Dot Fiftyone Gallery
in my Shadow”a
solo presentation of
new paintings by the prolific
and active artist, Hernán
Cédola . The show presents a series of large paintings and charcoal
drawings produced by the artist during his four months artist in
residency program at Ateliers Hoherweg E.V., Dusseldorf - Germany in
the spring of 2015.
in my Shadow
I. Sometimes I believe that all that I see doesn’t exist. Because
all that I see is all that I saw. And all that I saw doesn’t exist.
at some nebulous distance I do what I do, so that the universal
balance of which I am a part does not lose balance.
II. ...is lifevisible
to us in its entirety, or before we die do we know of only one
hemisphere? Painters — to speak only of them — being dead and
buried, speak to a following generation or to several following
generations through their works. Is that all, or is there more, even?
In the life of the painter, death may perhaps not be the most
difficult thing. For myself, I declare I don’t know anything about
it. But the sight of the stars always makes me dream in
as simple a way as
the black spots on the map, representing towns and villages, make me
dream. Why, I say to myself, should the spots of light in the
firmament be less accessible to us than the black spots on the map of
France. What’s certainly true in this argument is that while alive,wecannotgo
to a star, any more than once dead we’d be able to take the train.
So it seems to me not impossible that cholera, the stone,
consumption, cancer are celestial means of locomotion, just as
steamboats, omnibuses and the railway are terrestrial ones. To die
peacefully of old age would be to go there on foot.
Van Gogh Letters to Théo (fragment)
days ago, I passed by The K20 Museum of Düsseldorf and went in again
to see Francis Bacon’s two paintings, which have been spatially
positioned next to each other. This was the fifth time I went in to
see them. The painting on the left belongs to the Men in Blue series.
The other is one of his paintings in which a beast with human traces
takes center stage in the midst of an indeterminate room, which
pretends to contain it or to cast it out.
thick, dirty brush strokes are discovered later in a second look: One
must stay for a long time and look at it repeatedly in order to be
able to move across the painting or, at best, to let the painting
penetrate us. That’s what I did, and that’s what I always do, but
only with a few, Bacon being one, Van Gogh another, and with Maccio
who is even closer to us. I am not able to escape from the mystery
they give rise to; there is something intriguing for us to discover.
stayed for more than an hour and a half observing the painting up
close, as well as from afar, and in between. The security guard in
the room look at me several times as a mere formality, gesturing that
I should keep my distance: “The thing is that there are cameras
here, and if they see that I don’t ask you to keep your distance,
they may reprimand me,” he said, when he approached me, as if he
were taking my side, as if he understood that I was not that kind of
individual who would commit a reckless act. But of course! How could
we not want to obsessively look at a painting, particularly one by
Bacon? How could we understand it thoroughly if we don’t look
painstakingly at its smaller gaps? We must develop a microscopic
gaze, according to Walter Benjamin.
dwell within that which contains them.
first encounter is summed up at a glance; we are only happy with that
which we fancy to see. Then, that which has no shape fades away – a
human vestige closer to the beastly shape we often make up into
civilized collages. In that impasto of unclean paint, full of lint,
dirt, and grime perfectly fitting, the depraved image – which
stands in the way of the refined appearance we’d rather show as
mere mortals – becomes manifest. There is no way out from the
abominable truths we are made of.
here where we can understand in all its ramifications what Morton
Feldman told us about the different meaning surface has for painters
as opposed to composers: the composer creates something real – the
note – out of the imagination. On the other hand, the painter
creates something imaginary – the painting – from reality. An
Bacon’s illusion makes us face that part of us that we don’t know
how to put our finger on? An image, which is an illusion of seeing
what, we will never really see but that, nonetheless, usurps us.
Cédola Notes from Düsseldorf April 14, 2015.