SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO — Eight Modern is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Teo González: New Work.
Teo González, a Spanish-born painter based in Brooklyn, is known for his minimalist compositions on square canvases. Using monochromatic color schemes, the artist first applies a simple ground using pigments he mixes himself, then builds a grid of thousands of precisely placed dots of paint. But where he once placed small pools of paint diluted with water, and then added a second drop of paint into that mixture, allowing the physics of evaporation to determine much of the creative course, González now paints his grids of circles and dots strictly by hand, giving him greater control over all aspects of his work.
These differences, which may sound minute, become multiplied by the nature of the artist’s work, which creates a tantalizing perception of depth by marrying the openness of organic form with the formal precision of the grid.
“I, as the painter, have moved from being a part of the process, the facilitator of the right circumstances, to being the main ingredient, so to speak,” González says. “Theoretically, I would say that I have taken a step away from minimalism and toward a sort of abstract expressionism.”
González’s new technique is a notable step toward increased agency for an artist who has been exhibited in the nation’s top museums and respected for his exacting process for so many years.
Artist and critic Carol Diehl describes the allure of González’s art: “Teo González’s paintings are deceptively simple: they consist of rows of small dots—drops, really—that result in loose grids that cover his panels. … The overall images are suggestive of many things: the open weave of burlap, for instance, or the way the sun shines through the tiny holes in a straw hat. It is only after some study that their grids—so visually evident—reveal themselves as not really there at all, except as negative space between the drops. In fact, the paintings seem different every time you look at them. In them, as in those drawings that trick your eye into seeing alternately a vase and a woman’s profile, sometimes it is the dots that predominate and at other times it is the grid that does so. ”
He finds and enjoys remarkable aesthetic freedom and expansiveness within repetition and restriction. The minute but noticeable irregularities in the size and shape of each drop of paint wash over the viewer’s eyes in a flickering, intoxicating manner that is as non-referential as it is substantial.
“González…balances fastidiousness with controlled chaos,” notes ARTforum’s Nord Wennerstrom. “He finds strength in restriction and uses controlled subtleties as passages to revelation.”
After coming to America in 1991, González earned his B.A. in visual arts (magna cum laude) from Cal State-Bakersfield. His work has been exhibited widely in Europe and America, residing in the permanent collections of such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has been written about in numerous museum and gallery catalogues as well as Artforum, ARTnews, Art & Antiques, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post.