THE FUTURE LOOMS DARK AND THAT WE CAN SCARCELY
Xavier Robles de Medina
Curated by George Watson.
OPENING: March 2 | 19.00 - 23.00
March 3 - April 8 2018
Xavier Robles de Medina’s (b. 1990, Paramaribo) sensibilities are rooted in an observational drawing practice as well as an objective dissection of the painting as a three-dimensional object. He questions social and artistic categorizations, in search for a truth regarding his identity as it relates to the painting tradition. He is currently studying the visual cues and contextual idiosyncrasies within the photographs and documentary films of Suriname’s past and present history.
In 2015 Robles de Medina was the youngest nominee for the Prix de Rome Visual Arts (Netherlands) and also completed Residency Programs at WOW Amsterdam and CTG: Zimbabwe. In 2016 his drawing En het donker duurde een volle nacht earned him a place on the short-list of the Royal Award for Modern Painting (Netherlands.) Last year Robles de Medina enjoyed his first NYC solo with Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, his first solo exhibition in Suriname at Readytex Art Gallery, and embarked on the MFA Fine Art program at Goldsmiths, University of London.
His first European solo opens on 2 March and will be on view through 8 April at Barbé Urbain Gallery, Ghent.
Text by George Watson:
Xavier Robles de Medina's first solo exhibition in Europe offers up a new departure for his practice, that is at once familiar and experimental. The work begins to unpack notions around art production and distribution; to that end presenting openly the coda of making. It is through this sustained aesthetic and conceptual framework that a more-personal history materialises. Moving through the exhibition a bifurcated rhythm develops as one becomes aware of a 'twinning' between works. This duality speaks to the nature of replication without presenting a predetermined hierarchy. There is a kind of trompe-l'oeil at play here, with replicated works shifting between mediums; by extension questioning the relationship between draft and artwork. This curatorial decision to deliberately imbricate works into pseudo-diptychs creates a familial network of relations throughout the exhibition. These implicit dialogues are at first obfuscated, coming into focus as the viewer explores the connections. What has unfolded as the exhibition developed is the relation to time embedded within Xavier's process. More-specifically the distribution of time within Xavier's practice. The Future Looms Dark and that we can scarcely, mostly, moves away from, by comparison, more-time-intensive works. Thus allowing ideas to form and reform rapidly – the result is an exhibition that is mutable and active.
BARBÉ URBAIN gallery
Penitentenstraat 29 | 9000 Gent | Belgium
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open from Thu. - Sun. 2 - 6pm | 7/7 by appointment.