlaps- as a consequence of the exercise of that double and simultaneous function that supposes combining historiography and criticism Or, to put it another way: that when it comes to weaving a text behind that meeting point in which the singular keys of the plastic poetics of the creator of the work and the aesthetic and historical coordinates in the that it is incardinated, we are also proceeding to a crossing of lines; “intersections” of another type).
Professor of Art History. — Faculty of Fine Arts. Polytechnic university of Valencia.